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Science Technology

Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body 162

Posted by samzenpus
from the charge-and-detect dept.
sciencehabit writes Scientists have found a way to combine Van de Graaff generators with a common laboratory instrument to detect drugs, explosives, and other illicit materials on the human body. In the laboratory, scientists had a volunteer touch a Van de Graaff generator for 2 seconds to charge his body to 400,000 volts. This ionized compounds on the surface of his body. The person then pointed their charged finger toward the inlet of a mass spectrometer, and ions from their body entered the machine. In various tests, the machine correctly identified explosives, flammable solvents, cocaine, and acetaminophen on the skin.
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Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

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  • by ncc74656 (45571) * <scott@alfter.us> on Friday July 11, 2014 @10:44AM (#47431201) Homepage Journal

    I think most doctors believe its beneficial but I also think they somehow see acetaminophen opiate formulations as some kind of bulwark against abuse. Either because they believe it is so much more effective paired with acetaminophen and you'll be inclined to take less overall or that people "know" acetaminophen is bad in quantity and it will serve as a deterrent to excessive dosage, especially people with a history of drug abuse.

    Also, the DEA watches doctors who prescribe opiates very carefully. If some government goon believes a doctor's handing them out like candy, the doctor's most likely going to be called in for some very uncomfortable questions. See chapter two of Three Felonies a Day [amazon.com] for some examples.

    The way scripts for opiates are handled is also quite different. My wife's oncologist was able to submit the vast majority of prescriptions to her preferred pharmacy electronically; they would be ready for pick-up a short time after. The one time she was prescribed straight oxycodone (or whatever opiate), it was printed on security paper to thwart attempts at altering or copying. It was signed, and some sort of DEA ID number issued to the doc was printed in the header. I had to deliver the prescription to a pharmacy. Her usual pharmacy didn't have it in stock, so I had to find another that did. Once it was filled, I had to sign for it in a logbook (similar to when you buy products containing pseudoephedrine).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2014 @01:28PM (#47432567)

    oxycodone and hydrocodone are very water soluable. acetaminophen is not. Get a glass of warm water and a fridge. You know what to do.

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