Vicks v Heisenberg

November 15, 2021 by Dr. Gregory Snider0
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Vick’s VapoRub and Heisenberg? What’s the connection? Drug testing usually looks for amphetamines, a group of stimulants. Of course, these can be used legitimately (in medications, for example Adderall, for attention deficit disorder (ADD) or narcolepsy) or illegally (as “meth” (methamphetamines) also known by countless street names). Amphetamines exist in two distinct forms with very different effects – you can think of these as right hand (“d”) and left hand (“l”) versions, also know as isomers.  The “l” form is a mild stimulant (and in Vick’s Inhaler a mild decongestant), but the “d” form is much more potent and addictive. Only a small amount of the “l” form is converted by the body to the “d” form, but not so much in the other direction.  When a drug screen is performed the amounts of each of the forms are measured.; this tells the physician analyzing the result which substance is responsible for the result, the “d”rug form or the “l”egit form. People who have used Vick’s or ADD medication should not worry about passing a drug screen if the drug screen is analyzed properly – just ask Walter White … or us! If you have any questions about this type of testing, we’d be happy to help sort it out.


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