Hair Analysis Helps Spot Drug Abusers!

Hair Analysis Helps Spot Drug Abusers!
Posted by FoM on March 14, 1999 at 06:17:24 PT

Hair analysis is growing ever more popular for pre-employment and random screening for illegal drug use, according to staff at the Salt Lake Industrial Clinics, which have just joined the ranks of those offering hair screening as an alternative to or in conjunction with urinalysis.
A drug user could miss out on a great job by just a hair. Or rather, a lock of hair.While the hair analysis method, called radioimmunoassay of hair, has been around for a decade, more companies have signed on to use it recently. The industrial clinics, which do drug testing for thousands of Utah employers, just started offering the test a couple of weeks ago.Using a swath of hair about 1 1/2 inches long and about 60 hairs thick, testers can check for use of marijuana, cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine and PCP  the same drugs generally tested for with urinalysis. But while a urine sample can find drug use within the past several days, the hair sampling technique promises to check for use in the past 90 days.Ingested drugs circulate in the bloodstream, which nourishes the hair follicle. Trace amounts of the drug become entrapped in the core of the hair shaft and cannot be washed or bleached out.Proponents say hair analysis can tell how frequently the illegal drug is used and in what quantities, something urinalysis can't tell. And since the hair is taken in person and the subject signs off three times on the packaging of the sample, hair analysis avoids some of the problems that have been associated with urinalysis, according to Becky Oliver of the clinics. It's harder to substitute samples or take something to prevent drug usage from showing up. People can beat urinanalysis by abstaining for several days. That won't help with hair analysis.In comparisons of the two testing methods, five to 10 times as many drug abusers are accurately identified with the hair analysis.But there are down sides to the testing, as well. For one thing, hair analysis can't be used after an industrial accident to find out whether drugs were involved, since it can't narrow the usage time as narrowly as urinalysis. It's only good for pre-employment and random screening. And the process isn't federally regulated, as it is for urinalysis, according to Jodi DeJong, center spokeswoman. That means some agencies can't use hair analysis in place of urinalysis, because federal regulation is mandated.,1249,70001499,00.html?
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Comment #2 posted by LETHA ARMSTRONG on March 29, 2000 at 00:03:02 PT:
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Comment #1 posted by armstrong on March 28, 2000 at 23:55:17 PT:
hair follicle meth test
what does a test that reveals anumber reading of 1,250+
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