Drug prevention is something that cost this country and others tons of money each year. Parents worry about their children using drugs and the government worries about everyone using drugs. Well, there’s now something to aid their worry. Universal Sensors has developed a new product that would allow parents and police officers to test people for drug use just using saliva. The Vantix biosensor technology works by taking a swab from the inside of the mouth and placing it into a device that then reads it. The results are then spit back to the users within five minutes. The tester can trace the smallest amounts of drugs and even tell how much the person who consumed the drugs has taken. This will revolutionize drug testing, because before drug testing was a lengthy process that was not done with ease. It is also more accurate than the sobriety test that are currently out there. The tester is about the size and resembles cell phone. Both articles mention it being mostly used on cocaine, and cannabis.The test is also affordable, costing around two dollars per test.
This device is obviously going to have controversies, especially in terms of parents using them. Yes, drugs are illegal, but depending on the age of the child, it could be a major invasion of privacy. I would also like to see a parent shove a swab into their child's mouth, especially if they are on some sort of drug. On the other hand, with police using it could become a good thing because of the safety issues involved with driving under the influence. Drugs were often not tested for before in drunk driving stops, because the procedure took too long. The Telegraph article is written in a British perspective (as it is a British newspaper) and they give the fact that drug driving contributes to three percent of deaths on British roads, I can imagine that in America the death toll is similar, if not larger.
Universal Sensors is also urging the device to be used in detection of deadly bacteria, like MRSA. Which would be great since those type of bacteria can have devastating effects.