Is Organic Chemistry used in drug testing?


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Rosie Normanton answered
Organic chemistry does form an aspect of drug testing, as chemicals within the body must be detected during the process. This will often involve chemical reactions occurring, as they do when a person takes drugs. Alternatively, the drug testing method may seek out such chemical reactions as evidence of the presence of drugs. Therefore organic chemistry is broadly related to drug testing, and drug tests are often developed by chemists in the laboratory.
  • Drug tests
Drug tests are tests completed to check for the presence of a particular drug in the body. Each drug test is designed specifically to detect the presence of one particular drug, and may do this by seeking out a chemical reaction occurring in the body, or causing a (harmless) chemical reaction. Alternatively a bodily substance may be collected and investigated outside the body for drug presence. For instance, a person may have to provide a urine sample, or undergo a blood test.
  • Why are drugs tests carried out?
Drug tests are carried out for a number of reasons, usually relating to the prevention of letting those under the influence of drugs participate in certain activities, or holding positions of responsibility. For instance, a midwife or doctor must not be under the influence of drugs as this could affect their work - in some places those of such professions must undergo regular drug tests. In various sporting competitions, athletes must take a drug test before competing to ensure they haven't taken any banned performance-enhancing substances. In some cases, the police may administer an immediate drug test if they believe a person who has caused a road accident is under the influence of drugs. Of course, drug tests such as these can be difficult, as there is no knowing exactly what type of drug a person has taken - an educated guess must be given.

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