Posts Tagged hair drug test
Ms. Sally Wong, Commissioner for Narcotics in Hong Kong, said that the scheme was launched in order to have an alternative drug-testing method to those who are involved in drug treatment and rehabilitation as well as services for the youth. In addition, the pilot will serve as a gauge as to the demand for this particular method that service providers will have in preparation for the transfer of this technology to the industry.
Ordinarily, urine drug testing is used as the main method for testing for drug use in Hong Kong. While it is convenient and fast, it can only detect drug use within a window of a few days; if not done at random, drug users will have time to cleanse themselves of drugs in their system before submitting themselves to a test. In contrast, the use of hair samples for drug testing has the ability to detect drug use from a range of weeks – even months.
Ms. Wong mentioned that hair and urine testing will play complementary roles with each other.
She also shared that for the duration of the pilot scheme, the Government Laboratory will be testing 50 hair samples a week for cannabis, cocaine, cough syrup, ecstasy, ice and ketamine. The hair samples – as in urine samples, will have to be provided voluntarily.
The scheme is open to Counselling Centres for Psychotropic Substance Abusers, drug treatment and rehabilitation centres, Substance Abuse Clinics under the Hospital Authority and youth outreaching groups.
The hair drug test is perhaps the most trusted among all the drug testing methods being administered at present. Not only does the hair contain information about the history of drug use, it can also detect levels of heavy metals, date rape drugs, alcohol, antidepressants, poisons and other toxins that the body has taken in.
What can it detect?
Hair samples for drug testing are able to detect all major drug types, including cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and phencyclidine (PCP). Hair drug testing detects the smallest amounts of illicit substances which are held in the hair’s cortex.
How far back can it detect?
Among all the drug tests available, it provides the longest detection time. It can trace drug history back up to 90 days using only about two inches of hair, representing about 3 months of growth. Results from hair follicle drug testing are well trusted because there are no known adulterants for this kind of test. Shampoos, hair dyes,conditioners and other hair products do not affect the results of the drug tests.
How accurate is it?
Most companies now adapt hair follicle drug testing because it is very hard to fool and it is accurate in measuring the amount of drugs that a person has taken. Even though hair follicle drug testing is a much more expensive method, it provides a much better level of accuracy and significantly longer history. Despite several debates on the use of hair drug tests on teens by parents, hair drug testing remains to be the tool of choice to test their children or loved ones. It is accurate, yet can be done in the privacy of home. You can collect the sample yourself and send it to the laboratory in full confidentiality.
Urine drug testing and hair drug testing are among the most popular methods of drug detection. Below is a short comparison of these 2 methods.
Urine drugs testing is one of the simplest and least expensive methods of drug testing. It can be easily administered at home or at work, although it may be better to have the guidance and supervision of professionals and the use of proper lab equipment for more accurate results. Urine drug testing is able to detect drug and alcohol use within one or two weeks. Urine testing has a number of notable weaknesses and loopholes. Because it takes a while for the drugs to appear in the urine, it would take at most three hours for them to be detectable. Urine tests are also easily affected by simple adulteration methods.
Hair follicle drug testing has proven to be a better alternative to urine tests for a number of reasons. It is capable of detecting a longer history of drug or alcohol intake, up to about 3 to 6 months after intake. This method of drug testing is capable of determining the patterns of drug abuse. Its only drawback is that it is relatively more expensive than a regular urine test. Even with the relatively higher cost of hair follicle drug testing, it is clearly the more conclusive and better method of drug testing.
Hair follicle testing is a manner of drug testing wherein strands of hair are searched for traces of drugs. The drugs that can be detected through hair follicles include Phencyclidine (PCP), Methamphetamine (Methamphetamine/Amphetamine & Ecstasy), Cocaine (Cocaine & Benzoylecgonine), Marijuana and Opiates (Codeine, Morphine & 6-Monacteyl Morphine).
Compared to a urine test, hair drug analysis is a far more effective method of testing especially in identifying low-level drug use over an extended period of time. Hair follicle testing can trace a drug intake history of 90 days, depending on the person’s hair growth rate. After a drug is ingested whether smoked, snorted, ingested, or injected, metabolites which are intermediates of metabolism are produced as the drug is processed by the body. As these metabolites and drugs are circulated in the body, they nourish hair follicles which are consequently introduced into the hair strand.
A standard hair follicle test requires about 40 milligrams of hair, or approximately 50 to 70 strands of hair for proper results. Hair strands that are approximately 1.5 inches in length are used. If no head hair is available as a result of balding, body hair can be tested as a substitute. They can be collected and then combined to meet the required quantity of hair.
Hair follicle testing is easy and discreet. Parents who want to know whether or not their child is using drugs can benefit from its discretion by collecting hair strands. Easy-to-use hair follicle testing kits are available on the market, which are beneficial because of its confidentiality. By using hair drug testing at home, parents can take preventive measures or help with the child’s recovery, if he has been found already abusing drugs.
Drug testing can sometimes lead to sticky situations, especially when the reliability of the test is questionable. One method of testing is done using hair, and this is actually one of the most reliable drug tests today.
Hair can be collected anywhere around the patient’s body. It doesn’t have to be just hair on his head. If he shaved his head before testing, you can take some hair from his face, arms, or legs. Of course, you would need a substantial amount of hair for the testing to have valid results, especially if the hair that you collected is shorter than needed.
Another clear advantage is that hair takes up to 90 days to detect drug use. Other forms of testing that utilize urine and blood have only a maximum detection period of 7 days, which is just a blink of an eye for hair drug testing. Not only can you determine drug use, but you can also find out how long the person has been using drugs.
Of course, with its advantages over other testing methods, one can expect it to be more expensive. Despite the difference in price, it is generally worth it. The reliability of the test offsets its cost.
With these things in mind, it is not hard to see why hair drug testing is becoming more and more popular as a preferred testing method. The source material is readily available at any time, since everyone has hair somewhere on their bodies, and the detection window for drug use is a lot longer than when you use blood or urine.