Five-minute test can tell parents if kids use cocaine

The disposable drugs test relies on a droplet of saliva for any trace of drugs in a person's system.

Scientists say it can detect the littlest amount of a drug such as a metabolite (small molecules) of cocaine, reports the Telegraph.

Suspicious parents can screen their children for the drugs by taking a swab of their saliva and placing it into a machine.

The Vantix biosensor technology, developed by Universal Sensors Limited, could also be used by police officers to test motorists for drugs by the roadside.

Kevin Auton, Commercial Director of Universal Sensors, admitted the tests could have "huge implications for society."

"It is controversial but the test can be used at home by worried parents to test if their children are taking drugs," he said.

"We are very focused on getting the test out of the laboratory and onto other platforms. It is as simple to use as a pregnancy test.

"We can produce 30 million biosensors each year, which means it is very cheap to sell," he added.

The tests, developed at the Universal Sensors' base in Ickleton, UK, are designed to be used in the home. But they could also be rolled out across the country to aid police investigating suspected drug drivers.

Currently, officers perform Field Impairment Tests, which look at pupil dilation,  balance and coordination.

These are not solid proof of illegal driving and police are often reluctant to carry out time consuming blood tests.

The breakthrough means officers would be able to identify drugs by taking a swab from a driver's mouth.

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