Current screening methods for drug analysis with urine samples includes examination of the sample with an immunoassay. These methods are used to determine the concentration of drug metabolites contained within the sample prior to further confirmatory testing. Drug testing plays a crucial role in maintaining safe workplace environments and safety of individuals. However, a positive result can lead to heavy consequences for the employee including suspension or removal from the workplace. Therefore, a majority of individuals add commonly known products into the sample to evade detection by developing a false negative result. Although specimen integrity examinations are performed to identify tampering of the sample, these results are typically biased on the experience of the examiner. The purpose of this study was to develop an analytical screening technique that will detect the drug of interest as well as the presence of any additional products that may be added into the sample via Direct Analysis in Real Time – High Resolution/Mass Spectrometry (DART-HR/MS) which is an ambient ionization source that produces fast mass spectrum results that can provide semi-quantitative information of the target metabolite concentration. Although there are various studies that indicate the ability of the DART to detect drug compounds, there are no known studies that have examined how real-world urine samples are analyzed. Additionally, there are no current studies that take into consideration adulteration of the urine sample using the DART method. The results obtained in the study showed the ability for DART to identify molecular protonated peaks indicative of dextroamphetamine and/or the presence of masking agents. While the other target drugs could not be identified using this method, the identification of dextroamphetamine, adulterant products and the deuterated internal standard show promise in using this as a screening technique prior to confirmatory tests. Future work is currently being conducted to optimize the protocol for the evaluation of THC, cocaine and benzodiazepines.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Bridge, Candice


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program

Forensic Science - Biochemistry Track



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date