In a bid to better detect low concentrations of methamphetamine on household surfaces, researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) Limited, Mt. Albert Science Centre, New Zealand, have determined that methamphetamine retention is dependent upon the material of surfaces.

To improve the detection of low concentrations of methamphetamine — a stimulant often used as a recreational drug — for law enforcement investigations, the researchers first examined how drug residue contaminated household surfaces.

Source: Unsplash/Public domainSource: Unsplash/Public domain

In the lab, the researchers performed methamphetamine smoking simulations on different household surfaces composed of various materials including wood, acrylic, metal, plaster and tile.

According to their findings, the researchers suggested that acrylic retained the most traces of the methamphetamine while tile retained the least. As such, the researchers concluded that methamphetamine detection on household surfaces is dependent upon the material of the surface.

Further, the team also concluded that there is a relationship between how much methamphetamine was smoked and how much residue is detectable on surfaces.

These findings, according to the researchers, could improve how methamphetamine is identified and how its amounts are calculated, potentially offering insights about its consumption and production.

The article, Deposition of methamphetamine residues produced by simulated smoking, appears in the journal Forensic Science International.

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