Cocaine Use Detected in Fingerprints

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Cocaine Use Detected in Fingerprints

There may be a new, safe and hygienic way to drug test, according to research published in Analyst.  Currently, the only way to test drug use is through a blood, bodily fluid, or hair follicle test. But now drug use, specifically cocaine use, may be detected through your fingerprint.

This was discovered by a team of researchers from  the United Kingdom through a study led by the University of Surrey. Researchers used mass spectrometry, an analytical chemistry technique, to identify if the patient had been using cocaine. The fingerprints used for this study were from patients at an addiction treatment center.

When a person consumes cocaine, their body metabolizes the drug and then excretes different chemicals that then show up in fingerprint residue. The researchers were able to recognize this residue using a solvent on the fingerprint slide.

Drug testing is widely done on a daily basis, and this method would make the tests much easier. However, before this is available to the public it must be tested further and determined if it is possible to create large amounts of kits for this particular way of testing.