Tool Kit: Narcotics Detection

From test strips to Raman spectroscopy, there are a number of options available for detecting the plethora of prescription pills and illicit substances that can be encountered on the street.

The MFL-3000 enables law enforcement to quickly perform drug identification in the field without destroying evidence. With a library of more than 3,800 narcotics, precursors, synthetic drugs, and prescription pills, the MFL-3000 utilizes Raman spectroscopy to identify the vast majority of prescription pills and illicit substances found on the street. Auto-generates reports to support the legal process.


The Reveal Drug Screen Cup is an all-in-one drug-of-abuse test cup. The strips are self-contained and the entire cup is tamper resistant. The test can be stored at room-temperature and has a 24-month shelf life. Tests for amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, methadone, methamphetamine, opiates, oxycodone, phencyclidine, and tricyclic antidepressants.


The XCAT capillary analysis test is a handheld detection system that offers immediate narcotics, explosives and gunshot residue (GSR) detection at the crime scene. This system features automated, one-step detection of narcotics, GSR, and homemade/high explosives. Designed for detecting suspicious drugs and other substances on hands, vehicles, packages, and surfaces, the XCAT is intended for presumptive testing.


The 6-Panel/Dip Device is a quick and affordable instant on-site drug screening solution. The device tests for six specific drugs. The test is a lateral flow chromatographic immunoassay for the qualitative detection of multiple drugs and drug metabolites in urine. The Panel/Dip Device is FDA 510(K) cleared to market and uses SAMHSA approved guidelines. Ideal for random, reasonable cause, corrections, clinical, hospital, and personal use.


Nark II synthetic cannabinoid reagent is a NIJ-compliant presumptive field test for synthetic cannabinoids. It identifies only the “indole-based formulations” of synthetic cannabinoids in a two-step process. Indole formulas represent over 75% of the street substances. This test does not color react with non-indole formulations, such as HU-210, CP47,496, or AKB-48, but these are less common and most street substances include multiple synthetic cannabinoids.
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Interview with an Expert

One of the more specialized areas of crime-scene investigation has to do with searching for evidence of arson. To get some background in this area, we spoke with an individual who has had more than 46 years in fire service, 24 of which have focused specifically on fire/arson investigation.