• 10-10-2008: The SUN-Houston Community Newspaper

     copperfield_sun


    Home drug test detects usage with hair sample

     


    With both illegal and prescription drug use on the rise, parents are taking extra precautions to find out what their children are doing while they aren’t around.

    One in five teens, about 4.5 million, have taken prescription painkillers such as OxyCodin or Vicodin to get high. In 2006, 7 million Americans used these pills for non-medical purposes, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

    Noting these statistics, San Diego-based Confirm Biosciences aims to put the control back in parents’ hands with their new diagnostic test kit, HairConfirm Prescription, which allows parents to take a hair sample from their kids and find out within 24 to 48 hours whether or not they are drug- and prescription-free.


    Confirm Biosciences has developed a product that allows parents to find out if their children are using drugs by sending in a sample of their hair.



    CEO Zeynep Ilgaz said HairConfirm is the first product on the market that allows the hair test to be sold over the counter, provide a detailed report of the amount of each chemical detected, and show the ranges found in recreational, weekend and constant users.

    Zeynap said that many kids are under the impression that because the drugs are legal, they are safe.

    "Parent’s should be very aware of this," she said. "There are a lot of deaths coming from prescription drug abuse. People don’t think that it can harm you because it prescription drugs, but that’s not the case."

    Zeynap said a urine test usually requires a seven-day window to detect substance use, but a hair test can read as far back as three months.

    Drug testing, she stressed, is not a solution, and open communication should be kept between parents and children to encourage prevention.

    "Talking to a lot of parents, you aren’t a popular parent by doing this," Zeynap said. "But it’s not about being a popular parent; it’s about not letting your child become a drug addict."

    The company has seen many cases where parents started using their product after the fact, but were able to help their offspring once they determined what they problem was.

    "We had a kid whose test results showed 40,000 milligrams of cocaine," Zeynap said. "It was so obvious the individual was doing drugs. They talked to them and they eventually went to rehab, They’ve been clean since then."

    HairConfirm is now available in drug stores throughout the country.

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    Categories: HairConfirm In the News

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