Published On : 2019-04-04
The rise in alcohol consumption along with various other drugs in Asia Pacific is leading to the growth in the drug of abuse testing including the test that can be conducted at laboratories as well as home to detect the type and amount of drug and alcohol present in the body. Strict regulations by governments in various countries in Asia Pacific on testing the drug and alcohol consumption is also resulting in the development of advanced methods and technologies for drug of abuse testing in the region.
The non-medical use of prescribed drugs is emerging as the major issue, with opioids causing more harm accounting for 76% of deaths across countries worldwide where drug use disorders were implicated, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Moreover, the use of opioid in treating moderate to severe pain is one of the emerging concerns in Asia Pacific. With a rise in cocaine production, Asia Pacific and Africa are emerging as the hubs for cocaine trafficking and consumption.
Easy accessibility, high reliability, and low cost are resulting in the rise in urine testing for drug of abuse testing in the Asia Pacific region. With advancement in technology, researchers and companies are developing new devices for drug of abuse testing using urine sample. For instance, scientists in Korea developed portable, sensitive, and fast sensor for detection of amphetamines in urine.
Sensor-based devices for urine drug testing are likely to gain traction in coming years as the conventional drug detection techniques take long operation time, require expensive equipment, sophisticated procedures and well-trained professionals. New methods and techniques are being used in Asia Pacific owing to the availability of new illicit drugs along with major drugs being abused in the region including cannabis, heroin, alcohol, and opium. New methods are being developed based on the factors such as nature of the drug, turnaround time, existing facilities, and sensitivity required.
Drug trafficking, including cocaine and synthetic drugs are on rise in various countries in Asia Pacific, growing consumption of these drugs have also emerged as one of the driving forces for drug of abuse testing in the region. With the increasing consumption of new drugs in the region, companies are also focusing on developing advanced technologies to detect these drugs. Sensors-based devices are expected to find wide application in drug detection to get quick and real-time data. Recently, scientists in China developed a method to detect two drugs including Ketamine and amphetamine in a single fingerprint. These two drugs are most common abused synthetic drugs in China, causing adverse effects on health.
Meanwhile, drug and alcohol testing service providers are also focusing of developing cost-effective, non-invasive, and fast testing methods to replace traditional methods including blood, urine, oral, and hair testing. Rise in the development of these devices is influencing the adoption of technically advanced devices in Asia Pacific region. For instance, world’s first intelligent fingerprinting drug screening system that analyzes sweat from fingerprint to determine the use of opiates, cannabis, cocaine, and amphetamines is being provided in New Zealand and Australia under the distribution agreement. Research studies are also being conducted on developing devices using sensors, making it easy to detect dangerous substances.
According to the estimates from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, annually, around half a million drug users are held in the compulsory detention centers in Southeast Asia and China. Moreover, drug-related crimes have also increased in recent years. Current approaches for drug control in Asia Pacific criminalize people including death penalty. However, new drug policies offering support for people using drugs are being adopted in various countries in the region. Increasing adoption of these policies is likely to boost the development and use of new drug abuse testing devices and methods in various countries in Asia Pacific.
For more information on drugs of abuse testing market, request methodology of the report.