Scientists develop fingerprint drug tests, to combat amphetamine and ketamine drug use: now all they need is your fingeprint

Scientists develop fingerprint drug tests, to combat amphetamine and ketamine drug use: now all they need is your fingeprint

A new era of drug testing may be on the horizon...

VicesMarch 14, 2019 By Will Brendza

As if drug testing wasn’t already an invasion of privacy, Chinese scientists have developed a new form of drug detection that is going to take it to another level. It requires no blood, no urine, no hair, doesn’t even require a person’s breath to tell what kinds of drugs they’ve recently experimented with.

It requires only a single fingerprint.

The new technology was designed to combat drug use in “The People’s Republic,” and will undoubtedly give Chinese authorities unprecedented power to persecute people for their own personal choices. And should it prove successful in China, you can bet that American agencies will soon be adopting it here too.

Until now, fingerprints have been largely used to identify individuals (at crime scenes or for security purposes). The distinct swirling patterns are unique to every human being on Earth, like an individual barcode for each person.

This development, though, uses fingerprints differently. It utilizes fingerprints to identify the chemical remnants of substances in the individual’s system. Now, a single fingerprint can betray your drug habits and internal chemistry quickly, efficiently, non-invasively and accurately to authorities and employers.

Which isn’t exactly new science — this tech has been around for a while. What’s unique and disturbing about this new Chinese fingerprint drug detection technology, is that it can test for multiple drugs with a single fingerprint. Previous versions could only test for a single substance at a time, making it inefficient and expensive to test someone for a variety of different drugs.

That is no longer the case.

                                              One figure from the new research illustrating the fingerprint drug testing technology.  

As of now, the fingerprint test can be used to identify two different drugs: amphetamines and ketamine (two of the most commonly abused drugs in China). By using red and green fluorescent colors to tag each substance, researchers found that they could accurately determine ketamine and/or amphetamine levels in a person’s system just by examining the “nanocarrier-based biological fluorescent probes.”

And they don’t plan on stopping there.

This work therefore provides a novel nanocarrier-based strategy of drug detection as well as personal identification with high selectivity, low background interference and fast testing,” the scientists wrote in the abstract to their paper. “Which can be further broadened to other drugs and molecules.”

That’s a frightening thought. Someday, in the not so distant future, fingerprints might be used to test people for cannabis, LSD, cocaine or anything else. There will be no chance to flush your system out with hot yoga classes, no chance to procure fake or clean pee for a urine test, no hope for your blood alcohol levels to drop by the time they test your blood at the police station — it will all be instant.

It will only take a single finger print.