Israelis develop on-the-spot drug identification kit

‘Anyone concerned that a child or a loved one may be using drugs now has an easy, non-intrusive way to find out’ – Yaacov Shoham. Drug abuse among American minors has reached a startling rate in recent years, and parents …

‘Anyone concerned that a child or a loved one may be using drugs now has an easy, non-intrusive way to find out’ – Yaacov Shoham. Drug abuse among American minors has reached a startling rate in recent years, and parents are often caught in a limbo of not being sure if their child is using an illegal drug.

Now, an Israeli-developed product invented by a former police forensics expert can quickly and inexpensively identify if unknown substances are indeed illegal drugs, all in the privacy of your own home.

Called The IDenta Confirm, the drug detector has been used by police and customs officials in Israel, Australia, Argentina and is now available to both law enforcement agencies and retailers in the U.S.

The world drug trade involves approximately $1 trillion dollars per year. Drug income in the U.S. on the wholesale level is about $260 billion. Millions of Americans use drugs and every year, over a million people are arrested for drug offenses.

The U.S. government budget allocation for the war on drugs is about $19 billion dollars a year. The budget growth rate is steady at about 9% annually. In the U.S. approximately 95% of the drug trade is comprised of cocaine/crack, marijuana/hashish, Ecstasy and heroin.

IDenta Ltd. has developed and is manufacturing Drug Detection Field Kits (DDFK) for all above-mentioned illegal drugs. Kits are available for Marijuana/Hashish, Cocaine/Crack and Heroin. A fourth kit that identifies Ecstasy/MDA works in the same way, taking about two minutes to complete the test.

Each kit consists of a plastic cassette with self-contained chemicals and a small plastic probe designed to pick up the right amount of substance to successfully run the test. All the user needs to do is dip the tip in the powder (or scrape the tablet), then place it in the test chamber, and break the ampule.

In a few seconds the user will know if the substance tested is illegal or not. In addition to its ease of use, IDenta Confirm does not produce a false positive.

“There are two types of packaging for the products – one for legal enforcement with a product called the IDenta-Stinger and a second one for the consumer market called the IDenta-Confirm,” Yaacov Shoham, the CEO of IDenta Corp. told ISRAEL21c.

“Anyone concerned that a child or a loved one may be using drugs now has an easy, non-intrusive way to find out,” the retired chief-superintendent from the Israeli police added.

Shoham said that he founded IDenta Corp. after his colleague in the police came to him with the idea.

“My partner Baruch Glattstein – who is an inventor – and myself served together in the Israel Police department for years. He was one of the chief scientists of the forensics department, and I was in the computer division.
One day he told me he had invented something new and unique – he had the solution to detect drugs on the spot without any false identification. Upon leaving the police we decided to establish a company and develop his invention,” Shoham said.

For law enforcement and investigation staff, the Stinger series is the ideal tool for multiple drug interdictions. Using advanced chemical technology, with fast and accurate results, Stinger can help to virtually eliminate the submission of false position samples to the forensic laboratory – a major saving in cost and time.

Adhering to the strict standards of law enforcement agencies worldwide, the Stinger kits are ideal solutions for multiple field tests on a daily basis. According to Shoham, The Stinger series is a major innovation in providing determinative and cost-effective results in the field – because there are virtually no false positives.

Based on advanced chemical technologies, the Stinger series uses chemical reagents that react with the suspect drug in an internal closed ‘test tube’. For most drugs, the identification is a two step process, the second of which is not required unless the first test, the detection stage, proves positive. The second of the tests, the confirmation stage, is specifically designed to eliminate essentially all false positives.

“We got some good advice from someone while we were developing the product,” recalled Shoham. “Because our products have a special feature that replaces the laboratory, they are not restricted in use to law enforcement. We have a new virgin market, we were told – the retail consumer.”

“This is the only non-intrusive home test product available on the market,” said Corinne Timor, CEO of Timcor Marketing Associates, Inc. which distributes the IDenta product range at branches of the CVS pharmacy chain in the U.S. and online. “It’s completely non-invasive. Neither hair or urine or body examinations are needed for the test, and it can be done without your child being present or even knowing about it.”

According to Shoham, the importance of drug testing can be seen by the fact that after the U.S. Senate debated the permissibility of making drug testing widely available, the FDA decided to approve home drug test kits.

Shoham said that law enforcement agencies are especially in need of the type of kit IDenta is producing.

“When a policeman suspects any material trace to be cocaine, heroin or any other drug, he needs a fast field method to justify a search, forensic lab test and or arrest. The law enforcer’s present situation is difficult for several reasons: first, because illegally manufactured drugs are marketed and transferred from hand to hand without manufacturer’s identification and specifications. One cannot visually distinguish between sugar, salt, crack or cocaine,” he said.

Shoham also pointed out that there is strict supervision of human rights and privacy rights of suspects. In a field scenario, the policeman is required to make the right decision – to arrest only the ‘bad guys’ after being reasonably sure that the material traces are, indeed, illegal drugs.

“We invested a lot of time and money to make our products totally accurate and user friendly, so the user doesn’t have to do a lot of thinking to follow steps one through three. It takes between one second and two minutes to have the answer, and you’re notified by a changing color,” Shoham said.

“Our advantage is that we don’t have any false positive periods. With existing testers, if you get a positive sign in the final stage it means that maybe it’s the suspected drug, but there are many other legal substances that give off the same color.”

According to Shoham, his kits are gaining popularity in the U.S., both in the private consumer market and among law enforcement agencies.

“We started marketing the products a year and a half ago, testing the waters in places like Australia, Argentina, and of course in Israel. We wanted to get reactions and we learned a lot. Only then were we ready for the American market. And we’ve made great inroads there. The North Miami police department is using our products now, and both the LAPD and NYPD are in the process of testing them,” he said.