Cansford Labs - The Drug and Alcohol Testing Blog

Cansford says: Exploring Australian moves to drug test welfare recipients

Posted by John Wicks on Jul 6, 2018

In May 2017, the Australian government revealed plans to drug test welfare claimants. This politically divisive move has been the subject of significant discussion – and indeed criticism – across the Australian media. The argument has, in part, been one of cause and effect. Are drug users on welfare because they are drug users, or are they drug users because they are on welfare, because they are vulnerable, because they are at risk?

Some commentators have been at pains to point out the link between drug use and mental illness. Leading Australian mental health expert, Professor Patrick McGorry, described the plan as “an absolute disgrace,” asserting that “it fails to recognise that mental illness and drug and alcohol problems nearly always coexist, they’re a health problem and not a lifestyle choice.”

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Cansford says: Launch of world’s first fingerprint-based drug use confirmation test

Posted by John Wicks on Jun 8, 2018

If you want to find out drug levels in someone’s system, you have a few different options. You can analyse a sample of their urine, blood, sweat, breath or, of course, hair. Each will give you a picture of when the person used drugs, and the amount.

Not all tests give you the same information. Some tests, such as blood or saliva tests, give a small window of insight into a user’s drug use – hours and days. Others, like hair testing can analyse drug use over a longer period – weeks and months.

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[Cansford says] Norway's drug policies

Posted by John Wicks on May 23, 2018

Norway has made a bold change to its drug policy. The Scandinavian country, voted the happiest in the world in 2017, has recently decided to make its drug policies a public health - rather than a criminal - matter.

Following a letter to Norway's health minister Bent Høie, policymakers and stakeholders from several countries outlined ways in which to make the policy reform successful, designing a template for other countries to follow.

Many leading experts support Norway’s decision, which has followed in the footsteps of Portugal – the first country to decriminalise drug use back in 2001. Countries such as Ireland and France are also now moving towards decriminalisation. The UK however, is not.

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5 reasons why the Motherisk scandal shouldn’t happen again

Posted by Lolita Tsanaclis on Dec 6, 2017

In the interconnected scientific community, the reverberations of what happens in one corner of the globe can be felt all across it, especially when these reverberations have profound implications on people's lives.

A recent example is the Motherisk scandal in Canada. We were shocked and saddened, when we first heard of the case last year, and now that more information has come to light we decided to study it to understand how and why it happened.

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Which substances can hair testing detect?

Posted by John Wicks on Feb 20, 2017

Which substances can hair testing detect? The short answer is: almost anything. The longer answer is - as always - somewhat more nuanced. While it is true that any ingested substance that makes its way into the bloodstream will be subsequently detectable on hair fibres, this casts a very wide net indeed - and it’s getting wider all the time.  

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