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New Drug Test Can Tell If You've Ingested Cocaine From Your Sweat

We’re sorry to say it, but there’s some bad news for all you clubbers out there that spend more time in a bathroom stall than on the dancefloor. Police now will be able to tell if someone has used cocaine within seconds by taking only their fingerprints. We can thank this advancement to scientists at Surrey University working with the Netherlands Forensic Institute and Intelligent Fingerprinting.

The scientists found that by using a special type of paper to take the fingerprints, authorities will soon have the ability to detect certain chemicals that our body metabolites with 99 per cent accuracy.

When people take cocaine, they produce two different chemicals in their body as they begin to metabolise the drug. Most of these chemicals can be found in one's’ sweat. (And no, washing your hands will not help get rid of these chemicals if you’re about to be tested).

Dr Melanie Bailey of Surrey University believes that the test should give police, prison officers and others governmental agencies the ability to determine if someone had taken cocaine much more quickly than they are able to currently.

“This is a real breakthrough in our work to bring a real time, non-invasive drug-testing method to the market that will provide a definitive result in a matter of minutes – we are already working on a 30-second method,” she said.

“And, as with previous methods we have developed, it is non-invasive, hygienic and can’t be faked – by the nature of the test, the identity of the subject, and their drug use, is all captured within the sample itself.”

Dr Catia Costa, also of Surrey University, said the technique used in the testing, “paper spray mass spectrometry”, was gaining increasing popularity in forensic circles “because it is incredibly sensitive and is very easy to set up a testing system”.

If you want to dig deeper on this new test, check out the full report here http://clinchem.aaccjnls.org/content/early/2017/09/25/clinchem.2017.275578

H/T: The Independent