Cansford Labs - The Drug and Alcohol Testing Blog

Building a history of substance use: How hair testing can help

Posted by Lolita Tsanaclis on Jan 12, 2018

Hair tests are a reliable, fast and cost-effective way of proving drug or alcohol use.

They’re highly accurate, with a long detection window and almost impossible to cheat - and that’s not all. With the right techniques, hair tests can also give rich information about the nature of, and conditions for, substance use by an individual.

What additional information can hair tests provide, beyond the bare fact of whether a person used drugs or alcohol?

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Can hair testing play a role in reducing parental alienation?

Posted by Lolita Tsanaclis on Jan 3, 2018

Neil Sedaka had it right: ‘Breaking up is hard to do’.

Ending an intimate relationship is hard to do nicely. If the people splitting up have dependent children, the stakes get higher. Add alcohol or drug problems to the mix and the potential for lasting harm increases exponentially.

Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) reports to courts on the welfare and safeguarding of children. They are consulting on a ‘High Conflict Practice Pathway’ designed to tackle ‘parental alienation’ - when one parent actively tries to turn a child against the other. The pathway, to be implemented in 2018, focuses attention on the needs of children when parents split acrimoniously.

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Bald as a coot? You can still be hair-tested. Here’s why

Posted by Lolita Tsanaclis on Nov 16, 2017

Hair testing for drugs and alcohol. It’s fast, accurate and can detect substance use dating back months.

But what about baldness?

Often, potential users dismiss hair testing on the grounds that their donor has no head hair. Many turn to nail testing as an alternative – an unregulated and impractical method which is still being evaluated scientifically to give an indication when a donor drank alcohol or used drugs.

They needn’t look elsewhere. Even bald donors can be hair tested using hair from their body.

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Hair drug and alcohol testing: Glossary of terms

Posted by Lolita Tsanaclis on Nov 12, 2017

Hair testing can be a complex subject to get to grips with - which is why we’ve published our FAQs for family lawyers, as well as our ‘Hair Testing 101’ articles that cover how drugs enter the hair, some of the techniques involved, and the importance of process.  

It’s a field where scientific terminology and acronyms - from metabolites to LC-MS/MS - can bewilder and bamboozle, and it’s easy to become blinded by the science involved. Ignoring the science altogether is one option, but a basic understanding of the terminology can help you understand how drug and alcohol test results come to pass, how we interpret them the way we do and what the results really mean.

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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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