Laboratory identification of drug use based on observable signs and symptoms Academic Article uri icon


  • The heuristics of the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP) were evaluated for detecting drug impairment and identifying the type of the impairing drug. A quantitative model, based on stepwise logistic regression of systematic observations made by Drug Evaluation Experts (DREs), provided higher levels of drug identification, and lower rates of errors than the DREs. For impairments caused by cannabis, alprazolam, and amphetamine, the model yielded sensitivity levels greater than 60% and specificity levels greater than 90 percent. For codeine, with a specificity of nearly 90% the sensitivity was only 20%. The regression models Phi correlations with the actual drug dosing were three times as high as the DREs correlations with respect to cannabis, twice as high with respect to alprazolam, equal (and poor) with respect to codeine, and over 50 times as high with respect to …

publication date

  • May 21, 2000