"Synthetic marijuana" oral fluid drug test now includes four next-generation drugs to address changing abuse patterns

SANTA ROSA, California, April 24, 2012 - Redwood Toxicology Laboratory (RTL) expanded its Synthetic Cannabinoid Oral Fluid Drug Test to include four newer-generation, uncontrolled designer drugs. The additions of AM-2201, JWH-210, JWH-081, and RCS-4 address changing drug abuse patterns that resulted from the DEA's ban of five synthetic cannabinoids.

While the DEA ban may have curtailed the manufacture and use of some synthesized substances, "drug chemists" are quick to change the active ingredients of so-called "legal high" products to circumvent federal regulation. In fact, unrelenting calls to poison control centers around the nation indicate that synthetic cannabinoids continue to pose a significant public health risk.

Analyzing thousands of specimens each day, RTL has the ability to monitor synthetic drug usage across a broad population and can verify the widespread emergence of many newer, unregulated designer-drug chemicals. For instance, prior to the DEA's emergency ban, 15% of the tested population was positive for synthetic cannabinoids; however, average positivity rates rapidly dropped to 5% after the ban was instituted. Once RTL expanded its test to include newer compounds like AM-2201 and JWH-210, positivity rates were restored to 15%.

Commenting on this trend, RTL's Technical Director Sumandeep Rana said, "Data from hundreds of specimens indicate that JWH-018 is no longer the most frequently detected drug. Manufacturers have altered their active ingredients, and AM-2201 appears to be gaining prevalence. A recent study detected AM-2201 in 100% of the positive specimens, either alone (33%) or in combination with other drugs (67%). JWH-210 was the next most detected drug, appearing in 47% of the positive samples. Respectively, JWH-018 and JWH-250 were detected in 45% and 10% of the positives."

In addition to testing for these emerging substances, RTL will now report quantitative results at a lower cutoff level of 0.25ng/mL. These modifications will ensure highly accurate detection of seven synthetic cannabinoids in oral fluid: JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-250, JWH-210, JWH-081, AM-2201, and RCS-4. Moreover, these enhancements will restore positivity rates and enable clients to place greater confidence in designer drug detection, while benefiting from the convenience of oral fluid testing. Clients will incur no additional charges for these enhancements and can request a standalone test or a combined panel that covers a variety of illicit drug and prescription medications.

About Redwood
Redwood Toxicology Laboratory 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 redwoodtoxicology.com

About Alere
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 alere.com