According to Medical News Today, academics have developed a new diagnostic test for cocaine and benzoylecgonine (the main metabolite for cocaine) in urine and oral fluid.
The research, which was conducted with collaborators Advion Ltd and Surrey Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is published in Analytical Methods.
The academics in the University of Surrey's Department of Chemistry were able to prove that it is possible to confidently detect levels of cocaine and their metabolites using a compact 'mass spectrometer' (a chemical-based analytical technique).
The test was found to offer a level of sensitivity below the cut-off level normally used for oral fluid drug testing, meaning that it can detect even low levels of cocaine in a person's urine or oral fluid.
The technique potentially offers an effective solution for scenarios where a rapid test is required. This could include roadside testing by police of motorists, and also drug testing in the workplace and in prisons.