Fingerprint-based drug testing now supporting quicker and more effective health and justice rehabilitation


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Fingerprint-based drug testing now supporting quicker and more effective health and justice rehabilitation

  • Change Grow Live now using Intelligent Fingerprinting drug test to support probation project clients in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
  • Sample collection in seconds and results in 10 minutes mean fingerprint-based drug tests can enable more informed client engagement during weekly meetings

A unique portable fingerprint-based drug testing system is now being used for the first time to support drug rehabilitation in the health and justice arena.

St Luke’s Service – a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for adults run by Change Grow Live in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham – provides open access support and treatment to people with drug problems, including those on probation. The St Luke’s team is using the innovative Intelligent Fingerprinting portable drug test as part of its one-to-one rehabilitation service that features regular testing to encourage clients in abstaining from drug use.

The simple, dignified and non-invasive nature of Intelligent Fingerprinting’s new drug test makes it an ideal approach for drug treatment programmes. It enables frequent, onsite, rapid testing to support compliance with court-mandated or probation service conditions.

In comparison with traditional testing procedures involving saliva or urine, fingerprint sample collection takes only a few seconds and is more dignified and hygienic for both client and tester. As well as significantly speeding up the process of testing for service users, this method of testing is also more convenient and cost-effective as there is no need for specialist collection facilities or biohazardous waste disposal.

All clients need to do is provide fingerprint sweat samples, which can be collected within seconds during one of their daily or weekly meetings. Sample collection and test administration take place onsite, with drug screening results available in just ten minutes for discussion there and then with the client. This approach is invaluable to track a client’s drug recovery and adherence to probation conditions as the results – positive or negative – can be discussed immediately.

Christine Ayton, Services Manager at Change Grow Live said: “We are starting to use the Intelligent Fingerprinting drug testing system as part of our health and justice services – supporting people whose drug use has brought them into contact with the judicial system. We work with police, prisons, courts and other health and social care services to provide integrated drug and alcohol treatment interventions that aim to stop reoffending and further harm to individuals and society. Although we have only recently started using the new fingerprint test method, responses from both clients and staff have been very good. Clients are extremely positive about the test method when they realise how quick and hygienic it is in comparison to other methods such as urine or saliva for example. These are huge advantages for both the client and our staff – especially as part of our ethos to put the service user’s well-being first and foremost. We expect fingerprint-based testing’s quick, dignified and non-invasive approach to become a valuable tool for the St Luke’s Service.”

Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Dr Paul Yates added: “It is great that our fingerprint tests are now being used to support probation aspects of the criminal justice process, particularly as Change Grow Live’s clients and their staff are finding the Intelligent Fingerprinting drug testing method much easier to use than previous testing methods. The fact that the test can be conducted onsite, and screening results produced quickly without the requirement for specialist medical staff or designated collection areas confirms the applicability of our testing approach for specialist criminal justice drug applications such as the St Luke’s Service.”

Intelligent Fingerprinting recently extended its offering for drug rehabilitation programme operators with the introduction of a new test that screens for the opioid substitution drugs methadone and buprenorphine, as well as testing for benzodiazepines and opiates. This significantly enhances the range of Intelligent Fingerprinting testing products available to drug treatment service providers such as Change Grow Live.

Fingerprint-based drug testing – how it works

Intelligent Fingerprinting’s drug testing solution features a small, tamper-evident drug screening cartridge which takes less than a minute to collect fingerprint sweat samples. The Intelligent Fingerprinting portable analysis unit then reads the cartridge and provides a positive or negative result on-screen for all drugs in the test in ten minutes.

An introductory video demonstrating fingerprint-based drug testing in action is available here.


For media information contact Cheryl Billson at Comma
Email:  Tel: +44 (0)7791 720460

About Change Grow Live
Change Grow Live is a social care and health charity that works with individuals who want to change their lives for the better and achieve positive and life-affirming goals. To find out more, visit

About Intelligent Fingerprinting
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s portable Drug Screening System works by analysing fingerprint sweat. It is non-invasive, fast and cost-effective, with sample collection taking seconds and simultaneous screening for multiple drug groups in ten minutes. A laboratory confirmation service is also available.

The system has applications within many sectors and customers include employers in safety-critical industries such as construction, transport and logistics firms, drug treatment and family safeguarding organisations, as well as UK coroners. The company has distributors across the globe, including the USA.

Founded in 2007, Intelligent Fingerprinting is a spin-out company from the University of East Anglia (UEA).  The company is based in Cambridge, England and employs around 30 people. Twitter @iFingerprinting

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