BACKGROUND: This review provides a description of how the opioid epidemic has impacted drug testing. METHODS: Four major service areas of drug testing were considered, including emergency response, routine clinical care, routine forensics, and death investigations. RESULTS: Several factors that the opioid epidemic has impacted in drug testing are discussed, including specimens, breadth of compounds recommended for testing, time to result required for specific applications, analytical approaches, interpretive support requirements, and examples of published practice guidelines. CONCLUSIONS: Both clinical and forensic laboratories have adapted practices and developed new testing approaches to respond to the opioid epidemic. Such changes are likely to continue evolving in parallel with changes in both prescription and nonprescription opioid availability and use patterns, as well as emerging populations that are affected by the "waves" of the opioid epidemic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)