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Understanding MOCCAB (6 Panel): A Deep Dive into Commonly Tested Drugs in the UK

Published 07/06/2024

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Frequently Requested Drug Tests for Legal Purposes

The acronym "MOCCAB", 6 panel, represents a panel of drugs frequently tested in the UK due to their prevalence and potential for abuse. Here’s a closer look at each of these substances, their common forms, legitimate uses, and how they might be abused. This 6 panel is most tested in hair strand drug testing and nail drug testing. 

Methamphetamines

Common Names and Brands:
Methamphetamine is often referred to as "Meth”, "Crystal”, "Ice". MDMA is commonly known as "Ecstasy", "Molly", or "E".

Form:
Methamphetamine typically appears as a crystal-like powder or shiny blue-white rocks. MDMA is usually found in pill form but can also come as a powder.

Legitimate Uses:
In the USA and some other countries methamphetamine (prescribed as Desoxyn) is sometimes used in the treatment of severe cases of ADHD and certain sleep disorders, but under very restricted and controlled conditions. However, it has no legal applications in the UK.

Abuse:
Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected, or taken orally. MDMA is often used recreationally for its euphoric and hallucinogenic effects, particularly at clubs and parties. Abuse leads to significant neurological and psychological damage.

Opiates

Common Names and Brands:
Includes Heroinwhich is colloquially referred to as “Brown”, “Gear” or “Smack”.  Morphine is usually prescription only and can be found in various forms including brands like Oramorph, Dihydrocodeine and Codeine are often found in prescription cough syrups and pain relievers which are available over the counter. 

Form:
Heroin is typically a white or brown powder or a black sticky substance known as "black tar heroin". Morphine and Codeine are usually found in pill or liquid form.

Legitimate Uses:
Morphine and Codeine are powerful pain relievers used in medical settings. Codeine is also used in cough syrups for its antitussive (cough suppressant) properties. Diamorphine, “the prescribed heroin,”  is a analgesic used in the treatment of severe pain.

Abuse:
Heroin is injected, snorted, or smoked and is highly addictive. Morphine and Codeine are also abused for their euphoric effects, often leading to opioid addiction and overdoses.

Cannabis

Common Names and Brands:
Known as "Marijuana", "Weed", "Pot", or "Hash" and includes "THC" (the psychoactive component) and "CBD" (cannabidiol, non-psychoactive).

Form:
Cannabis can be found as dried leaves and flowers ("buds"), which are smoked in a joint, bong, or vaporizer. Hash is a concentrated resin cake or ball. CBD is available in oils, creams, and edibles and can now be found in many high street health products.

Legitimate Uses:
THC is used medically in some regions to manage conditions like chronic pain, nausea, and muscle spasms. CBD is widely used to treat seizures, inflammation, pain, and anxiety without causing a high.

Abuse:
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug. It’s often smoked or incorporated into foods and beverages. Excessive use can lead to dependence and impair cognitive functions.

Cocaine

Common Names and Brands:
Cocaine is often referred to as "Coke", "Blow" or "Snow". Crack cocaine is simply called "Crack."

Form:
Cocaine appears as a fine, white, crystalline powder. Crack cocaine comes in solid blocks or crystals, varying in colour from yellow to pale rose or white.

Legitimate Uses:
In the USA and some other countries, Cocaine has limited medical uses as a local anaesthetic, particularly in some eye, ear, and throat surgeries. However, it has no legal applications in the UK.

Abuse:
Cocaine powder is snorted, rubbed into the gums, or dissolved and injected. Crack is heated and smoked. Both forms are highly addictive and stimulate the nervous system, which can lead  to severe physical and mental health issues.

Amphetamine

Common Names and Brands:
Colloquially known  as "Speed" but can be prescribed as Adderall, or Dexedrine.

Form:
Amphetamine is commonly available in pill form but can also be found as a powder.

Legitimate Uses:
Prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy because they improve focus and wakefulness.

Abuse:
When abused, amphetamines are taken in higher doses, snorted, or injected to enhance alertness and productivity. Abuse can lead to dangerous physical and psychological effects.

Benzodiazepines

Common Names and Brands:
Includes Valium (Diazepam), Xanax (Alprazolam), Ativan (Lorazepam), and Librium (Chlordiazepoxide).

Form:
These are typically prescribed as pills or tablets.

Legitimate Uses:
Benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms. They work by calming or sedating the user.

Abuse:
They are often abused for their tranquillising effects. Taking higher doses than prescribed, or without a prescription, can lead to addiction, overdose, and severe withdrawal symptoms.

Conclusion

Understanding the 6 panel / MOCCAB substances and their impacts is essential for those involved in legal cases. At AttoLife, we’re committed to providing accurate and legally admissible testing and analysis to support a range of drug testing needs. Whether you're a legal professional, employer, or concerned individual, our expertise is here to guide you through the complexities of toxicology testing.

AttoLife is equipped to meet your testing needs with reliability and expert support. Please get in touch with our team for any enquiry about, hair strand drug testing, nail drug testing or blood drug testing.