Hair drug testing (also referred to as hair strand testing [HST]) is routinely used in the forensic and family law fields and is considered the gold standard for providing a history of drug abuse. Now, this accurate drug test is available at our Walk in Centre in Cardiff (Grange Medical Practice in Grangetown).
Head hair grows at an average rate of 1 cm each month; therefore, drug use can be established over a defined period depending on the length of hair selected. The accuracy of hair drug testing depends on both the sampling procedure and the laboratory techniques employed. With AlphaBiolabs you can be sure of both these elements being performed efficiently and quickly to bring you rapid results.
Getting a sample for hair drug testing in Cardiff
Hair strand samples can be collected by our trained sample collector at the Cardiff Walk in Centre. The sample needs to be cut from the highest point of the scalp and needs to contain around 200 individual strands. The hair sample is usually taken from a discrete area, wherever possible.
If head hair is not available alternative collection sites on the body could be considered including chest, back, arm, underarm and leg hair. The growth rate of hair from these alternate sites differs from head hair and as such cannot be used to determine a specific timeframe of drug use. Beard hair grows at a rate of 0.7 cm a month, so analysis of this type of hair can provide a more specific timeframe.
Hair drug tests in Cardiff
There are two types of head hair drug tests available in Cardiff: overview or segmented analysis. An overview analysis can provide a general indication of drug use. This could range from 3 cm to identify drug use within that 3-month time period, up to 6 or even 12 months, dependent on the length of hair available. In an overview test, any episodes of drug taking are averaged out over the period being tested. For example, if an individual has not taken drugs for 5 months but then takes an excessive amount in 1 month, drug markers will be found along the entire length of the hair.
Segmented analysis provides a more detailed analysis and the episode of drug taking can be pinpointed to the actual month. In a 6-month segmented analysis, hair samples are sectioned into six segments of 1 cm to provide six individual monthly analyses. Segmented analysis is therefore especially useful if you need to obtain a trend in drug use, such as to see a decrease or increase, or to highlight intermittent use.
For more information about hair drug testing in Cardiff: