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J Subst Use. 2014 Mar 1;19(1-2):147-151.

Concordance of self-reported drug use and saliva drug tests in a sample of emergency department patients.

Author information

1
Centre for Addictions Research of BC: PO Box 1400 STNCSC Victoria BC V8W 2Y2 Canada, Professor, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria, BC.
2
Alcohol Research Group, Emeryville, CA: 6475 Christie Avenue, Suite 400 Emeryville, CA 94608-1010, Centre for Addictions Research of BC: PO Box 1400 STNCSC Victoria BC V8W 2Y2 Canada.
3
Centre for Addictions Research of BC: PO Box 1400 STNCSC Victoria BC V8W 2Y2 Canada and Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, BC.
4
Centre for Addictions Research of BC, University of Victoria, BC: PO Box 1400 STNCSC Victoria BC V8W 2Y2 Canada.
5
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of British Columbia: JPPN, Vancouver General Hospital, Room 3303 910 West 10th Ave, Vancouver, V5Z1M9, BC Canada.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the concordance of self-reports of cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines, and the utility of these, with a saliva point of collection drug test, the DrugWipe 5+, in an emergency department (ED) setting.

METHODS:

A random sample of people admitted to either of two emergency departments at hospitals in British Columbia, Canada were asked to participate in an interview on their substance use and provide a saliva test for detection of drugs.

ANALYSES:

Concordance of self-reports and drug tests were calculated. Prior DrugWipe 5+ sensitivity and specificity estimates were compared against a gold standard of mass spectrometry and chromatography (MS/GC). This was used as a basis to assess the truthfulness of self-reports for each drug.

RESULTS:

Of the 1584 patients approached 1190 agreed to participate, a response rate of 75.1%. For cannabis, among those who acknowledged use only 21.1% had a positive test and 2.1% of those who reported no use had a positive test. For cocaine and amphetamines respectively, 50.0% and 57.1% tested positive among those reporting use, while 2.1% and 1.3%, respectively reported no use and tested positive. Self-reports of cannabis and amphetamines use appear more truthful than self-reports of cocaine use.

KEYWORDS:

Saliva testing; illicit drug use; self-reports

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