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Drug Users Sweat it Out

NCJ Number
Corrections Today
Date Published
2 pages

This report describes a pilot study evaluating the effectiveness of the Macroduct, a sweat collection device used for drug testing.


Drug testing is used extensively throughout the criminal justice system. To improve the process of drug testing, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) assessed the feasibility of using the Macroduct in criminal justice settings to collect sweat and test for drug use. Corrections agencies have already been experimenting with testing sweat collections for drug use through the use of a sweat patch that collects dried sweat samples over the course of several days. The Macroduct differs from the sweat patch in that it stimulates sweat production and collects liquid sweat for drug testing in a matter of minutes. The pilot study took place at the Pretrial Services Agency in Washington, DC and was administered to arrested individuals who required drug testing. Overall, the results indicated that cocaine and opiate users were identified more accurately through Macroduct testing in comparison to traditional urinalysis. Although some disadvantages were noted with the Macroduct system, NIJ concluded that the potential for sweat to be used for drug testing rather than urine is promising and additional testing should proceed. Endnotes

Date Published: January 1, 2004