The drug testing landscape is changing. In the United States, illicit drug use has been steadily increasing for over a decade, and the drugs Americans are using are changing, too. It is estimated that nearly 10% of the general population over the age of 12 has used an illicit drug in the past month.
The Problem With “Illicit Drug Testing”
One of the most pressing issues regarding the scope of America’s current drug problem lies in the fact that many of the most abused drugs in the country aren’t “illicit” at all. While the use of traditionally illicit drugs like marijuana and cocaine has stabilized, the rate of abuse for completely legal drugs such as opiate painkillers and alcohol is rising. The typical drug abuser is changing too; drug use among people in their 50s and 60s is at its highest point in years.
The drug testing industry is struggling to keep up. While typical panel screenings can still easily detect most illicit drugs through a simple urine test, detecting more complex drug metabolites isn’t so easy. Opiates, in particular, are incredibly difficult to quantify and specify through panel testing and almost always require a secondary screening (such as gas chromatography) to fully understand.
Better Drug Tests Can Help Prevent Abuse
The more sophisticated drug tests become, the more readily they can be used as tools to stop – and actually prevent – drug abuse from happening. Many of the problems with UDT (urine drug testing) are relatively complex, ranging from varied windows of detection to increasingly sophisticated adulteration techniques. Equipment precision is one of the easiest complications to correct, and its entirely in the hands of lab operators.
By using a pure beta-glucuronidase, labs can produce more efficient, more accurate results through testing. IMCSzyme, a genetically modified pure beta-glucuronidase, is designed to hydrolyze multiple drug classes incredibly quickly; In most cases, IMCSzyme can deconjugate 100% of glucuronides in less than 30 minutes. Eliminating the need for long incubation times means labs can process samples faster, leaving less time between sample and referral to council when necessary.
Pain management clinics, in particular, have long struggled to keep up with the need for efficient confirmation processes. By using IMCSzyme to quickly test for analytes such as benzodiazepine, morphine-3, or codeine-6, pain care professionals have the information necessary to determine whether patients are using their medications as prescribed or have in fact developed a pattern of abuse.
IMCS is a biotechnology company invested in the science of better, more accurate drug testing. Our flagship product, IMCSzyme, was designed with commercial laboratories and in-office labs in mind. When technicians are equipped with better testing tools, results are more accurate, meaning drug abusers can more readily receive the help they need.
For more information on the technical specifications of IMCSzyme, reach out to our team today.