November 19, 2007
Hair Multi Drug Test Kit:
– Key ingredients: One hair specimen transport foil piece, one specimen ID card, one hair specimen envelope, one clear pouch and one pre-paid shipping mailer.
– The pitch: An anti-drug tool to detect use of cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines and PCP, and discourage your child from trying drugs.
– How it works: Hair testing is based on the premise that drugs ingested in the body travel through the bloodstream and are deposited in hair follicles. Traces remain in the hair. Since hair grows at the rate of a half-inch a month, the test uses the hair closest to the scalp to detect drug use for the last 90 days.
– Pros: Student-athletes subjected to drug testing at an Oregon high school were four times less likely to use drugs than athletes not testing, according to a 2002 study by Oregon Health & Sciences University. Hair testing is less invasive, more resistant to tampering and reveals abuse over a much longer time than urine testing.
– Cons: In March, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement opposing home drug testing. The medical group prefers worried parents have their children tested by qualified doctors or treatment specialists because of the possibility of error or tampering. The Drug Policy Alliance, a national nonprofit agency, says parental testing tears at the bond between children and adults.
– Bottom line: To trust or to test? If parents want to test their kids at home, it’s their choice, but be prepared to seek professional help and treatment if results come back positive. Urine tests are cheaper, but they won’t detect long-term use.
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