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    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    Apr 21, 2009, 01:42 PM
    Drug Metabolism (How long does a drug stay in your system)
    What you need to do is locate the half-life of a drug. An easy way to find that is to do a search for "<drug name> physician prescribing information". Generally, the rule of thumb is 99% of the drug will be eliminated after 5 time constants or 5 times the half-life have passed.

    Your particular metabolism and the length of continuous use will affect your actual elimination. Pay attention to the routes of elimination, for if you have an impairment there, it will affect it even more.

    Hair Follicle Testing

    A note for hair follicle testing. Basically the detection time depends on how fast your hair grows and how long it is. Your hair grows about 1/2" per month. A 90 day assay is common.
    Staceyb203's Avatar
    Staceyb203 Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 4, 2012, 11:45 PM
    If you call any lab that has conducted hair testing on your hair they will not help you. IN FACT they will REFUSE to answer ANY questions if you are a donor. Most of your investigating will have to be done on your own time and with your own sources which will be solely up to you to produce. Upon my investigation of hair testing I found so much controversial information, it would make the public sick to know that something so inaccurate can be used to determine the future of a child. First, hair testing is 5-10 times more accurate at finding TRACES of substance abuse. In fact hair testing really is only supposed to be used to determine whether someone is a DRUG USER. It is advertised as a source for employers to find out pre-employment if they run the risk of HIRING a DRUG USER, since drug users cost companies thousands more in healthcare coverage than non-drug users. Hair testing CANNOT determine whether an illicit drug was used on a specific day or week. Hair testing is more accurate because the process not only tests for the drug itself, but chemicals and metabolites the drugs break down into LONG AFTER the initial use of the drug. In fact it is known that certain metabolites can stay in users body up to 6 months after initial use. Bad news for addicts in recovery, unless the organization is well WELL educated (or lab workers themselves) a positive hair test can be misconstrued as ACTIVE USE. The process is an APPROXIMATE ESTIMATION. Meaning it relies on too many factors to say without a reasonable doubt that this person used in the last 3 months. Some of these factors include but are NOT limited too, rate of hair growth (one persons hair may grow 5x faster than anothers there is no way to know for sure how fast someone's hair may grow and the amount of things that can affect the rate of hair growth is infinite.) , where the hair is taken from on the head (some areas grow at a faster rate than others), How much of a drug was used before abstinence, the individuals metabolism (this also varies greatly and can affect deposits into the hair shaft in different ways, for example, if your have a fast metabolism your body would be getting rid of higher amounts of metabolites which would reflect higher levels but it would disperse of them quicker so the longer time passes between drug use and collection date could mean the difference between a positive or negative result.), how far from the scalp of the donor's head the hair was cut ( hair cannot be collected from the root so when it's cut if there is any hair left between the cut and the scalp the length needs to be taken into consideration.) The way hair testing is performed is the following: An inch and a half of hair is collected from the donor close to the scalp from the crown of the head. It is sent to the lab and then chemically washed. The hair is then cut into 3 segments a half inch apart each starting from the end closest to the scalp. The three SEPARATE sections are supposed to stand for a month each meaning that the first half inch of hair from the cut is considered days 1-30, the second half inch are days 31-60 and the last half inch is days 61-90. The problem is that this is an approximation. If the user abstained 45 days into the test it can still come back positive. Especially if they were using significantly HIGH amounts of drugs. The test isn't at all accurate enough to pinpoint specific days which means its not accurate enough to cancel out negative urinalysis', ESPECIALLY if those urines were supervised. It takes time from the date of drug use to the day it enters the hair shaft. It takes even MORE time for that hair to exit the scalp and even more time after that for the hair to grow to a considerable length to be included in collection. For instance, just because the hair was collected on Jun 15 doesn't mean the donor didn't use on June 15 (considering the test came back negative). IN FACT some scientists state that it could take up to 2 weeks or LONGER for the part of the hair that has the drug in it to be available for collection. If your collection date is June 15 then DCF will state that the test covers the following: Days 1-30 6/15-5/15, Days 31-60 4/15-5/14 and days 61-90 3/15-4/14. It's kind of confusing but if you think about it day 1 would be considered the collection date. The test is looking back 90 days so day 90 would be 90 days from the date of collection. The problem is that it isn't accurate when it comes to timing, hair growth, and exact measurements. The 3 separate segments of 1/2 inch each are put into test tubes melted down and shaken up and put into a machine to react with chemicals. The truth is that the smallest section of hair is a half inch. If my hair grows slower than a half inch a month and for example it only grows a 1/4 inch per month, not only is the test going to be covering the last 6 MONTHS but the test is going to come up positive for the last section of hair which DCF will try to say is the last 30 days but if my hair grows only a 1/4 inch per month than that half inch segment REALLY covers the last 60 DAYS and the entire test covers the last 6 months!! If then that half inch of hair covers the last 60 days then if I used on day 60 and 59 (remember day 1 would be the collection date) then that half inch will come up positive and DCF will try to say that you used the whole 60 days - in a situation like this you would REALLY be screwed because they think the test is covering the last 30 days so they will say you used the entire 30 days before the test. And they will try to say that any negative urines you gave Don't COUNT. The real problem is that organizations like DCF have NO ONE to answer to and NO ONE to ensure they follow regulations and really do the RIGHT THING when it comes to PROTECTING CHILDREN. They get to run a muck snatching up kids from families that may have not done anything wrong except suffer from a drug addiction. Then they get to enforce things like hair tests and use them for a purpose other than what they were originally intended for. If DCF is requiring you to take a hair test and they are AWARE you are an addict in recovery and you have submitted negative urines but your sobriety date is in the last 90 days, then I would HIGHLY ADVISE you refuse and seek legal counsel, at least until it has been way past 90 days since your last date of use plus an additional 2 weeks to account for metabolism, hair growth etc. I also advise you do a LOT of research, especially with the LAB dcf is going to use to submit the hair test. This includes calling them and asking lots of questions. You may have to lie and not let them know you are a donor. That alone sounds fishy to me, the fact that everyone refuses to talk to a donor yet the future of you and your child is in their hands and their labs hands. Something is just not right about that. When I called and identified myself as the counselor of a donor and told them that I personally supervised urines that came back negative in the last 30 days the Lab Technician asked me why we were performing the hair test? Again as previously stated, she said that hair tests are ONLY to be used for pre employment screeening for companies. She stated that in "no way are they to be used to determine when in the last 90 days an addict stopped using NOR would these results hold up in a court of law. The test simply is not meant to be used for that purpose. ITs not advertised as that and it wasn't designed for that. "

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