Drugs of abuse screening in the West Midlands: a 6 year retrospective survey of results.
We describe the results of urinary drugs of abuse screening performed by the West Midlands Regional Laboratory for Toxicology, Birmingham, UK, on more than 27,800 urine specimens received between January 1988 and December 1993. The number of specimens positive for amphetamine declined from 1988 to 1990, but this was followed by a doubling of specimens testing positive from 5.7% in 1990 to 12.0% in 1993. There is very little evidence of methamphetamine or Ecstasy abuse in the West Midlands. Morphine (assumed to be from heroin abuse) is the most common opiate detected, with 11.7% of all specimens received proving to be positive in 1993. The incidence of cocaine abuse is low, less than 5% when requests are based on clinical judgement, and less than 3% in the overall population monitored.
George, S; Braithwaite, RA
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