A critical aspect of addiction recovery programs is to monitor those in the program for evidence of a relapse. It is typical for people in addiction recovery programs to routinely submit urine or blood samples for lab analysis.
If their biological samples show evidence that they have consumed prohibited substances after enrolling in the program, their treatment will be adjusted to address the relapse and substance reuse.
Until recently, the most common way to screen patients in these programs was via urine sampling, or the "pee-in-a-cup" method. That approach is changing.
Recovery programs are facing increasing burdens of legal liability and pressure to produce results in the face of a devastating opioid crisis. In an effort to make drug testing for these programs more efficient and precise, some toxicology and clinical laboratories are exploring finger-stick blood microsampling.
Alcala uses VAMS technology, developed by Neoteryx, in its CleanAssure™ system, which it supplies to drug and addiction recovery facilities across the United States. It replaces outmoded, binary pee-in-a-cup methods with dried blood collection using Mitra devices.
Capillary blood collection methods from a fingertip are preferred in environments where venipuncture with needles may not be the most appropriate way to go. This new approach is more precise and reliable than urinalysis, helping addiction professionals stay informed and patients stay clean.
“We believe that transitioning from urine to dried blood samples will simplify the process for patients and ease the burden for recovery centers,” says Matt Rifat, Alcala Labs President. “We are pleased that microsampling has become a viable option, and the VAMS technology presented us with the best available solution.”
The work of Alcala Labs is shedding light on how smarter, more specific techniques can pave the way for a new world of addiction care that is at once more scientific and more compassionate, with transformative implications for the entire landscape of health and wellness, wherever perfecting patient monitoring is paramount.
From 10 or 20 microliters of blood, leading scientific researchers, toxicology labs and addiction treatment professionals can yield a lot of information, a lot of innovation, and a whole lot of hope.