Hair Drug Testing
Drugs (and their metabolites) can become encapsulated within body hair, becoming locked into a shaft of hair when it is formed below the scalp. This means that as the hair grows out so too does the segment containing any drug (or its metabolites). This can provide a record of a person’s drug use/exposure for several months, which allows testing to determine which drugs were taken over a protracted period, and can also indicate very approximately when, and in some cases give an indication of whether the pattern of use has changed. Hair provides invaluable information for evidence of sporadic, regular or isolated drug use.
This prolonged presence of drugs (and metabolites) in hair is also useful in the investigation of suspected drug use or administration (e.g. 'date rape', fabricated illness etc.) where there has been a delay in the incident coming to the attention of the authorities.
Advantages of Using Hair Testing
- Greater window of detection.
- Assessment of regular or sporadic use.
- Non-invasive collection protocols.
- Differentiates patterns of exposure.
- A very stable sample matrix, easy to ship.
- Allows for identification of a one off dose – useful for drug facilitated crime investigations.