David Gust was truly a pioneer.
I remember specifically when he walked into my laboratory (Drug Detection Laboratories, Inc) in the early part of 1986 and asked if we could design a drug testing protocol for testing adolescents with addiction problems. He explained that he needed a test to be specific but also to be capable of producing a reliable report when a specific drug (or alcohol) was not there. This was in contrast to typical drug testing procedures at the time, which were focused on identifying the drug confidently but not concerned about false negatives.
We designed a specific protocol under David Gust’s suggestions, which was focused on sensitivity to provide reliable information to demonstrate that the substance was not present and/or that reliably confirmed that the individual had not used since the last test. This service was not available from any typical toxicology labs at the time, and it was ground-breaking for the drug testing industry providing a heretofore unavailable service for counseling agencies and subsequently the courts involving child custody cases.
David’s creative instincts were spot on with the drug testing protocol, but this was only a minor part of his treatment model. Over the years his treatment protocols for addiction counseling were being used by dozens if not hundreds of counselors, not just In the Northern California area but across the entire country, which has helped untold thousands of people (adolescents and adults suffering from addition issues).
Thinking back, I did not realize at that time, the potential magnitude of the impact our first meeting would have not only on the addiction counseling industry but on the drug testing industry as well.
I consider myself both fortunate and honored to have played a part in this legacy.