Pill testing is a process used to identify substances contained within a pill, usually illicit substances. With the increased prevalence of drugs being available in their pure forms, the terms "reagent testing" may also be used, with the reagents referred to in context simply as "reagent test kits"
Reagent testing kits
A test is done by taking a small scraping from a pill and placing it in the reagent testing liquid. The liquid will change colour when reacting with different chemicals to indicate the presence of certain substances. Testing with a reagent kit does not indicate the pill is safe. While the testing process does show some particular substances are present, it may not show a harmful substance unaccounted for by the testing process. Testing kits are distributed on a not-for-profit basis by Dancesafe and commercially.
|MDMA||dark purple||dark purple||dark purple||blue||no reaction|
|MDEA||dark purple||dark purple||dark purple||blue||no reaction|
|MDA||dark purple||dark purple||dark purple||no reaction||red|
|Methamphetamine||(dark) green||orange/brown||no reaction||blue||no reaction|
|Amphetamine||(dark) green||orange/brown||no reaction||no reaction||red|
|PMA||green to brown||no reaction||no reaction||no reaction||red|
|Ketamine||orange/brown||no reaction||no reaction||no reaction||no reaction|
|2C-B||no reaction||green||yellow/brown||no reaction||red|
|2C-I||no reaction||yellow to green||dark brown||no reaction||red|
|DXM||no reaction||grey with smoke||yellow||no reaction||no reaction|
|Opiates||no reaction||pink/red/purple||green||no reaction||no reaction|
|2C-T-xx||no reaction||no reaction||yellow to purple||no reaction||no reaction|
|4-MEC||unknown||no reaction||light green||unknown||unknown|
Reagent testers might show the colour of the desired substance while not showing a different colour for a more dangerous additive.
As reagent testing has become more popular, vendors have begun to offer a greater range of tests. This increases the likelihood that a substance might have a unique profile of results and makes the tests more useful.
- Liebermann reagent
- Mandelin reagent
- Marquis reagent
- Mecke reagent
- Simon's reagent
- Folin's reagent
- Froehde Reagent
Other reagents are discussed in scientific literature but limited applications mean they may not be sold for consumer testing. The zimmermann reagent for benzodiazepines is a good example - its use is limited to benzodiazepines, and when these are mis-sold it is usually by substitution of a different benzodiazepine, rendering the test unuseful for consumers.
The ehrlich reagent is an example of a single-application reagent which is used by consumers. It can only detect drugs with an indole moiety, but this is useful because drugs from the NBOMe class do not have an indole and are often sold as LSD which does. The ehrlich reagent has an additional benefit over other reagents in that it does not react with the paper on which LSD is often distributed.
- 2014 documentary What's In My Baggie? deals with adulterants and additives in recreational drugs.
- "Adulterant Screening Kit Instructions". DanceSafe. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- TheAzo. "Marquis/Mecke/Mandellin results for stim/empathogen/2C-X, RC's & more". Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- Home pill testing doesn't show up PMA in a pill in Youtube.
- What's In My Baggie? in Youtube.