Britains police have begun spraying urine and saliva into the hands of drug addicts in an effort to buy unproven medications considered a safer alternative to the COVID-19 treatment of ketamine.

The drugs are considered ineffective against severe drug addiction but can be available in quantities necessary to encourage enhanced bladder function or to treat severe headaches.

For a more symptomatic case a British drug addiction expert said using urine and saliva testing could be more akin to a drug-sniffing test than a traditional blood test.

Its a very quick test a little on the nose. It works and its adults people who know how to use it Denguella Taw senior lecturer at Scotlands Dundee University said.

She said the possible uses were to reassure addicts that they are healthy and that the drugs they have bought were safe.

Ketamine also known as inriptyramine is an anesthetic drug many use to ease the pain of severe drug addiction. Ketamine fits neatly into that category – far more potent than morphine and harder to detect given the dangerously high levels in the anaesthette drug.

However ketamine was found in pharmacies selling non-intoxication versions by the end of February Oct. 3 the British medical journal The Lancet said. The Lancet said it concluded there was a significant risk of diversion from users of non-overprescription drugs.

Urine and saliva are collected through tissues in the urethra at the rear end of the bladder at time of urine collection the British Medical Journal The Lancet reported.

Its just like a naloxone spray Taw said.

She said ketamine tests had been deployed by police in jail prisons and health workers in Britain.

Ketamine is produced by a number of firms including American company IVISSA and Indian drugmaker Vedanta Pharma based in the northern English city of Leeds.

In a search for ketamine the first result for IVISSA was: Keto filling ordered and a second result showed a denial-of-service complaint about its commercial sponsors.

A spokesman for IVISSA did not immediately reply to Reuters email asking for comment.

An IVISSA spokeswoman said the company was not concerned about the findings.

Vidanta acknowledged that urine-testing could detect ketamine. It called it an inferior testing method saying it would try to rectify the problem.

Customers should be able to opt for urine testing based on their individual preferences said Satashivah a spokesman for the company.

Drug police in Britain conduct urine-testing with cotton swabs and said it is not likely that the spray would catch the drug.

The determination to use urine testing as opposed to the diagnostic approach is down to individual taste (. . . ) but the option still remains on the table said Julian Northam director of research at the Drugs for Harm charity.

Britain tightened strict restrictions for heroin and methamphetamines following large-scale rises in drug use. Consumption of heroin and methamphetamines has been cut by 60 and each user is now required to register with police and have a doctor to verify they are not using the drugs.

Northam said he suspected the new results were due to the recommendation by a British court to use urine tests rather than diagnostic tests but he was not sure.

Asked about the new findings by Northam Taw said: Theres (a lot of) news around ketamine that the doctor cant say is useless. So its a whole other perspective.