Oral Fluid Drug Testing | Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Implementation of the first comprehensive state oral fluid drug testing program for roadside screening and laboratory testing in DUID cases—A 5-year review

Journal of Analytical Toxicology Abstract

Oral fluid (OF) is a valuable specimen for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) applications. This study demonstrates the implementation of the first comprehensive OF drug testing program in the United States, including approved roadside screening OF devices for law enforcement and validated liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS-MS) confirmation methods. Three roadside OF screening devices were evaluated: the Dräger DrugTest® 5000, Abbott SoToxa®, and Randox Evidence MultiSTAT™. Two qualitative LC–MS-MS confirmation methods were validated per ASB Standard 036. The first method utilized an automated dispersive pipette extraction extraction using Integra and Hamilton STARlet platforms for drugs of abuse. The second method used a liquid–liquid extraction to detect cannabinoids. The prevalence of drugs in blood and OF was monitored over 5 years of casework. Calibration curves were analyzed with each batch to monitor OF concentrations for research purposes. Three roadside OF screening devices were deemed fit for purpose. Devices demonstrated appropriate sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and accuracy above 80% for targeted drugs except for benzodiazepines (DrugTest® 5000) and amphetamine (SoToxa®). The validated LC–MS-MS OF confirmation methods met the National Safety Council-recommended cutoffs for 18/21 (86%) of the targets. Over 5 years of casework, THC and cocaine were detected at a positivity rate of 90% and 97% in OF versus 75% and 44% in blood, respectively. OF:blood ratios exceeded unity for parent drugs. Median concentrations of THC in OF and blood were 31 and 3.5 ng/mL, respectively. OF is a viable alternative or supplemental specimen for DUID investigations. Collecting OF close to the driving event increases the opportunity to identify pharmacologically active substances, and when combined with blood analysis results, an elevated OF:blood ratio provides valuable information for DUID investigation purposes.

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