New Psychemedics Offering Further Enhances Cocaine Detection

Psychemedics Corporation Enhances Cocaine Detection Industry’s first commercial application of hydroxycocaines for detection

SAN ANTONIO, TX and ACTON, MA, March 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Psychemedics Corporation (NASDAQ: PMD), the world leader in detecting drugs of abuse using hair analysis, today at the National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association (NDASA) Conference introduced the industry’s first confirmation process to accurately measure hydroxycocaines.

While the company’s patented hair test is already the most accurate and sensitive, the detection of hydroxycocaines, unique cocaine markers, now allows the company to apply additional metabolic criteria to confirm cocaine use. The new offering once again builds on Psychemedics’ unmatched technology to advance drug detection science and equips client companies with results to lower risks associated with cocaine in the workplace.

Rising levels of cocaine usage in the U.S. create an urgent need for companies to have all tools at their disposal to detect and deter usage. Employing FDA cleared immunoassays, metabolite criteria, patented technology, and the company’s unique FBI-validated extensive wash process, Psychemedics achieves detection rates unrivaled in the industry. With this announcement, the company once again advances the science of detection and reinforces its reputation as the leading innovator since it pioneered drug testing with hair in 1986.

The science

When m-, p- and o-hydroxy derivatives of cocaine are found in certain ratios in extensively washed hair, they are indicative of cocaine ingestion. In light of metabolic variability among cocaine users, the ability to accurately measure the very low levels of these three additional cocaine metabolites can be a key to demonstrating usage of the drug.

The latest innovation in a sustained track record of industry firsts

Since pioneering the hair testing industry in 1986, Psychemedics has consistently been first with innovations that advance the science of detecting drugs of abuse using hair, including:

  • First company to patent a process that releases virtually 100% of ingested drugs from inside the hair.
  • First company to develop and market hair tests for ecstasy (MDMA), synthetic opioids, Adderall, synthetic cannabinoids, and EtG (alcohol).
  • First and only company to have its hair test for benzodiazepines cleared by the FDA.
  • First and only company to develop and utilize an FBI-validated extended wash process proven to eliminate external contamination as a contributor to a positive test result.

This announcement marks another milestone for the company consistently being first to market with technologies and processes that give Psychemedics’ clients the edge in a dynamic drug abuse landscape.

Culmination of lengthy research and testing

Ten years of research underpinning this extended confirmation test were published by Psychemedics in 2016 following a 2014 peer-reviewed study by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In the FBI study, the Psychemedics extended wash process is deemed a critical step in the proposed process as it proved to eliminate risks of external contamination. This existing wash process coupled with a method to positively identify and quantify the hydroxycocaines in hair comprises the extended confirmation process.

The emergence of New Cocaine brings increased urgency

Test results tracked by Psychemedics are consistent with data collected by federal agencies showing that cocaine has emerged as the drug-of-choice for an increasing number of users. But because today’s cocaine is being cut with Fentanyl it poses much higher threats of addiction, overdose, and death. Businesses face intensified risks associated with employee impairment or addiction-related costs that accompany this newer, more virulent cocaine.

Availability of the enhanced process

The enhanced confirmation process for Cocaine is available now. Psychemedics clients may contact their account representatives for additional information. More information about the process, the research that is its foundation and the FBI peer-reviewed study may be found at


Psychemedics is the pioneer and global leader of testing for drugs of abuse using hair analysis. With over 30 years of continuous innovation, Psychemedics is the only company to develop and patent a process that releases virtually 100% of ingested drugs from the inside of the hair. We believe Psychemedics’ superior science delivers the most sensitive FDA 510 K cleared tests in the world resulting in unmatched detection rates.

Psychemedics’ results, science, and people are trusted by the world’s most safety-sensitive industries, the largest law enforcement agencies as well as by schools and elite institutions around the globe. The most recognized companies in the Fortune 500 rely on Psychemedics to ensure they are building drug-free, safe, and productive workforces. We make businesses, our nation’s highways, and campuses safer.

Psychemedics quite literally invented the science that re-invented an industry. We are the standard against which all others measure themselves for sensitivity, quality, and innovation to stay ahead of the ever-changing illicit drug landscape.

The Psychemedics web site is

Contact Information:

Charles Doucot
Executive Vice President
(978) 206-8220