Cricket is set to introduce hair strand testing after the inquest into the death of tragic cricketer Tom Maynard was shown to be drug-related. Likely to be introduced this summer, hair strand drug testing will help the Professional Cricket Association decide what way they should proceed with their drug testing methods and deal with the problem of recreational drug use.
What is a hair strand test?
A hair strand test is an increasingly common way of testing for drug or alcohol abuse. Whilst regular urine tests only detect drugs for a short period of time after they are taken as the body processes them quickly, here strand testing can give a more accurate picture. Molecules in the hair record drug use and many employers and the legal system use hair strand testing.
Who might have to have a hair strand test?
Drug testing can be used in most professions, for example the military, care professions and especially those roles where the safety of others is concerned. Drug testing is used extensively in the world of sport to catch athletes trying to cheat by taking performance enhancing drugs.
Hair strand testing is also commonly used in cases concerning child welfare. Parental substance abuse can put children at risk are more likely to suffer from abuse or neglect. Hair strand tests are the only reliable way to get an honest profile of alcohol and drug use as an addict may lie to cover up their problems. Social workers in the UK are more commonly using this method when assessing child welfare cases.
How much hair is needed for a hair strand test?
Usually around 50- 100 hairs are needed for a hair strand test. This is about the width of a pencil. Shaving your head won’t help avoid detection, hair can be taken from elsewhere on the body.
How far back can a hair strand test go?
Depending on length of the hair drug testing can show around the last 12 months of drug use.
How effective are hair strand tests?
Here strand test some of the most effective ways of checking the true history of someone’s drug use. The addict me look to cover up their drug use for a variety of reasons, fearing negative consequences but a hair strand test cannot lie. Whilst being able to provide a detailed history of drug use, here strand testing is not as accurate when testing alcohol but can tell of overall excessive drinking.
Treating substance abuse
The PCA are using hair strand testing as a prevention method to help those with undisclosed problems seek help. They promised to treat any positive results fairly and in confidence. This is an interesting approach and has been adopted by some other forwardthinking employers and societies.
Counselling and therapy
at the heart of any addiction, there are deep-rooted problems that may require therapy and counselling. Addressing the reasons behind the addiction and help deal with triggers and temptation can help someone who has substance abuse problems. Conditions such as alcoholism and drug addiction can be treated, although not “cured” in the everyday sense. Addiction is a progressive illness but it can be halted. Beating an addiction is a lifelong process.
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