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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201497 Find in a Library
Title: Use of Creatinine-Normalized Cannabinoid Results to Determine Continued Abstinence or to Differentiate Between New Marijuana Use and Continuing Drug Excretion From Previous Exposure
Journal: Drug Court Review  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:Summer 2002  Pages:83-104
Author(s): Paul L. Cary M.S.
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 22
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the use of creatinine-normalization of marijuana drug test results by drug courts.
Abstract: Creatinine-normalized urine drug tests are used to establish either continued participant abstinence or to differentiate between new drug exposure and residual drug excretion. But confusion exists regarding the application of this approach in a drug court setting. The need for drug court teams to use drug test results to establish either continued participant abstinence or to differentiate between new drug exposure and residual drug excretion can be compelling. This is especially true for marijuana because of its protracted elimination profile. A court’s response to a second positive marijuana urine test varies by program and may result in different consequences for drug court clients. The calculations for determining both continued participant abstinence and for differentiating between new drug exposure and residual drug excretion are reviewed. Drug courts should move cautiously in employing the techniques of creatinine-normalized results. While the use of this method for determining continued participant abstinence is straightforward, the interpretation of creatinine-normalization data for the purposes of differentiation between new marijuana use and continuing drug elimination is more complex. It is recommended that the 1.5 specimen ratio standard be employed if creatinine-normalized cannabinoid results are to be used in drug courts due to the legal nature of the proceedings. A non-normalized method for making these differentiations, using only qualitative drug test results (positive/negative) is presented. 18 references
Main Term(s): Drug Courts; Drug testing
Index Term(s): Alternative court procedures; Controlled Substances; Drug treatment; Expedited drug case management; Marijuana; Pretrial drug testing
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