Usually, to test for drugs, the po-po needs to get some of your blood, saliva, urine, or hair samples must generally be collected. But a new process thought up by the jolly-good Britsh scientists at the University of Surrey have discovered a way to avoid sifting through your bodily fluids to see if you got any controlled substances in your veins.
The new study finds that they can test fingerprints to determine if someone has used cocaine. When cocaine is metabolized by the body, it creates two chemical indicators: methylecgonine and benzoylecgonine.
The fingerprints that people leave behind will have these chemical traces contained within them. The goal is to create a test that is faster and cheaper to screen potential drug users that almost anyone could administer.
It isn’t a viable technology as of yet. Scientists say that it may be up to a decade before portable touch tests could be made available. Under current testing methods, they’ve only been able to prove that someone has just touched the drug. The proposed chemical tracers have yet to be detected in a user’s fingerprints.
Unlike other testing methods, if the touch tests could be perfected, then it wouldn’t be possible to fake test results like saliva, blood, or urine tests can be faked. It is also being promoted as a safer test since bodily fluid exposure doesn’t happen with the touch test.
If the mechanics of this testing method can be worked out, researchers believe it could be applied to all drugs, including marijuana. It isn’t invasive, which means it could potentially be administered street-side by law enforcement officials.
The full research results of this touch testing method were published in the May issue of the journal Analyst.