Detecting Drugs on Surfaces Quickly and Easily

 

Mistral sprays aerosol drug detection kit.

NIJ photo (see reuse policy).

Corrections officers would benefit from a technology that could immediately identify the presence of an illegal substance; several aerosol products are currently on the market.

NIJ is funding a pilot project in a residential corrections setting to determine if the use of a commercial product — Mistral sprays — are effective at identifying drugs without adverse impact on the safe operation of the facility.

The evaluation also will look at the cost effectiveness of such a product relative to urinalysis.

Mistral's drug detection and identification system consists of four types of aerosol sprays and three types of test papers. Used in different combination, the sprays and test papers can detect trace quantities of:

  • Cocaine, crack and related substances.
  • Heroin and related substances.
  • Methamphetamine and other secondary amines.
  • Marijuana, hashish and other cannabidiols.

Specialized training is not required. Operation of the spray and test papers involve a two-step process: wiping a surface or object with a piece of test paper, followed by application of one or more of the aerosol sprays to that paper.

Findings from this evaluation should be available in late 2012.

Date Created: March 23, 2012