Drugs of Abuse and Alcohol

Drugs of abuse have a wide range of definitions, ranging from products that enhance performance to psychoactive products. According to the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) alcohol remains the dominant substances of abuse in South Africa. Other prominent drugs are cannabis (THC), methaqualone, cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine, amphetamine, over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicine.

Methadone Metabolite (EDDP) assay

The CEDIA Methadone Metabolite (EDDP) Assay has revolutionised Methadone screening. Testing for EDDP has largely replaced Methadone as a routine parameter, providing a more effective, accurate and reliable method for the monitoring of compliance in Methadone maintenance programmes.

Testing for EDDP provides more conclusive evidence of Methadone ingestion, decreasing the number of confirmatory analyses.

  • Protection of patients with rapid methadone metabolism or on low dose methadone regimes
  • Identification of specimens that have been spiked with Methadone
  • Renal clearance of EDDP is unaffected by urinary pH resulting in fewer false negatives

Amphetamine / Ecstasy assay

The CEDIA Amphetamines / Ecstasy assay is a single assay designed and developed to measure the most common Designer Drugs, along with Amphetamines and Methamphetamines.

  • One assay instead of two assays for detecting Ecstasy compounds (MDMA, MDA, MDEA, MBDB, BDB) plus Amphetamines and Methamphetamines
  • Choice of three different cut-offs – 300, 500 and 1.000 ng/ml

Benzodiazepines (high sensitive) assay

This assay offers an excellent recognition of clinically important and abused Benzodiazepines, reducing the risk of false negative results.

  • The antibody used in the assay is directed to Nitrazepam to enhance the detection of 7-aminometabolites, for example the recognition of metabolites from the low dosed Benzodiazepines, Flunitrazepam and Clonazepam
  • Enhanced detection of glucuronidated metabolites, for example the recognition of glucuronidated metabolites of Oxazepam, Temazepam and Lorazepam

On average, nearly 90% of the commonly administered Benzodiazepines are excreted as glucuronidated metabolites. It is now widely recognised that pre-treatment of samples for Benzodiazepine screening is essential in order to hydrolyse glucuronidated metabolites, so that they can be detected by the antibody in the immunoassay. These positive samples would be missed using conventional assays.  Utilising a combination of the CEDIA technology and integrated on-line hydrolysis, the CEDIA Benzodiazepines assay protocol provides a rapid, convenient and superior method for Benzodiazepine screening, setting new standards for sensitivity and performance, without the need for manual pre-treatment.


Buprenorphine assay

Subutex™ (Buprenorphine) is a relatively new drug that is used in opiate replacement therapies. The major advantages of Buprenorphine versus Methadone are the fewer side effects and the dosing frequency.   With the increasing importance of Buprenorphine in opiate replacement therapy, the need for a simple and rapid assay for routine screening of Buprenorphine (compliance and/or abuse) has risen dramatically. In answer to this growing need, we have introduced the CEDIA Buprenorphine assay.

Heroin Metabolite (6-AM) assay

The CEDIA Heroin Metabolite assay is the only specific enzyme immunoassay available for the detection of the Heroin Metabolite 6-Acetylmorphine. This assay helps to identify heroin abuse and provides an efficient screening solution to identify opiate positive samples which are due to prescription medications and poppy seed ingestion.

LSD assay

The CEDIA LSD Assay (routine screening) provides toxicology and clinical laboratories with an alternative LSD screening reagent that is less laborious, expensive, and hazardous as the conventional chromatographic methods.

Assays available

The CEDIA Sample Check assay is able to identify the presence of substances (chemicals) in the sample that interfere with the CEDIA assay technology. The test principle of this special assay simulates the general reaction of all CEDIA assays without the presence of the antibody. pH, Creatinine and Specific gravity assays is also available.

  • Amphetamines / Ecstasy
  • Amphetamines
  • Ecstasy
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Buprenorphine
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cocaine
  • Cocaine Metabolite
  • Cotinine
  • LSD
  • Methadone
  • Methadone Metabolite (EDDP)
  • Methaqualone
  • Opiates
  • Heroin Metabolite (6-AM)
  • Opiate
  • Oxycodone
  • Phencyclidine
  • Propoxyphene
  • Sample Check
  • Gravity-Detect®
  • pH-Detect®
  • Creatinine-Detect™

For more information on the CEDIA and DRI Drugs of Abuse immunoassays, download the product information brochure here.
For more information on the Indiko and Indiko Plus analyzer, download the system information brochure here.

Toxicology testing is usually requested to determine whether an adverse effect or disease or injury is due to exposure to an unknown amount of an unknown substance. The objective is to identify the toxin and the concentration of the substance to be able to define the treatment – especially when the treatment is related to the concentration of the substance in the blood (e.g. acetaminophen).

In principle, clinical toxicology testing covers the whole spectrum of available prescription drugs, over the counter medication, illicit drugs and all other substances that have an adverse effect on the human body.  In practice, acetaminophen, sleeping pills, anxiolytics, antidepressants, anti-psychotics, lithium and other painkillers like calcium antagonists, illicit drugs and alcohol are causing most of the intoxications.

In most cases, toxicology testing is done in serum and/or plasma, Thermo Scientific is the first company providing a complete range of Drugs of Abuse assays that can be used for urine and blood samples. In addition to this range of assays, Thermo Scientific also offers the classic toxicology parameters specially designed for serum/plasma samples.

Assays available are:

  • Acetaminophen (Paracetamol)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Salicylate
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants
With this first fully automated immuno assay for the detection of the alcohol metabolite EtG in urine, it is possible to distinguish between acute and recent alcohol consumption (8 hours versus 80 hours).

A positive finding for Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) in urine proves that the person has recently been drinking alcohol. Even the intake of a low dose of ethanol is detectable in urine. The DRI EtG Assay can be used to determine recent alcohol use or for monitoring abstinence, e.g. for;

  • Patients in alcohol withdrawal programmes
  • Patients awaiting liver transplantation
  • Employees in safety sensitive setting
  • Healthcare professionals in alcohol recovery programmes
  • Prisoners on parole
  • Patients before or after surgery or in intensive care

Also available is Ethyl Alcohol.