What Are Drugs and How to Use the Drug Rapid Test Kit?
Drug addiction continues to pose a growing challenge to human health and well-being in the post-pandemic world. Today, drug dependency and overdoses constitute a leading cause of various diseases, injuries, and death in many parts of the world. According to the latest reports by global agencies, the use of many common drugs stands at a record high, and drug markets are rapidly expanding to new and more vulnerable areas. With the advancements in diagnostics in recent decades, various forms of drug screening methods have become widely available to assist in determining drug use and misuse in various settings. Read along to learn more about the current trends in drug use and the conduction of different types of drug testing.
What Are the Most Commonly Used Drugs?
The World Drug Report (2022) by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that a total of 284 million people worldwide between the ages of 15 to 64 have used a drug within the last 12 months of 2020. In other words, 1 in every 18 people within the specified age group was estimated to use drugs. In 2010, the figure was 226 million, corresponding to 5% of the specified population. With around 209 million users worldwide in 2020, cannabis remains the world’s most-used drug. Cannabis use has also demonstrated a significant increase in the last decade. In fact, the World Drug Report (2022) by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates an increase of 23% in the number of cannabis users between the years 2010 and 2020. With a twofold increase within the last decade, approximately 61 million people were estimated to use opioids.
Given that it accounts for around 69% of death due to drug use disorders and the loss of over 12.9 million years of a healthy life, the use of opioids such as fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, morphine, and methadone is a major concern. In addition, the number of amphetamine, cocaine, and ecstasy-type substance users have been estimated to be approximately 34 million, 21 million, and 20 million, respectively. Although there is a high level of uncertainty due to large data gaps, COVID-19-related closures and measures appear to halt the use of these substances.
What Are Different Types of Drug Testing?
Drug tests can detect different parent drugs and drug metabolites in various biological specimens such as urine, hair follicle, saliva, sweat, blood, and breath. Urine analysis is among the most commonly used methods for drug screening due to its low cost and convenience. Since the majority of the parent drug is already metabolized, these tests often detect its metabolites in the collected urine sample. This method is frequently used for the detection of alcohol, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, opioids, cocaine, and marijuana. Blood tests, on the other hand, directly detect the parent drug in the bloodstream of the tested person. It is an invasive and highly accurate method that is often preferred in emergencies where precise information may be of critical importance. Despite offering a detection window of only a few hours after drug use, saliva testing remains relatively popular due to its ability to detect parent drugs at low costs. Finally, hair follicle testing enables the detection of drug metabolites diffused from the bloodstream into the hair follicle. Since it offers a 3 to 12 months detection window, this method can provide information on the long-term presence of drugs and the patterns of drug abuse for a variety of substances such as cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), amphetamines, opioids, and MDMA.
Breath and sweat testing are among the less commonly used drug screening methods. However, breath testing is a widespread method for quickly monitoring alcohol use and intoxication. It measures the breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) in a deep-lung breath via various devices such as a breathalyzer. Sweat tests, on the other hand, involve the collection of sweat samples with the help of an absorbent pad to detect the substances consumed during the period that the person has worn the pad.
What Are the Advantages of Drug Testing?
Drug tests may be useful under many different circumstances, such as post-accident screening, pre-employment screening, annual physical screening, for-cause screening, post-treatment screening, and athletic testing. In addition, drug testing can assist in the screening of abstinence and the detection of early relapse. Further, it can check for a potential drug overdose or poisoning in patients with clinical signs and enable early intervention. Finally, it can be utilized for various legal purposes. As different types of drug tests offer unique benefits that may be compatible under different circumstances, the method of testing should be chosen upon careful consideration of the needs of the patient, the timing of testing, and the requirements of the specific setting.
How to Use the Drug Rapid Test Kit?
Drug tests only sometimes require any specific preparation. Depending on the circumstances, drug tests may be performed during an emergency, on a random basis, or as a part of a scheduled program. In fact, alongside devices designed for professional use, at-home drug testing kits may also be available depending on the country or region of residence. However, patients may need to inform medical professionals about the medications or supplements they are taking to determine whether the use of these medications or supplements may interfere with the accuracy of the results.
The testing procedure may vary depending on the chosen method. Suppose the procedure involves the use of a dip card, such as our Saliva Multi-Drug Test Cup or Urine Multi-Drug Test Cup. In that case, the results can be read within minutes without any additional steps following the collection of the required sample in the included cup. If the procedure involves the use of a dip card, such as our Dip-Card Multi-Drug Test Kit, the sample tips of the dip card is vertically immersed into the collected sample for a few seconds and then placed on a flat surface. The results can be read within the period specified in the manual. Finally, suppose the test kit comes in the form of a test cassette, such as our K2 (Synthetic Cannabis) Rapid Test Kit and KET (Ketamine HCl) Rapid Test Kit. In that case, the procedure may require a few additional steps that involve the transfer of the collected sample to the extraction buffer included in the kit. The processed sample is then added to the assigned wells in the test cassette for each tested parent drug or drug metabolite, and the results are read in a few minutes as instructed.