Digital Breathalysers at under £50.00

Many breathalysers are available on the European market, and the choice for consumers is confusing, with many seemingly similar breathalyzers making claims on accuracy, value and performance.

Whichever breathalyzer takes your fancy here are some key features to consider when choosing a digital breathalyser to buy:

  • All digital breathalysers will require calibration service regularly to keep them accurate
  • Breathalysers offering changeable sensors avoid you having to send the complete breathalyzer back to a service centre
  • Breathalyzers taking mouth pieces give more accurate results than “blow at the hole” models
  • Breathalyser should take standard batteries
  • Buy from a reputable established breathalyzer dealer, your warrantee is with the UK supplier.

I recommend avoiding key ring and micro breathalyzers. They are not reliable for long periods, and are unlikely to be cost effective to service, so these very cheap breathalyzers should be viewed as consumable novelty items. I would not personally rely on one!

Expect to pay between £30 and £50 for a reliable digital breathalyser which is likely to meet your expectations of reliability, build quality and accuracy. In this price range I recommend the DA5000 digital breathalyser with pro mg/100ml BAC display 

Clubbers confuse ecstasy powder with cocaine

Ecstasy really is in the news this weekend. Read this article today in the Guardian

Sales of ecstasy in powder form make it increasingly difficult for drug takers to know what mind-altering substance they are consuming, a senior government adviser warned yesterday.

A rise in the importation of high-purity powder or crystal ecstasy has led to clubbers confusing it with cocaine, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACDM) heard at an open session reviewing legal classification.

Prof David Nutt, the council’s incoming chairman, said: “If you are buying white powders from someone, how do you know if you are getting MDMA [ecstasy’s main ingredient], methamphetamine or cocaine? It’s potentially very dangerous.” Powdered ecstasy was “massively more powerful” than tablet form.

Dr Paul Dargan, head of the poisons unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’s hospital, told the meeting: “We see a lot of patients who have taken powder they think is cocaine but was actually MDMA.

Read the full article

Agonising about ecstasy from Friday September 26 2008

Read this interesting article online by Colin Blakemore that I thought may be of interest to you. It is about the classification of drugs including ecstasy (ecstasy is currently a Class A drug ) and he concludes that ‘No drug is completely safe, but ecstasy does not destroy the brain and is not exceptionally toxic’

 Click here to read the full article about Ecstasy

Alcohol Units for women

Current UK guidelines recommend that women limit their intake to two or three units a day. You shouldn’t save up units through the week and use them to binge at the weekend, and at least one day a week should be alcohol-free.

Strength and units
One unit is 8 grams, or about 10ml, of pure alcohol – regardless of how diluted it is. Below is a list of some common drinks and how many units they have in them.

One pint of strong lager (alcohol 5% vol) = 3 units
One pint of standard strength lager (alcohol 3 – 3.5% vol) = 2 units
One 275ml bottle of an alcopop (alcohol 5.5% vol) = 1.5 units
One standard (175ml) glass of wine (alcohol 12% vol) = 2 units
One measure (25ml) of a spirit strength drink = 1 unit

The recommended limits are lower for women than for men because the body composition of women has less water than men. So, even if a man and woman weigh the same and are of a similar size, the woman will tend to get drunk faster.

Some experts also think that women develop liver disease at lower levels of drinking than men, although this appears to only be the case in higher levels of alcohol consumption.

Alcohol & Pregnancy

Women who drink heavily during pregnancy are at risk of having babies with a condition called fetal alcohol syndrome. This can result in growth deficiencies, nervous system problems, lowered intelligence, and facial abnormalities in the child. It is also called fetal alcohol spectrum disorder – all the symptoms are not always present and can vary in how serious they are.

There is some evidence that pregnant women who drink 10 to 15 units a week are more likely to have underweight babies. It is not known if there is an absolutely safe limit for drinking during pregnancy, but research indicates that it may be wise to avoid alcohol altogether.

Cannabis Detection Times in Urine & Saliva

Heavy, or one off / occasional use ?

Cannabis is fat soluble, so over sustained regular use it is deposited around the body and can take several weeks, too a month to be excreted. In practice this only occurs in heavy regular consumers of cannabis, usually the concentrated forms such as skunt, and for most irreglular or occassioanl users THC will be excreted much quicker.

Most instant saliva drug tests will only detect THC for only 24 hrs after use. Most Cannabis urine drug tests will detect use for between 3 and 5 days after use.

The saliva drug test kits currently detect at 12ng/ml THC Cannabis
All urine instant tests cut off at 50ng/ml while lab confimations normally test to just 15ng/ml

Instant urine tests will mainly detect for 3-5 days after light use. For tests to remain positive longer than 5 days suggest either heavy previous use, or re-exposure.

Click here for more information of drug detection times for urine & saliva

Drug Detection Times In Urine

One of the commonest questions asked.

The following guide covers urine drug testing only.

Dose size and route of administration are among the factors which determine the period after use during which the drugs or metabolites might be detected in a urine sample. As these are almost always “unknown” all drug detection periods are normally given as a window and will cover around 90% of cases.

Amphetamine 3-5 days

Barbiturates 1-5 days (longer for Phenobarbitone)

Benzodiazepines 2-30 days depending on half live of drug

Cannabis 3-30 days

Cocaine 3-5 days

Codeine 1-2 days

Dihydrocodeine 1-2 days

Methadone 3-7 days

Morphine 3-5 days

Propoxyphene 2-4 days

MDMA 2-4 days

Click here for more information on drug detection times in urine

Passive inhalation of Cannabis Smoke Ruled Out as excuse for Positive THC Drug Test Results

Passive inhalation is sometimes put forward as a reason for a positive cannabis drug test result. Extensive Research has shown that this is improbable. As an example, in one study volunteers were exposed to smoke from cigarettes containing a known concentration of THC (the active ingredient of cannabis) over six one hour periods. The smoke was so intense that the volunteers had to wear goggles. The highest level detected by GC/MS analysis was only one third of the internationally accepted cut-off level for cannabis.

The International cut off levels for urine tests for THC (50ng/ml) are also set well above the level that could possibly be absorbed through passive smoking of THC fumes.

DA5000 Breathalyser featured in Company Magazine

Company magazine, as part of their alcohol awareness campaign, have featured the DA5000 Breathalyser from The breathalyser was used to measure the resultant blood alcohol levels in female consumers of wine. Company hope to draw attention to the move of pubs and restaurants to “large” glasses for serving wine.

Outlets encourage the consumtion of “large” glasses, by refering to standard measure glasses as “small”. Many establishments were also found to defer to the large glass measures if no direct request is specified by the customer at the point of ordering “a glass of wine”

The move away from traditional pub measures has in many cases doubled the alcohol present per glass, leaving consumers under-estimating the quantity of alcohol consumed and its effect.

The rate of HIV infection among injecting drug users appears to be rising, researchers say.

I just read this alarming article on BBC News 24

The report, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, says 3m self-injecting drug users worldwide could now be HIV-positive.

In nine countries, more than 40% of drug users were infected.

Countries where over 40% of injecting drug users are thought to be HIV positive:

Estonia: 72.1%

Argentina: 49.7%

Brazil: 48.0%

Kenya: 42.9%

Burma: 42.6%

Indonesia: 42.5%

Thailand: 42.5%

Ukraine: 41.8%

Nepal: 41.4% 

But some countries have maintained very low rates of infection, such as the UK – where the rate is 2.3% – New Zealand and Australia where only 1.5% of injecting drug users are HIV-positive.

Researchers say that this was due to the swift introduction of needle exchange programmes in the 1980s.

Read the full article here