Cansford becomes first UK lab to be able to test for new cut-offs for alcohol abstinence
In 2019, we announced that we had worked to develop a fully validated assay for the quantification of ethyl glucuronide (EtG) - an alcohol marker in hair - down to 7 pg/mg, allowing us to test EtG levels in hair not only to determine excessive drinking, but to determine abstinence. EtG in hair is the preferred marker for the assessment of abstinence.
For family solicitors and social services, the need to prove self-reported abstinence can be crucial, and the decisions that are made as a result can be life changing for individuals and their families. That’s why we are continually improving our processes to provide clarity where it's most needed.
We are therefore pleased to announce that we are now able to provide a cut off level of 5 pg/mg inline with the Society of Hair Testings latest guidance.
The 7 pg/mg EtG level to show abstinence was originally posited by the Society of Hair Testing (SoHT). However, the SoHT have since revised their guidance to drop the cut-off for abstinence from 7 pg/mg to 5 pg/mg. The revision of the consensus on alcohol markers was prepared by a committee of experts, which included Cansford’s Dr Lolita Tsanaclis, and was approved by the General Assembly of SoHT at Lille in May 2019.
The revision states that a concentration lower than or equal to 5 pg/mg EtG in a head hair segment with a length up to 6 cm does not contradict self-reported abstinence, however, a concentration greater than 5 pg/mg EtG can contradict self-reported abstinence.
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Since this revision was made, the team at Cansford has been working hard to make the necessary improvements to our own laboratory testing, to ensure that this new, lower cut-off can be met in accordance with SoHT guidelines for alcohol testing. We have now successfully improved the sensitivity of our EtG hair alcohol tests - a feat that has yet to be achieved by no other UK laboratory.
- To learn more about the services that we offer, download our complete guide to hair drug and alcohol testing for social work.
The UK’s first kratom testing service
The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for a huge number of business sectors, with companies of all types and sizes finding that in order to come out the other side even stronger, it is more important than ever to adapt and innovate.
At Cansford Labs, we have recently incorporated PEth blood testing for alcohol and psilocin hair strand testing to establish whether an individual has used magic mushrooms, as well as creating new business processes to enable us to continue to operate throughout the pandemic.
We’re committed to constantly improving our offering to ensure that the level of service we offer to those requiring drug and alcohol testing is the highest it can possibly be. Here are another two ways we have enhanced our service offering over the last few months to help clients to handle some tricky situations.
Kratom - or mitrogyna speciosa - is an evergreen tree that is part of the coffee family. It’s native to a number of Southeast Asian countries. The leaves of the kratom tree contain two different compounds that react with opioid receptors in the brain, which has led people in the western world to use the leaves to treat chronic pain, or to manage the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
Its effects are such that kratom has been declared a controlled substance in 16 countries, while the US FDA has also banned its import and manufacture as a dietary supplement.
- We test for many different substances, in a range of ways - get in touch for a quote.
With kratom far more likely to be abused in Asian countries than in the UK, we were surprised - and intrigued - when a Cansford Labs client contacted us to establish whether we could test an employee specifically for this substance.
At the time, it was not a substance included on our testing list. So, we developed a specific test for kratom. This made us the only laboratory that currently offers a test for this substance in the UK.
Image by tonhom1009 via Adobe Stock
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