Sweat Patch Test - Not Recommended


The sweat patch is affixed to the skin in much the same way as a band-aid, and is worn for up to 14 days. The patch is used to detect the presence of drugs as excreted through perspiration. Individuals required to wear the sweat patch are those on probation or involved in child custody cases.

The problem with sweat patch testing is that it poses an unacceptably strong potential for false positive test results. False positives carry serious consequences for tested individuals - sometimes including incarceration or loss of child custody.

  • Scientific studies have demonstrated that environmental contamination can produce false positives in the sweat patch.

  • A recent study suggests that long-term storage of drugs in skin could lead to false positive test results. See Levisky, Bowerman, Jenkins, and Karch, "Drug Deposition in Adipose Tissue and Skin: Evidence for an Alternative Source of Positive Sweat Patch Tests," Forensic Science International 110 (2000) 35-46.

  • False positives can occur during application and removal of the sweat patch.

SurScan does not recommend this test!

For drug and alcohol testing details and scheduling, please contact
SurScan at 972.633.1388.


Note from the Drug Policy Alliance and DPA Network:

"The Drug Policy Alliance and DPA Network (www.drugpolicy.org) feel that the use of sweat testing in any of these settings is inappropriate, as published, peer-reviewed research has revealed serious problems with current sweat testing technology. We believe that sweat patch testing poses an unacceptably strong potential for false positive test results. False positives carry serious consequences for tested individuals - sometimes including incarceration or loss of child custody.

If you are involved in a court case where sweat patch evidence is being used, please Contact Us at legalaffairs@drugpolicy.org. Drug Policy Alliance tracks the use of the sweat patch, and in some cases can assist individuals in challenging the use or admission of sweat patch test results."