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How accurate are commonly used reagent tests?

copium7777

Bluelighter
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
447
I got blisteroacks of oxy pills that are a common mexican brand. Felt weirdly overstimulated with one and got a little noided that they may have something besides oxy in them. Given that they are in blister packs I sorts doubt they are pressies but it made me wonder: are all the common reagent tests that one can use to test for various amphetamines , opioids , and psychedelics bullshit, or are they accurate enough to be helpful?


So far the only study on this I can find is one by the NIH saying that these tests aren't sensitive or specific enough for MDMA or mda. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14594341/ But this isnt oxy or cocaine or amphetamine. And it's just one study.


I see reagent tests being promoted by harm reduction groups which seem fairly evidence based, often, so I sort of started to assume that they're good without doing the research myself.


Also, would it be at all common for pharma pills from a second world country to have stimulants in them as a contaminant? I know India and Pakistan are known for contamination but a) mexico seems better , b) the issues are more along the lines of heavy metals or improper dosing than actual different drugs and c) it doesn't seem that economical to substitute most stims for oxycodone, definitely not cocaine, I guess amphetamine is a little cheaper


Bottom line, is it worth the money to get these tests if one is a frequent user ? Are they misleading or useful?
 

Transform

Moderator: PD, PR.net
Staff member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
4,766
What do you mean by "accurate"? How accurate do they need to be to be useful to you?

If there is a chemical inside, they will change colour according to that. They will always react the same way to the same chemical so in this respect they are extremely "accurate".

They do not read out the exact molecular structure or the mass of the atoms, just a colour, and human eyes aren't amazing at distinguishing different shades, especially given that a few factors can slightly change the tone.
The human eye can absolutely distinguish the difference between violet and orange so if your oxy had been swapped for pethidine or acetylfentanyl or amphetamine or mescaline then the reagents would be extremely useful for you.

Are reagents are perfect?
No.
Can they prove that your sample is safe and you can take as much as you want?
No.
Are they better than a suite of lab tests?
No.
But can they be useful?
Yes.

What reagents are very good for is ruling out the situations where there is a different substance present. This sort of situation is able to have a disproportionately negative effect so it makes sense to spend 20 to avoid such a situation, even if it won't prevent every bad situation.

Personally I would never take anything that hadn't been tested somehow.


P.S. You will note that the paper you cite is comparing to GC/MS, not to "no tests at all". If you have a GC/MS instrument then by all means don't bother with reagents. I wish I did, but sadly can't afford one.
 

MsDiz

Moderator: DS
Staff member
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
5,094
Location
Ireland
They are definitely worthwhile if you’re a regular user. You need to do a bit of reading in regards to how to interpret the results. They won’t tell you how much of a contamination there is really but again, if you research how to read the result you can kinda gauge in a way if there’s a small amount or large depending on how quickly colour change happens.

As above poster said they aren’t perfect but they are sure as shit better than nothing and in the interest of harm reduction they are a valuable tool.
 

copium7777

Bluelighter
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
447
What do you mean by "accurate"? How accurate do they need to be to be useful to you?

If there is a chemical inside, they will change colour according to that. They will always react the same way to the same chemical so in this respect they are extremely "accurate".
I would like them to rule out significant amounts of a contaminant that is supposed to show up on reagent tests, amphetamine or cocaine... and to see if my oxycodone shows up as oxycodone. I dont need them to serve the function of nmr or gc/ms but I want to know that they're likely to actually tell me if my oxycodone pills are mostly oxycodone. I think they are bc they're mexican pharma brand in blister packs but the reagent tests aren't that expensive for a little peace of mind
 

somnilicious

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
1,843
Location
Orlando, Fl
Regent test probably won't react to research chem opiates, which can have vastly different effects nor do I believe they react to some research cannabinoids, which are showing up in heroin samples and have given me similar results and have been confirmed by others.
 

Flynnal

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 14, 2012
Messages
561
Well, the MMC Barbiturate Test kit I used (which had 10 small flute type vessels which contain liquid that turns a nice purple in the presence of a barbiturate) did pretty well with Nembutal powder. See "My Story" in The Dark Side forums for a nice collection of images, including that of the test.

I ended up flushing the lot as I believed I was at a very high risk of suicide and would have possibly ended up using it to kill myself because of mental problems rather than from terminal cancer, so it had to go down the shitter.

Not all test kits are 100% accurate and there can be false positives and false negatives, especially with amphetamines. But most tests are generally OK with accuracy.
 
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