Cansford Labs - The Drug and Alcohol Testing Blog

Hair drug and alcohol testing in sport: What do you need to know?

Posted by John Wicks on Oct 16, 2017

What do Justin Gatlin, Lance Armstrong and the Russian athletics team have in common?

Answer: they’ve all contributed to a fall in the numbers of fans who believe in the integrity of the sporting world.

In 2017, UK Anti-Doping organised the first Clean Sport Week to help to fight cheats. UKAD research reveals that 48% of UK adults believe that doping is widespread in sport, while two-thirds stated that high-profile accounts of drug usage by elite performers has eroded their faith in sport.

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The importance of dynamic drug testing for social workers

Posted by John Wicks on Oct 4, 2017

There are 11 million children - under-18s - in England. During 2016, over 390,000 children received some form of support from social care services; over 58,000 children were judged at risk of abuse

During a 2015-16 survey period, around 2.7 million adults took illicit or controlled drugs; 2.5 million adults reported regularly drinking over 14 units of alcohol per day.

There’s an overlap. Its size is difficult to identify, since none of the published studies account for overlaps and most don’t have compatible sample sizes or time periods. Nonetheless, in 2012 a Full Fact review suggested between 950,000 to 1.9 million children are living with parents who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

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How does external contamination affect the results of a hair drug test?

Posted by John Wicks on Oct 1, 2017

For drug users, the prospect of an upcoming hair test can lead to some questionable reactions. While some will quietly – but reluctantly – accept their fate, others believe that they can circumvent the system by bleaching their hair, wearing a wig or shaving their head.

These tactics don’t work.

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Why context is everything for hair testing and social care

Posted by Lolita Tsanaclis on Sep 24, 2017

Tabloid talk shows would have us believe that polygraph tests reliably inform us of the truth. The fallout from these results plays out in front of a live audience for our viewing pleasure. But in reality, lie detector tests are not dependable - a report by the American Polygraph Association found that polygraphs fail about 15% of the time.

Just as we assume Jeremy Kyle will offer us definitive proof about his guests’ shenanigans, many expect hair drug and alcohol testing to provide a concrete answer, too. Unlike polygraphs, hair testing delivers conclusive results; 99% of the time. However, the result (a yes or no as to whether there are drugs in the system of the person we test) is not the full story. The details of use and the interpretations can be less clear.

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How much do hair tests really cost?

Posted by John Wicks on Sep 18, 2017

At the moment of critical proof for social care, what are the real costs of hair drug and alcohol tests?

There’s more than just money at stake. There’s the professional and public relations cost of being wrong, casting doubt on previous and potentially future interpretations. Most importantly of all, there are the personal costs for individuals in care, for families and children - decisions in social care are life-changing, and have to be made on the most solid basis available.

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