Testing For Amphetamines In Alternative Matrices

In addition to lowering the cutoff concentrations for amphetamine and metham-phetamine and adding detection of MDMA, the proposals for changes in the SAMHSA-regulated federal program include allowance of testing for these compounds in hair, oral fluid, and sweat as well as urine. For amphetamines, the analytes targeted in these alternative matrices for screening and confirmation are the same as in urine, but cutoff concentrations are matrix dependent (see Table 2). Screening procedures for alternative matrices include adaptation of urine immunoassays as well as introduction of matrix-specific immunoassays (62-66). Testing for drugs in each alternative matrix introduces the possibility of sample-handling problems unique to that matrix. For example, hair samples must be weighed and washed prior to digestion/extraction for testing. Meconium, often used for testing to determine maternal drug use during the later stages of pregnancy, presents another matrix to the analyst for which screening and confirmation procedures have been developed (67). See Chapter 18 for a more comprehensive discussion of drug testing in alternative matrices.

Confirmation procedures for detection of amphetamines in alternative matrices not only include GC/MS procedures but also include development of assays combining techniques such as liquid chromatography (LC) and GC with tandem mass spectrometry (MSMS) (68-71).

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