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Test for additional opiates beyond just codeine and morphine

Source: Quest Diagnostics
Date: June 15, 2006

Many opiates, such as Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, have seen a dramatic increase in abuse over the last several years. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use & Health (NSDUH) showed that lifetime use of Oxycodone increased 47%, and that of Hydrocodone 27%.1 In addition, the Drug Abuse Warning Network showed that Oxycodone single use (not in combination with other drugs) increased a staggering 295%.2

These prescribed drugs are obtained on the street from numerous sources or from individuals who visit many different doctors with fake symptoms to obtain multiple prescriptions for the drugs.

A favorite of abusers is OxyContin, the number-one prescribed Schedule II narcotic in the U.S.,3 whose only active ingredient is Oxycodone. By chewing, snorting or injecting, abusers defeat the intended time-release action to gain a euphoric high – similar to that of heroin but without the withdrawal symptoms. These drugs are highly addictive and are also responsible for sharp rises in emergency room visits and deaths over the past several years.

Trade names for commonly abused opiates

Hydrocodone - Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab, Hycodan

Hydromorphone - Dilaudid

Oxycodone - Endocet, Endodan, Percoset, Percodan, OxyContin, OxyFast, OxyIR, Roxicet, Tylox

Oxymorphone - Numorphan

Quest Diagnostics new FDA-cleared screening technology has a specific reagent that can detect Oxycodone as low as
100 ng/mL.

The expanded opiate panel includes testing for the following:

> Codeine

> Morphine

> Hydrocodone

> Hydromorphone

> Oxycodone

> Oxymorphone

In a pilot study by Quest Diagnostics using 20,000 specimens, the positivity rates for Oxycodone alone increased from 0.19% to 0.53%4 - an increase of over 150% using the new,
expanded panel.


1 National Survey on Drug Use & Health [NSDUH] (formerly the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse). 2003.

2 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) emergency department (ED) data. 2000 - 2002.

3 Drug Enforcement Administration - Drug Intelligence Brief. OxyContin: Pharmaceutical Diversion. March 2002.

4 Results of workplace drug tests performed by Quest Diagnostics Inc. between 2003 and 2004.