DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTS
Novel drug & alcohol tests. We test for more then 2000 substances
Hair Strand Drug Testing
With a little understanding of the science that underpins Hair Strand Drug Testing, the most appropriate testing options can be determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the history of drug use, claimed cessation, and issues of potential environment contamination. Key to the provision of accurate evidence is ordering the most appropriate tests. Before we examine the most appropriate Hair Strand Testing options in different cases, it's important to understand how hair grows, and thus, how it can be analysed it to assess historical consumption.
Hair consists primarily of a strong structural protein called keratin. It forms in the hair follicle, below the scalp, where it is fed by blood vessels and bathed with all the nutrients needed to grow. When drugs are consumed, they enter the
bloodstream and are incorporated into the growing hair shaft. In this way, hair strand drug testing tends to be more
straightforward than alcohol testing – as this route of entry via the blood vessels means that drugs, and their metabolites, are fixed within the hair shaft and thus provide a clear timeline of consumption with little migration up or down the hair. The further from the scalp we examine, the further back in time we go. As head hair grows at an average rate of 1cm per month (although this can vary between people), an analysis of 3cm allows us to assess consumption over the last 3 months.
It's important to consider the fact that there is a short distance (approximately 4mm) that the newly forming hair must
travel to exit the hair follicle, grow above the scalp, and be sampled. This means that hair samples provide a detection
window that begins approximately 2 weeks before the time of the sample collection, and goes back in time from there. The maximum recommended period of time assessed is a year (12cm), as increasing hair damage and environmental exposure beyond this point can reduce the level of substances, and as such, the reliability of the test.
Common Drugs tested
Cannabis, Cocaine, Opiates (inc Heroin), Amphetamines, Methamphetamines, Benzodiazepines (e.g. Valium), Methadone, Mephedrone and Ketamine