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New Fingerprint Test Can Detect Cocaine Use

New Fingerprint Test Can Detect Cocaine Use

A new fingerprint test can detect if cocaine has been ingested, while earlier tests could only determine if cocaine had been touched. 


“Mass spectrometry” is the process used to analyze the fingerprints of patients utilizing drug treatment services, and allows the fingerprints to be tested against saliva samples “to determine whether the two tests correlated” (Kim, 2015). Researchers from the University of Surrey found that they were able to detect cocaine in residue on the fingerprints. 


The lead author of the study, Dr. Melanie Bailey, stated that people who take cocaine “excrete traces of benzoylecgonine and methylegonine as they metabolize the drug, and these chemical indicators are present in fingerprint residue” (Kim, 2015). This method of detecting cocaine use is not only less invasive, but requires less training on the part of administrators and can’t be faked.


According to Dr. Bailey, there is a portable fingerprint drug test already being worked on. 




Kim, V. (2015). A simple fingerprint can detect cocaine use, researchers find. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/content/simple-fingerprint-can-detect-cocaine-use-researchers-find