R2R Flashback: Example from Elementary (CBS) Testing for Fentanyl

While watching a recent episode of Elementary (CBS), I was intrigued by the way Sherlock Holmes (portrayed by Jonny Lee Miller) tested an albuterol inhaler (usually used to treat acute asthma attacks) for fentanyl (an opioid pain medication) in the episode titled, “From Russia with Drugs} during season 7 episode 7 written by Sean Bennett.

While examining the contents of the victim’s medicine chest, Holmes notices an albuterol inhaler that the victim used to treat a cat allergy. While covering his nose and mouth with one hand, Holmes submerged the mouthpiece of the inhaler into a glass of water and discharged the medicine. Then, he placed a testing strip inside the water and within seconds, the results indicated a positive test for fentanyl.

I did some additional research and found that fentanyl test strips are intended for urine drug testing. So, this made me curious about how the writers either learned that discharging the aerosol into a glass of water could be a way to test for fentanyl or made the decision that this was an accurate and believable way to visually show a drug test in real time. What do you think?

Who wants to talk more about how you can use this idea in your current or next story?

[Credit: Emilie Lorditch]
E-mail emilie@real2reelscience.com Hours M-F: 5-10pm EDT, EST Weekends: 12-5pm and other times by appointment.
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