Redwood Toxicology Laboratory Aligns "Bath Salt" Drug Testing with DEA's Proposed Ban
SANTA ROSA, California, October 11, 2011 - Redwood Toxicology Laboratory (RTL), part of Alere Inc., is on the leading edge of developing technologies that detect designer stimulants. These dangerous substances produce effects that are similar to illicit recreational drugs, but, unlike illegal drugs, they can be easily obtained over the internet or at "head shops," convenience stores, and gas stations. Many people mistakenly believe that these drugs are safe because they are legal. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), however, recently addressed the danger of this assumption and announced plans to control these substances. RTL currently offers a drug test panel that aligns with the proposal to ban these stimulants.
Due to their dangerous effects and widespread usage, the DEA has invoked its emergency scheduling authority to temporarily control three of these substances (Mephedrone, 3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and Methylone), which are the most commonly found chemicals in designer stimulants marketed as "bath salts" or "plant food." A recent statistical analysis performed at RTL supports the DEA's grounds for this ruling. One of the first laboratories to perform this type of testing, the company found that designer stimulants were present in 9% of the 5,818 urine specimens they tested. Of the positive specimens, 88% contained MDPV either alone or in combination with another designer stimulant. Methylone was the second most common at 29%, and Mephedrone was third at 4%.
"Our data demonstrates that the DEA's recent decision addresses the most prevalent and dangerous designer stimulants," said Sumandeep Rana, RTL's Scientific Director. "Removing the ability to manufacture, distribute, and sell these substances will go a long way in protecting the public's health and welfare." Rana added, "RTL will continue to monitor trends and share information with the DEA, including data that indicates a slight increase in Butylone positivity rates at 3.5%."
Due to the significant health risks these substances pose, RTL remains committed to empowering the public with information about and ways of detecting drug abuse. The company currently offers two types of test panels that detect designer stimulants. The first is a 3-drug panel that aligns with the DEA's guidance and tests for the most commonly abused synthetic stimulants. The second is an expanded panel that detects 11 additional chemicals.
Using science to improve public health, RTL remains on the forefront of this testing and proactive in developing new methodologies as abused substances present themselves. "The widespread internet availability of these designer stimulants requires laboratories to aggressively perform ongoing research," said Wayne Ross, RTL's Chief Toxicologist. "We will continue to develop and validate reliable analytical methods that detect these harmful and toxic compounds."
Redwood Toxicology Laboratory (RTL) is the government services division of Alere Toxicology and one of the nation's largest drug and alcohol testing laboratories. RTL is dedicated to providing reliable, innovative, and accessible substance abuse screening products and lab test options to help criminal justice and treatment professionals promote wellness, relieve addiction suffering, and restore health. For more information about RTL, please visit www.redwoodtoxicology.com
By developing new capabilities in near-patient diagnosis, monitoring and health management, Alere enables individuals to take charge of improving their health and quality of life at home. Alere's global leading products and services, as well as its new product development efforts, focus on infectious disease, cardiology, oncology, toxicology and women's health. Alere is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information regarding Alere, please visit www.alere.com