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Year : 1995  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-6

Detection of drugs of abuse and its relevance to clinical practice

Correspondence Address:
Jain Raka

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Drug abuse screening in body fluids in an integral part of any hospital offering drug dependence treatment service. Laboratory detection provides independent objective criteria for diagnosis of dependence, monitoring patients for illicit drug use and diagnosis of overdose. Substance abuse testing is a two tiered system. Preliminary screening must be done by immunoassays or by thin layer chromatography (TLC) technique and the confirmatory test of the presumptive postives and doubtful results by techniques such as GLC/HPLC/GC-MS. TLC is considered as the minimum essential requirement for mass screening of urine samples in India as it is least expensive. The laboratory there after should be upgraded with confirmatory technique (GLC/HPLC etc) at the earliest opportunity. Laboratories undertaking drug abuse testing should periodically check the specificity, sensitivity and validity of the assays to maintain the Quality control of the laboratory. Other issues like proper collection, proper labelling, transportation, storage of sample and regular interaction with clinicians are also important for drug abuse testing laboratory. This enables the drug screening programme meaningful.


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