Methods for screening suspected controlled substances include the use of color tests. When used properly and performed alongside other confirmatory testing methods, these tests can provide positive identification of suspected controlled substances. When applied in the field under imperfect circumstances by law enforcement personnel, it could lead to false positives.
Dr. Blair’s research team is seeking to provide a modernized system for field drug testing to law enforcement. Their technology leverages fluorescence spectroscopy by way of a handheld spectrometer using relatively inexpensive parts. For field use, a portable drug testing system that consists of a handheld fluorescence spectrometer and a mobile app with access to a reference photoemission spectral database for drug standards is being actively developed. This completed system will provide law enforcement officers with a simple, more accurate, adaptable, and affordable testing method for field drug identification.
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