6-MAM is a specific metabolite of heroin. Its detection in urine indicates heroin as has been consumed recently. It is not detectable if codeine or morphine have been taken, so no false positives with legally taken opiate based pain killers and analgesics.
UK Drug Testing are offering the membrane as part of its new 7 panel workplace and employment screening drug test. Having to confirm positive MOP and OPI urine tests, which occur when workers have taken low dose codeine pain killers, is an expensive and time consuming business. Even the best laboratory confirmation drug testing services can take 72hrs to process a sample, meaning key workers can remain unavailable for up to a week after a positive on site drug screen. The new 7 panel employment drug test with 6-MAM means that heroin use is being screened for directly and specifically, avoiding these problems.
The development of an accurate and reliable 6-MAM drug test kit during 2015 allows the test to be commercially released as a single test membrane and as part of multi-panel combination drug test kits from 2016.
We predict that 6-MAM drug tests will gradually replace most opiate drug screening, in pre-employment and non safety critical employment environments, as companies come to appreciate the specificity of the test, and potential cost savings associated with moving towards 6-MAM as the heroin screen of choice.
Where high dose codeine and morphine sedation in the workplace remain a safety issue MOP 300g and OPI 2000g membranes will continue to be advisable.
6-MAM screening also has a key role in healthcare drug screening, particularly in treatment environments where co-prescription of codeine and other opiate drugs have traditionally masked continued heroin, use making point of care testing problematic. 6-MAM drug testing enables an immediate test for compliance for the very first time.
The new 6-MAM membrane is looking very selective with few cross reactivity issues, and good stability to oxidants and other adulterants. There is no cross reactivity with Methadone, Buprenorphine, Tramadol or Oxycodone so false positives with the 6 MAM drug test membranes should be minimal.