Introduction

During the autumn of 2003, news of the possible use of "designer drugs" among athletes made headlines that rocked the UK sport scene (1,2). As demonstrated by numerous debates appearing in newspaper columns and radio phone-ins, drug testing remained very much a poorly understood subject across Europe. These incidents afforded a prime opportunity to raise public awareness about the practice of drug testing and promote improved understanding of the discipline among a wider audience.

From: Forensic Science and Medicine: Drugs of Abuse: Body Fluid Testing Edited by R. C. Wong and H. Y. Tse © Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ

Urine and blood have traditionally been the most commonly analyzed specimens in the field of drug testing in Europe. Over the past few years, the use of oral fluids in drug testing has aroused a considerable amount of interest in many European countries. Some experts believe that it is only a matter of time until oral fluid-based tests replace the conventional urine test, especially in the point-of-care (POC) environment.

This chapter aims at providing an overall view of the current status of drugs-of-abuse (DOA) testing in Europe.

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