New breathalyzer can detect 12 drugs, including pot and cocaine
A new device designed in Sweden can detect 12 different types of drunk, including marijuana, morphine, heroin, cocaine, and meth.
Even though driving under the influence of drugs is outlawed, police have no convenient way of testing a driver. The study, published in the Journal of Breath Research Thursday, Olof Beck, of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, was about to detect drugs on the breath of 47 patients at a drug addiction clinic.
Beck said even though the test was administered 24 hours after the patients took drugs, there was still a high detectability. In 87% of tests the breathalyzer was able to correctly identify which drug was taken. Beck said future studies could be used to show a correlation between breath concentrations and blood/urine concentrations. One suggested use would be to give the driver a breath test on the scene, then use blood test later to confirm the results.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, drugs other than alcohol are involved in about 18 percent of fatal car crashes. Drunken driving accounts for about a third of all traffic related deaths, and about 1.4 million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol each year.
“There is a possibility that exhaled breath will develop into a new matrix for routine drug testing and present an alternative to already used matrices like urine, blood, oral fluid, sweat and hair,” the study says. “Since exhaled breath may be as easy to collect as in alcohol breath testing it may present a new more accessible matrix than blood at the roadside.”
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