“Bath Salt” Drug Test Panel Expanded to Detect Seven New Compounds

SANTA ROSA, California, June 11, 24, 2012 - Redwood Toxicology Laboratory (RTL) now offers an expanded urine drug test for 21 designer stimulants, commonly referred to as "bath salts." The panel, which originally covered 14 chemicals, now detects seven newer-generation compounds: buphredrone, flephedrone, pentedrone, pentylone, eutylone, α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP), and 4-methylethcathinone.

Health and regulatory agencies face numerous challenges with these ever-changing designer drugs. Although the federal government enacted an emergency ban on three designer stimulants in late 2011, newer active ingredients continue to surface. According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 12 states have already banned one or more of these next-generation drugs, and a federal ban is likely to follow.

Abuse of designer stimulants, marketed as bath salt products, remains pervasive, as they are easy to obtain, often produced with legal ingredients, and go undetected by standard urine testing. These drugs reportedly possess the worst characteristics of LSD, PCP, MDMA, cocaine, and methamphetamine, and often require users to seek immediate medical help. In 2011 alone, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) received an alarming 6,138 calls related to designer stimulant ingestion.

A pioneer in establishing testing for designer drugs, RTL understands that the analysis of synthetic stimulants is a moving target, principally because nefarious "drug chemists" continue to develop new substances that circumvent federal regulation. By analyzing thousands of urine specimens and monitoring changes in drug positivity rates, RTL can verify the extensive manufacture and use of newer synthetic cathinone chemicals. This research, in fact, led to the addition of the seven new substances on RTL's P80 designer stimulant panel.

According to RTL's Technical Director, Sumandeep Rana, the ban on so-called bath salts is effective, but manufacturers immediately respond by altering the active ingredients. "Before the 2011 federal ban of three designer stimulants, RTL had a 10% positivity rate for these drugs. After the ban, the positivity rate dropped to less than 2%," said Rana. "Prior to the ban, MDPV comprised more than 70% of all positives in this class. Subsequent to the federal ban, MDPV virtually disappeared from our samples." Of the newer drugs added to RTL's panel, the most prevalent are pentadrone and α-PVP, which were identified in 92% and 41% of the respective positive samples.

Clearly, testing for designer drugs is critical, whether they are banned now or in the near future. RTL remains a vigilant leader in this space. With the expansion of the company's designer stimulant panel to include 21 compounds, positivity rates will be restored, and clients will be able to place greater confidence in monitoring designer drug use.

About Redwood
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

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 cardiology, infectious disease, toxicology, diabetes, oncology and women's health. Alere is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information regarding Alere, please visit www.alere.com