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Psychemedics Reports Ecstasy Data After One Year of Testing.

Findings Confirm Wide-Spread Ecstasy Use

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ --

Psychemedics Corporation (Amex: PMD), the world's leading laboratory testing hair for the presence of drugs of abuse, has just completed its first full year of Ecstasy drug screening using its patented hair test. The results are alarming and underscore reports of a serious Ecstasy problem with the first hard statistics on Ecstasy use.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000717/NEM046LOGO )

With the first full year of testing now completed, the Psychemedics hair analysis tests demonstrated that when Ecstasy screening was added to the normal testing protocol, the number of positives in the methamphetamine category almost doubled. Among those testing positive for methamphetamine, the drug category for Ecstasy, 43% of those tested show Ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine/MDMA) use in the preceding 90 days. It is important to note that had these tests not included the Ecstasy screen, they would have been negative. In addition, the overwhelming majority of these positives were found in pre-employment testing, indicating Ecstasy use in a broader population than previously anticipated. Ecstasy is clearly not just a teenage drug.

Raymond C. Kubacki, President and Chief Executive Officer of Psychemedics, noted in releasing these conclusive statistics on Ecstasy use, "We found that 42% of Ecstasy users also abused one or more other illegal substances, indicating that (as many have suspected) Ecstasy is likely a gateway drug. And if that is the case, Ecstasy should be viewed as a more serious threat in the United States and abroad."

In releasing this first substantial and conclusive data on Ecstasy use in the population at large, Psychemedics is bringing these statistics to the attention of government, schools and, most importantly, parents, to reinforce their efforts in educating teenagers and young adults about the hazards of Ecstasy.

"As the leading laboratory testing Ecstasy in the United States, we will continue to gather and monitor data on Ecstasy use. We will also share this valuable information with appropriate government agencies to support their efforts in dealing with this pernicious drug," Kubacki stated.

Psychemedics was the first laboratory to begin testing for Ecstasy as part of their standard drug testing panel on July 18, 2000. Psychemedics' hair test screens for five drugs of abuse in addition to Ecstasy, which are marijuana, cocaine (as well as crack cocaine), opiates (heroin), methamphetamine (speed and uppers) and PCP (angel dust).

Psychemedics currently serves over 2,100 corporations (many in the Fortune 500), which use hair testing to support their drug-free workplace initiatives. In addition, four of the country's largest police departments, as well as five Federal Reserve Banks, use Psychemedics' drug testing technology. Urine testing can normally detect drug use for only one to three days after ingestion while hair testing will detect drug use for the previous several months. Unlike urinalysis, simple short-term abstention will not beat the test. Drug detection rates for the Psychemedics hair test are up to 5-10 times greater than urine testing. Additionally, employees and schools throughout the U.S. report that when those tested learn that hair testing (unlike urinalysis) cannot be foiled, the hair test serves as a very significant and cost-effective deterrent.

The Psychemedics web site is www.drugtestwithhair.com.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 14, 2001
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