Hair Drug Testing
All testing is performed using the two stage GOLD standard LC/MS/MS quantitative test
IMPORTANT: ONLY VIAGUARD PROVIDES OUR PHARMACOLOGISTS DETAILED EXPLANATION OF ANY POSITIVE RESULTS.
COURT LEGAL DRUG TESTS ARE IDENTICAL TO AN INFORMATIONAL DRUG TEST OTHER THEN THE CHAIN OF CUSTODY. COURT LEGAL DRUG TESTS CAN BE DONE AT OUR PREMISES OR REMOTELY. PLEASE CALL FOR DETAILS.
- SAMPLES COLLECTED FROM ANY LOCATION
- CERTIFIED RESULTS IN 5 DAYS
- COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL
- CALL -1 877 842 4827- FOR AN ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION
Viaguards Accu-metrics lead scientists are members of the society of hair testing. Our extensive knowledge and adherence to proper protocols and procedures makes our test results reliable and legally defensible. Our laboratory performs proficiency testing in order to ensure the highest standards of testing.
Court legal and informational drug tests are also done by viaguard on urine, blood, or saliva samples. Call for details.
Date Rape Drug Testing
Viaguard can now detect even a single dose of a suspected date rape drug in a hair sample, several weeks after its administration
Using viaguard gc/ms technology, rohypnol, GHB, ketamine and related drugs can now be detected in a hair sample.
Call to discuss your circumstances
DRUG AND UNKNOWN SUBSTANCE IDENTIFICATION
WE WILL IDENTIFY THE POWDER OR LIQUID UNKNOWN YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT
The test provides a complete 90 day drug history and costs only $175.00. Collection kits are complete, easy to use and include a pre-addressed return envelope for your convenience.
The complete drug test can now be done using nail clippings if hair is not practical.
Gives quantitative results and level of drug use (if any) for:
- cocaine products and derivatives
- opiates and codeine derivatives (oxycontin etc.)
- amphetamine and derivatives, including mephedrone
- marijuana/hashish (THC)
If a test is needed for legal purposes, samples can be taken at our facility, and photo I.D. and fingerprints will be recorded on the certified documentation. If at a distance, our remote chain of custody forms can be used.
DRUGS AND IMPULSIVE BEHAVIOUR
IMPULSIVITY IS A PERSONALITY TRAIT CHARACTERIZED BY BEHAVIOURAL ACTIONS THAT LACK FORETHOUGHT,OR IN WHICH THE CONSEQUENCES HAVE NOT BEEN CONSIDERED. WHILE NORMAL IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES, EXTREME AND IRRATIONAL IMPULSIVITY IS IS TRIGGERED BY SUBSTANCE ABUSE,AND PROBLAMATIC FOR SOCIETY IN GENERAL.
HOW DO DRUGS ADDICT?
All drugs have a unique methodology of habituation and addiction and the causative factors involve complex neurological changes. In the case of oppiates , including morphine , and cocaine there are opposite modes of addiction.
A protein called brain-derived neurotropic factor (bdnf) is increased in cocaine addiction ,and inhibited in opiod addiction . Morphine creates rewards by inhibiting BDNF, cocaine acts by enhancing it.
BDNF is critical to several functions in the brain and peripheral nervous system. ,it allows the formation of new nerve cells ,and helps the survival of existing ones.
Cocaine causes an increase in the presence of BDNF in a reward center of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, and activating the reward/ addiction center
Morhine suppresses BDNF in a different reward center known as the ventral tegmental area, causing reward and addiction.
Both addictions are tenacious, but reversible.
THE CRITICAL RELATIONSHIP OF GENDER AND DRUG/AND/OR ALCOHOL LEVELS IN BLOOD
Two people ingest an identical amount of a drug or alcohol. the factors affecting the blood level concentration of the drugs is subject to multiple variables , including gender,height,weight,metabolism, obesity, level of fitness, number of neurons in the affected brain areas etc
The major factor is that the "average" female has a blood volume of about 3.6 litres, the" average" male about 5.2 litres. this means that an average female need only consume about 60% of a substance compared to a male to be similarly affected. this often overlooked phenomena has broad implications.
OXYCONTIN AND OXYNEO SPECIFIC ANALYSIS NOW AVAILABLE
THE RESEARCH DIVISION OF ACCU-METRICS HAS NOW DEVELOPED A PRECISION TECHNIQUE THAT ALLOWS FOR THE NEW OXYNEO AS WELL AS OXYCONTIN TO BE QUANTITATIVELY ANALYZED AS PART OF YOUR REPORT.
ALTHOUGH OXYCONTIN HAS ALWAYS BEEN INCLUDED UNDER THE COMPOSITE OPIATE CATEGORY, INDIVIDUALS AND AGENCIES CAN REQUEST A SEPARATE OXYCONTIN/OXYNEO QUANTITATIVE REPORT.
Various individuals have argued that since the composite opiate category determines the levels of drugs such as codeine, a high reading in that category could be due to sometimes excessive use of over-the-counter codeine products, such as Tylenol with codeine, 222's, various cough preparations, etc. and not Oxycontin
Accu-metrics new advanced specific analysis resolves this issue and is available on request at no additional cost, as part of our complete hair drug test.
In today's world of designer drugs, mephedrone is the current fashion statement. It is an increasingly popular street drug linked closely to drugs of the amphetamine and cathinone classes. Its use is becoming extremely wide spread, spurred on by virtue of the fact that it falls into a legislative grey area with doubts of its legality in various jurisdictions. It is a potent drug which users can swallow, snort, or inject and produces similar effects to amphetamine and cocaine. Mephedrone causes euphoria, decreased hostility, mild sexual stimulation, and an appreciation for shared social experiences. The drug has many side effects; one of the most obvious is a tendency toward teeth grinding. The drug can cause hallucinations, vomiting, paranoia, delusion, and circulatory problems. If snorted, it can cause noise bleeds. Viaguard’s drug screen test includes mephedrone in its analysis for amphetamine class drugs as a group. Technology is being developed that will allow for determination of the levels of mephedrone specifically.
If you have any questions regarding the Sample Collection Kit or our sample collection services, call 1-877-842-4827 (toll free) or 1-416-691-4167 (direct),(Mon-Fri / 9 AM - 5 PM EST).
Viaguard Accu-metrics offers testing for all of the most commonly abused drugs, including extended opiates. We also test for the metabolites associated with these drugs, where applicable.
Cocaine is a crystalline alkaloid extracted from coco leaves, and sold on the illicit market as a powder that can be snorted, injected, or smoked. Crack cocaine is a purer form of the drug sold in rocksand usually smoked. All cocaine products are considered extremely addictive, and stimulative.
The intensity of the effects of cocaine include increased energy and mental alertness. The speed of onset depends on the method of use with direct injection being the fastest route. Snorting, which is used by many cocaine users, will eventually cause extreme damage to the nasal membranes and septum.
Cocaine acts by increasing levels of dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure and movement, but with ongoing use, cocaine will cause changes in the brain function, and induce addiction. The physiological changes from cocaine use include constricted blood vessels, increased heart rate and blood pressure. Cocaine will depress the appetite, which in some cases can lead to serious malnutrition.
Any cocaine user can dramatically experience cardiac arrest, cerebrovascular emergencies, and respiratory collapse with no warning.
Including codone's and heroine
The opium poppy is the original natural source of opiates, which are processed from the milk of the poppy seed, and then dried. Raw opium contains up to 25 different alkaloids, with morphine and codeine being the most important.
Opium and its derivatives were originally used as analgesics to control acute pain. Some derivatives, such as codeine, have a much lower activity level, and are used for moderate pain, cough suppressants, etc.
Newer opium derivatives include oxycodone (oxycontin). This class of opiates was developed in the hope they would be less addictive than heroin, and this has been true to an extent. Unfortunately, a multitude of prescriptions for oxycodone have made it available for abuse.
Many opiates are highly addictive, causing psychological and physiological problems, as well as a compulsive desire for constantly increased doses.
From time immemorial, opiates have been the original, classic, addictive drug. The neurological basis of this addiction has been extensively studied. The central nervous system consists of two types of cells, neurons and gliaal cells. Opiates activate the glial cells of the brain to produce inflamatory molecules which send a signal to the brain's reward center, the nucleus accumbens. This craving is temporarily satiated by opiates and their derivatives, but there is a need with regular use, for incrementally increasing levels of opiates to achieve satiation.
Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma’s trade name for Oxycodone is a long acting time release Opiate type Analgesic which is synthesized from Thebaine. Oxycodone is a powerful Analgesic for acute pain relief. It has become the largest selling narcotic pain reliever used in North America. It can be characterized by describing it as very effective and potentially addictive. Percodan is also a form of Oxycodone but is not a time released formulation. It is sold in smaller doses and works over a more limited period of time.
Oxycodone causes physical and psychological dependence and imparts a euphoric feeling which is a factor in its addictive properties.
Also known as Angeldust.
Angeldust is a powerful hallucinogenic usually taken orally or by inhalation. It is an entirely synthetic drug which produces a range of erratic effects covering a spectrum of behaviour which includes euphoria, paranoia, and extreme anxiety. The drug is disassociative, meaning that it produces a severe detachment from reality in terms of actions and perception, inducing a state which may lead to dire consequences.
Also includes Methamphatamine & Adderall
Amphetamine products were a street drug of choice in the 60's and 70's where they were often referred to as uppers.they have made a resurgent comeback in recent years.
With a simple kitchen based laboratory, common over the counter cold treatment products containing ephedrine like compounds, can be used to produce amphetamines.
Ephedrine has a chemical structure similar to amphetamines but with a hydroxyl group in the beta position. This hydroxyl group, easily removed by chemical reduction, yields methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine, like all amphetamines is a central nervous system stimulant. It is a white crystalline powder which can be taken orally, snorted, injected, or smoked. Like cocaine, it causes high levels of dopamine in the brain, producing a euphoric rush and surge of energy. Chronic use of any amphetamine derivative causes changes in brain function resulting in reduced motor skills and impaired verbal learning. Resultant brain tissue alteration will lead to emotional problems, and the drug is powerfully addictive up to one year after usage has been discontinued.
Resultant long-term health problems include extreme weight loss, insomnia, and erratic and violent behaviour. The attraction of amphetamines is the surge in energy, but the drawback is an accompanying sense of paranoia and hallucinations.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in North America. The active chemical in Marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabisol (THC). A more potent resinous form is called hashish.
Sources of THC
The Accu-metrics drug test for marijuana is based on the THC content of various products derived from the plants species Cannabis sativa, which is a hemp plant. Normally, there are 3 products derived from the plant; the marijuana comes from the leaves, stems, and flower buds which are dried and rolled as cigarettes.
Haschich (hashish) is a potent resin obtained from the flower buds of the plant presented in compressed plates. It may be smoked and is often cut with other substances. Haschich and marijuana oils are obtained by percolation with an organic solvent or alcohol. These potent extracted oils contain more cannabinoids (THC) than the other forms and the oil is generally placed on cigarette paper or added to other forms to increase hallucinogenic power.
The use of marijuana places a mother who has used marijuana during gestation or breastfeeding period places the infant at risk. THC has demonstrated impairment of motor development in infants. Pregnant women would be well advised to discontinue the use of marijuana during their term and any subsequent breastfeeding period.
Not all marijuana is created equal.
A study by Viaguard on the potency of marijuana based on the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) indicates levels of THC of tested marijuana samples ranged from 5% to 25%. In regulating marijuana for legal use, potency must be considered.
As a matter of interest, a single marijuana plant yeilds about 600 grams of dried, groomed, flowering female head.
The drug is usually smoked, and the crumbled dried leaves and flower buds are mixed with the tobacco and rolled into a reefer or joint. When marijuana is smoked, it leaves a distinctive sweet/sour odour.
THC acts on specific sites in the brain, initiating a cellular reaction that induces a euphoric feeling, but one that may also cause an impairment of coordination, problem solving, and memory skills. Long-term use will lead to a strong habituation approaching addiction.
Recreational use of cannabis may enhance the psychological state of the user, reinforcing upbeat behaviour, which can quickly transition to depression. Continued recreational use of the drug is popular because of the behavioural pattern of initial relaxation and cheerfulness.
Medical & Forensic Laboratory Results
The Accu-Metrics forensic drug test is a quantitative and optionallyanonymous analysis for the presence of illicit drug metabolites in thecore structure of human hair shafts. The drug abuse hair testinganalysis meets US, FDA, and international testing standards. Analysis results will indicate a negative or positive for each drug tested. Results are available within 5 business days upon receipt of a sample.
In-vitro urine, saliva, and blood drug test detection is limited tothe metabolic half life of drugs while in the body's system.Abstinence for several days prior to a drug test using these media canproduce a negative result when in fact the individual has a history ofdrug abuse. Sample hair is obtained by cutting a lock from the backof the head at the root line. Since the average growth rate of hairis one half inch per month, one and a half inches of hair length wouldproduce approximately a 90 day history of drug use. If required, a hair samplecollection kit can include documentation for a legal chain of custody procedure. Applicants may also have samples taken on site at our facility.
Test results indicate a negative or positive result for each drug or metabolite tested with readings expressed in picograms per milligram of hair. A negative test is defined as one below the permissible limits established by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
HAIR DOSE RESPONSE*
500 pg/mg hair**
500 pg/mg hair
300 pg/mg hair
300 pg/mg hair
0.3 pg/mg hair
Qualitative - Amount does not correlate to usage
|*This data was acquired from various academic studies with admitted drug users and are thus subject to numerous sources of variability (e.g. purity, inadequate self report, etc.). This graph is a guide only and not be assumed as exact numerical interpretation. This information may be useful to help establish an appropriate rehabilitation program or to compare two separate test time periods.
** Picograms per milligram
Why are minimal drug levels considered a negative result?
We are often asked why test results are considered negative below a certain level.
The reason the world health organization and all national regulators have these levels is because these drugs exist in an infinite variety of products in minute quantities and are normally present in our bodies in these trace amounts
Foods, prescription and non-prescription drugs, illness, cosmetics, herbal products and even personal hygiene products are possible reasons for trace amounts and even false positives.
For example ibuprofen (Advil) can influence THC levels, inhalers and nasal sprays affect amphetamine results, and dextromethorphan, found in over the counter cough syrups may affect opiate levels.
Many of us are familiar with the fact that poppy seeds used in baking etc are a low level source of opiates, and the list goes on.
Viaguard relies on a process based on DNAffirm technology that identifies many of these false positives, so you can have complete confidence in our results.
Drug Use and the Facilitation of Severe Infections
It is well established that such practices as unsterile injections, contaminated needles, syringes, and the use of cutting agents facilitate avenues by which pathogenic organisms enter the body. Diseases such as Tetanus, Group A Strep, and even Anthrax have been associated with these practices.
But the further concern is that drug abuse not only enhances exposure to pathogenic organisms but increases the risk of infection by enhancing the growth of organisms as drug use suppresses an individual’s immune response. Drugs such as marijuana and opiates have exhibited the suppression of the body’s response mechanism.
Drug use accounts for a percentage of HIV infections that may rise to 40%.
It is important that persons using the drugs covered by Viaguard Hair Drug Test are aware of the potential microbial complications and take adequate precautions.
Principles of Hair Drug Testing
The metabolites of chronic drug use, Illicit and repetitive is incorporated into hair for a period of about 90 days.
Drug avoidance for brief periods DOES NOT affect the results. The tests are not impacted by bleaching, hair colour, or shampoo.
The presence of drugs in hair is based on a simple principle. Drugs which are ingested circulate in the bloodstream which nourishes developing hair follicles. As a result, trace amounts of the target drug or drug metabolite are deposited in the hair follicle and become entrapped in the core of the hair shaft as it grows out from the hair follicle. Normal growth rates for human hair are approximately one-half inch per month. By testing for the presence of drugs in the hair shaft core on a given length of hair, a historical record of past drug usage can be constructed. Since target drug or drug metabolite residues are chemically and structurally stable for an extended period of time within the hair shaft core, they cannot be externally washed, bleached, chemically treated or flushed out of the hair structure. Consequently there is little possibility of sample contamination or manipulation. For this reason many courts and legal entities have chosen a forensic hair drug test as the preferred method of drug testing. Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) forensic laboratory analysis of the hair shaft from an individual can achieve highly accurate drug test results and provide a historical use record. Generally it takes approximately 5 days for drugs to show up in a person's hair and they will continue to be detectable in the hair for several months.
Have more questions or concerns? Please visit our contact page.
To schedule an appointment or to arrange to send samples for testing please click here.
Hair Drug Testing-Alcohol Testing and the Physiological Role of Hair
Hair is a remarkable medium for recording drug and alcohol abuse but the functional characteristics of hair and its role as a sample source are very complex. Hair is an annex of skin. It originates from hair follicles in which the germination center is formed by active matrix cells. These cells give rise to the different layers of the hair shaft-cuticle, cortex, and medulla. The hair follicle cells are in constant active proliferation but in the shaft there is virtually no metabolic activity.The hair follicle, located about 4mm below the surface of the skin is supplied by a capillary blood system, and surrounded by three types of glands which literally bathe each follicle and appear on the skin surface as sweat.Hair grows in three distinct cycles, an active phase (anagen), transitional phase (catgen), and resting phase (telogen). Scalp hair grows an average of about 10mm (slightly less then a half inch) per month, but there are significant differences in the growth rate of hair from various anatomical parts of the body and growth rate might be effected genetics, age, sex, health, etc….Drugs and various metabolites including those of alcohol, enter the hair shaft by passive diffusion from the capillaries surrounding the follicle as well as diffusion from the sweat glands and deep skin compartments. The quantitative rates of incorporation of these substances has been extensively documented allowing for the physiochemical properties of the substances and the polarity of drugs and metabolites. Hair can be collected from anywhere on the body but the preferred location is the posterior vertex of the scalp. Ideally about 200 mg of hair is used either in total as a composite test or segmented into a sequence of lengths for yielding a chronological level of use based on 30 day increments. The original hair sample is always washed with a variety of solvents to remove possible external contaminates then dried and powdered. The powdered sample is weighed and subjected to extraction and analysis. Hair samples are increasingly used for the detection of chronic drug and alcohol abuse because the results are specific and precisely stated in picograms or nanograms per milligrams of sample. Urine and saliva testing remain useful tools for immediate evaluation, but generally are accurate for a period not exceeding 72 hours of ingestion.
DrugTesting-90 Day Record of Use
New Fingernail Clippings Option!
Viaguard / Accu-metrics has developed an advanced technology that allows drug testing using nail clippings.
The test results using nail clippings are identical to hair sample based tests and provide a 90 day precise, quantitative, record of the levels of the substances tested. There may be circumstances where securing an appropriate hair sample is not possible. This happens if the scalp hair is not of sufficient length and underarm or genital hair is not feasible.
Like hair, fingernails (and toenails) are essentially keratin. Keratin is formed from genetically programmed epithelial skin cells during a process of keratinization. Hair and nails are examples of keratinized cells. Drugs and drug metabolites make their way to the blood stream.
As the nail grows, the metabolites of various substances diffuse into epithelial cells and the epithelial cells evolve into keratin embedding the drugs and their metabolites. Toenail clippings which grow at less then half the rate of fingernails will give the same precise usage level of drugs but over a much longer period of time, often up to 8 months.
In the past the difficulty with using fingernails as a source for drug and metabolite testing has been the complexity of the extraction process needed to isolate and analyze these compounds from their keratin coating. Keratin is an extremely hard material in nails because of the formation of cysteine disulfide bridges which form very strong internal bonds. The Viaguard extraction process is based on the exclusive Accu-Keritinase Enzymitic Hydrolysis System which ensures complete extraction and precision results.
The sample collection kit has complete instructions.
The test result and reports are identical to the hair results described on this site, as is the cost is $175.00.
Order the nail clippings sample collection kit.
Call Viaguard at 416-691-4167 or toll free at 1-877-842-4827.
Collecting Nail Clippings
Use a nail clipper, cuticle or other scissors and ensure the scissors are clean by wiping off with soap and water, rinsing and drying with a tissue.
Use Finger or Toenails
Clip the equivalent of 1/8 to ¼ of an inch from each of 6-8 fingernails or toenails. Since composite volume of nail clippings is important it is better to submit the maximum amount if possible.
Insert the clippings in the collection envelope, seal, return to us in the mailing envelope along with the filled out form.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROCESS OF HAIR DRUG TESTS
Hair drugs of abuse testing offers a long term window for detection of drug use1 prior to the test date and a convenient collection process that can be performed almost anywhere.
The collector obtains a 100 milligram sample of hair (90 to 120 strands) cut at the scalp and completes chain-of-custody documentation., the process minimizes the likelihood of sample adulteration or specimen substitution Viaguard offers hair specimen collections across Canada and the USA.
Viaguard performs an initial screening test by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with confirmation of presumptive positive screens by gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (GC/MS/MS) or liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Results for specimens that screen negative for all drugs are generally available within 48-72 hours after specimens are received at the laboratory. Results for confirmation testing of presumptive positive screens are usually available within an additional 72 hours.
HAIR DRUGS OF ABUSE TESTING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is hair drug testing?
Drug and drug metabolite(s) are incorporated into the hair matrix from the bloodstream following drug use. Hair drug testing detects drugs that are embedded in the hair.1
Q: How much hair is needed for a hair drug test?
A hair drug test with initial screen and confirmation requires 100 milligrams of hair (90 to 120 strands).
Q: What time period does a hair drug test cover?
Hair growth rates vary; typically, head hair grows at an average of one-half inch per month. Therefore, a 1.5 inch hair sample detects drug use up to 90 days prior to testing.1
Q: How does the drug detection window for hair compare to urine and oral fluid?
Drug detection times vary depending on the dose, sensitivity of the testing method used, preparation and route of administration, duration of use (acute or chronic), the matrix that is analyzed, the molecule or metabolite that is looked for, the pH and concentration of the matrix (urine, oral fluid), and variations in metabolic and renal clearance.2 In general, the detection time is longest in hair, followed by urine and oral fluid.2 Drugs in hair may be detectable for approximately 90 days, whereas drugs in urine are generally detectable for one to seven days or longer in chronic users and in oral fluid from five to 48 hours.2
Q: How soon after use can a drug be detected in hair?
Drug (and/or metabolite) can be detected approximately seven to 10 days from the time of drug use. This is the time in which the affected hair grows from the follicle to emerge above the scalp.1
Q: How can tests be run on people with little or no hair?
Hair may be collected from several head locations and combined to obtain the required amount of hair. If no head hair is collectable body hair or finger and toe nails can be used
Q: Can hair collected from a brush be used?
Yes, but there will not be a legal chain of custody
Q: When testing for drugs, what are the differences between hair testing cut-off levels and urine testing cut-off levels?
Urine cut-off levels are expressed in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or as a weight of drug per unit volume of urine. Hair cut-off levels are expressed in picograms per milligram (pg/mg) or as a weight of drug per unit weight of hair.
Q: How does the laboratory address external exposure to certain drugs like marijuana or crack (cocaine) smoke?
While washing the hair sample may remove some of the contamination, ultimately external exposure can be differentiated from actual use because of the presence of the drug metabolite, which is not present when environmental contamination is the source of the drug.