December 5, 2021

Contra Mare

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Drug Testing: Hair and Saliva

Hair, Saliva or Urine—Which Is Best for Drug-Testing Job Candidates?

Today, conducting a drug test to detect the presence of different substances in people is easy, inexpensive and effective . Whether this is done for work or personal reasons.

However, there is a variety of methods for conducting the test drugs are not well known. In addition, along with the method to be used, the test protocol used to guarantee the test result is relevant.

The methodology for investigating drugs in people has changed a lot and today it is possible to find saliva tests , in addition to the mythical hair test . But how do you determine the best way to test drugs? That answer is not easy to deliver, because everything will depend on what is being sought in each case. Click here if you need Drug Testing Supplies.

Hair drug test

To perform this test, it is necessary to cut a gram of any hair on the body , at least 3 centimeters long . This must be sent to a laboratory for analysis where it will be detected consumption in within 10 to 90 days.

With this test, it is possible to detect the consumption of a wide variety of different types of drugs , the most common being: marijuana, opiates (codeine, morphine and 6 monoacetyl morphine), cocaine (cocaine and benzoylecgonine), amphetamines, (methamphetamine) and ecstasy) and phencyclidine (angel dust) . This, since it measures the drug molecules that lodge in the hair , which eliminates external contamination that can alter the result.

It is possible to test these substances in the hair , because the growth of this is fed by the blood circulation , which allows that the intake of drugs (or the abuse of these) is reflected in the hair of the person . At the same time, as it is contained within each hair fiber , the test result is not altered by shampoo, dye or other external chemical.

This test can be performed in a laboratory, where the sample is extracted and the chain of custody is carried out to send it for analysis.

It can be thought that this is a test that only offers advantages for drug detection. However, it has a few disadvantages : the substances take 10 days to appear in the hair, it is invasive, its cost is high and it does not offer immediate results , since the analysis takes 10 days, not being very effective in the workplace where Immediate results are required, due to the need to avoid risky behaviors that can cause accidents.

Therefore, it is advisable to do it when a historical study regarding consumption is required , since in that sense it is the most effective.

Saliva drug test

This test is carried out in situ and is capable of detecting the immediate consumption of substances of abuse. To do this, you have to take a saliva sample with the test and wait for the result to be returned . Thus, it is not necessary that it be sent to a laboratory, but anyone can administer the test and interpret its results. Keep in mind that each detection device has a minimum amount of saliva that must be deposited for the analysis to take place.

With this test, it is possible to detect the consumption of a wide variety of different types of drugs , the most common being: marijuana, opiates (codeine, morphine and 6 monoacetyl morphine), cocaine (cocaine and benzoylecgonine), amphetamines, (methamphetamine) and Narcotestecstasy) and phencyclidine (angel dust). This, since it measures the drug molecules that are lodged in saliva , which makes sampling more complicated when substances that reduce salivation are consumed.

In the case of saliva, the drugs are detected in its immediate consumption or, at most, two days later. Likewise, it does not give an exact number of amount consumed , since these tests are designed to detect the consumption of the substance from a certain amount upwards , that is, for example, if the cut-off point is 20 nanograms of cocaine per milliliter of saliva , the test will give positive to each drug that exceeds this minimum in the saliva of the person tested. Each saliva drug test has a specific cut-off point , which generally conforms to the current regulations of the country in which it is manufactured.

This test can be performed anywhere, since it is a field test that is performed where required and delivers results in 10-15 minutes. This is how it has been transformed into the ideal test for drug control conductors and is used by many police in the world, for example , German and Spanish. Importantly e s will is an examination of “field” or “primary” so if a driver tests positive for this type of test must be confirmed by a urine test in a laboratory through chromatography.

Thus, this test offers the advantage of being used as an alcotest, that is, to measure in situ whether or not drugs have been used recently . However, in order to have an exact amount of consumption or to see if the consumption is sustained over time, it will be necessary to carry out other types of tests.

Therefore, it is recommended when it is necessary to know if the person has used drugs a few hours ago , since it is effective and less invasive for the detection of immediate use.

You may wonder, what are its disadvantages ? Saliva tests still present several technical problems , the most common being that marijuana does not fix well on the test strip , which causes false negatives . On the other hand, this technique still gives many false positives due to cross reactions with substances that the person may have in the mouth and that alter the composition of saliva. Finally, if confirmation of the result is required, a urine or blood sample must be requested from the donor , which makes the process longer.

In short, it is expected that in a few years replace saliva urine as the gold standard for measuring drugs , but this remains to develop their technique.