Identifying Illicit Drug Residue with a Surface Drug Test Kit

How to test for drug residue and identify suspect powder, pills, and residue on paraphernalia.

Did you know? Forensic Test Labs charge thousands of dollars to process a sample for unknown drugs and can take many weeks before providing a result, but now detecting drug residue with a surface drug test kit can cost as little as $6, and they work great. We have used them in different situations and identified many other drugs of abuse in minutes. Do it yourself at home without these prohibitive costs and in a fraction of the time. Best of all, the analysis does not damage the article you are testing.

The Art to testing for Drug Residue: This guide will help you identify suspect Illicit Drug Residue, powder, and pills; If you see powder or a suspicious capsule around the home or the office, we show you how to identify what you’ve found with our in-depth guide using a surface drug test kit. It will take just a few minutes to detect and determine what was seen with these kits quickly.

Identifying illicit Drug Residue
Paraphernalia on display confiscated by the Sheriffs Office.

With a simple test, detecting drug residue can be straightforward. If you suspect drugs are hidden in the home, take a look at an article we wrote giving hints of where to look.

Surface drug tests require no previous knowledge and take just a few minutes to detect and identify narcotics. The benefit of utilizing a residue test from Mistral Security is it allows you to identify drugs without ever destroying the evidence.

What is Colorimetric Technology?

Colorimetry is a scientific technique used to determine the presence of a target chemical through a chemical reaction that results in a color change. Colorimetric test kits are available for analyzing a wide variety of unknown narcotic substances. The tests are usually specific and well suited for presumptive testing of compounds with suspected identity. Results are typically compared to a color key in the test kit. Detection sensitivity is typically in the parts-per-thousand range—a one-time use with a reagent and reactive test paper for each target substance.

What equipment do I need to Identify Illicit Drug Residue?

A simple, low-cost surface drug test is all that’s needed—manufactured by Mistral Security, these products detect and Identify illicit drug substances. They use a Colorimetric technique that identifies illegal drugs instantly. The test’s chemical reaction causes a color reaction from red, blue, green, purple, and various colors in between to indicate the substance identified.

Each sealed aluminum foil pouch includes a pen-shaped tube with liquid chemicals, two test papers, and instructions with a color identification chart. The instructions make it easy for you to compare your test against the color chart, which will allow you to identify the drug discovered quickly.

Identifying illicit Drug Residue
This is a test for detecting Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, PCP and Methadone.

Use Surface Tests for the following:

There are many different suspect items that you can analyze, here are a few examples:

  • Powders or ash.
    Yes, Pentests screen and detect many illicit and prescribed drugs.
  • Liquids.
    Yes, place a tiny amount of the Pentest liquid on the test paper and view the result.
  • Solids (tablets).
    Yes, cut the tablet in half and wipe the center of the cut half onto the test paper and test.
  • Encapsulated substances (pills).
    Yes, open the capsule and place a small amount of powder onto the test paper. If it’s a pellet-type substance, then crush before testing.
  • Paraphernalia.
    Items suitable for analysis include Bongs, pipes, aluminum foil, bags, vape pens, and syringes.
Identifying Illicit Drug Residue
Identifying Illicit Drug Residue

What are the benefits of using a Colorimetric test for Identifying Illicit Drug Residue?

There are many benefits to using Multiple Drug Detection and Identification tests. The two major benefits are instant results and low cost. Only one application is required. The test does not destroy the evidence. They detect substances invisible to the human eye, no special disposal procedures are necessary, and no special training is required. They are safe to use.

Benefits of using a D4D and C&H combination.

The D4D pentest is a Multiple Drug Detection & Identification device designed to identify narcotic drugs by color reactions. When using this test, it will quickly highlight if a drug has been found.

Identifying Illicit Drug Residue
D4D Multiple Drug Detection & Identification
Identifying Illicit Drug Residue
C&H Multiple Drug Detection & Identification

When you are unsure what substance you’ve found and want to get a better idea of what it is, the manufacturer suggests using a D4D and C&H combination. This is the most popular option because together, they can detect over forty different substances. In summary, screen the unknown substance first with the D4D to see if there is a color reaction and then confirm and identify with the C&H.

The general screening test D4D can detect over two dozen drugs with one application. The multiple drug detection and identification C&H pentest can positively identify over ten different drugs. The C&H pentest will confirm many of the drugs screened by the D4D pentest. Both pentest can analyze pills, powder, trace residues, and liquid. The analysis does not destroy the evidence, and no special disposal procedures are required. They are safe to use with quick results and no previous knowledge of testing.

Drugs identified.
Marijuana. Buprenorphine.
Bath Salts. Methadone.
K2 Spice. LSD.
Phencyclidine (PCP). Methamphetamine (Meth).
Amphetamine. Ecstasy.
Heroin. Ketamine and More.
Opiates.
Here is a list of the most popular drugs detected with the D4D Pen test.

Illicit Drug Residue. Detecting Drug Residue

DrugSensitivity: ng/mm2
Cocaine 2548
Phenobarbital 318
Crack N/A
Methamphetamine 127
Ketamine 12739
Ephedrine 64
Heroin 255
Methadone 127
LSD 64
Buprenorphine 3000
Here is a list of some of the major drugs identified by the C&H Pen test.

Here’s how to use a Surface Drug Test Kit for Identifying Illicit Drug Residue.

Identifying substances for analysis is quite simple, wipe a suspect area with a surface test kit paper or wipe the material you wish to test with the respective test paper. Add a couple of drops of liquid from the pen and wait for a reaction. Compare the color on the test paper with the color chart included in each Pentest. Below are photographs of what the result may look like.

Identifying Illicit Drug Residue
Example color reactions from analysis.

Preparing for the Identification of Illicit Drug Residue.

Holding the pentest upright, squeeze the plastic tube in the middle to break the glass separators inside. (Press firmly to feel a crunching sensation) (Figure 1), hold finger over the pen tip and shake for ten seconds to mix the chemicals (Figure 2), remove the cap while pointing the tube away from you. Point the tube tip down and empty a few drops onto the test paper covering the sampling area. (Figure 3)

Identifying Illicit Drug Residue

Here’s how to use the test paper for Identifying Illicit Drug Residue.

Remove or peel back the silicon backing to the white test paper; try not to remove it entirely. Bend back halfway, then use the exposed area to wipe the suspect residue. If the backing is removed, place your thumb and forefinger to the edge where the part number at the top edge.

Identifying Illicit Drug Residue

Swipe the test paper over the suspect area (Figure 4), apply a small amount of liquid onto the test paper (Figure 5), observe the color change on the test paper (Figure 6), and compare the color with the included reference chart. See the example chart below.

Identifying Illicit Drug Residue
Identifying illicit Drug Residue
C&H instructions and color comparison chart.

Here are examples of surface drug tests for Identifying Illicit Drug Residue.

In conclusion, these tests require no knowledge of testing. The process takes just a few minutes to develop. The result produces a color to identify the drug discovered; compare the color from the analysis with the enclosed color chart within each test kit.

Using the D4D test with either COCA or C&H, it is possible to detect and identify many unknown illicit substances used by homeland security, airports, the military, the DEA, and mail carriers.