For the last eight years, I have worked as a probation officer, and in my line of work, useful information on drugs almost always comes in handy. The fact of the matter is that new drugs are becoming available all the time and it is hard to keep up with their effects. It is good to be able to understand just exactly what each drug will test positive for and what sort of interactions they may have. Knowing these things will help keep me one step ahead of my probationers when it comes to drug use.
Information on drugs can be extremely useful in the event that a person tests positive for a particular type of drug. For instance, I had a probationer once test positive for opiates and claimed that he had eaten a bunch of poppy seeds. The reality of the matter is that it is almost impossible to eat enough poppy seeds to test positive for opiates, and I could determine, simply by looking at the quantity of drug, that he had been using some type of pain killer, and likely morphine, for which he did not have a prescription.
Another bit of information on drugs that I found to be particularly useful was when I learned that using a Vick's inhaler can sometimes cause a person to provide a false positive for methamphetamine. Not surprisingly, this bit of information got out, and pretty soon everyone that tested positive for meth started claiming they had used a Vick's inhaler. Again, by running the urine specimen through a laboratory test, we could determine the level of methamphetamine and were able to rule out the possibility of an inhaler.
The information on drugs that we have been trained in as officers also comes in handy in terms of knowing what to expect when you go to a particular house where drug use is suspected. For instance, methamphetamine has a distinctive smell when it is "cooking," and I have been out at such houses on a couple of occasions where I caught that smell. I refused to go in, because I knew the house, or trailer as the case usually was, could blow up at any minute.
Information on drugs can prove to be very useful in my line of work, and I always welcome more information whenever the opportunity presents itself. The fact of the matter is that my probationers are sneaky and are up on the information that's out there, and if I know what they know, I am more prepared when they report and can better counter any falsehood on which they insist.