News Post

Lextox Experts Disclose Challenges Posed in Hair Testing

Experts at specialist drug and alcohol testing laboratory, Lextox, have been chosen to share their experience on the hair testing industry.

Lextox’s comments are revealed in a new book, Forensic Toxicology: Drug Use and Misuse. The book was compiled to highlight, amongst many other pertinent matters, new designer drugs, access to databases, and the changing availability of samples for analysis that have changed the face of modern forensic toxicology in recent years.

Reporting Scientist Donna May Cave, who compiled the Lextox chapter with colleague Dr Robert Kingston, warned that ever-changing patterns of drug use could change the way in which hair testing is conducted in the future, and said that keeping up to date with drug using community hair samples, through thorough screening and panel testing, would give courts a much clearer picture overall.

Ms Cave explained: “We wanted to make other professionals in the industry aware of the problems and challenges posed by these unknown compounds, and raise awareness of the implications certain factors may have on hair test results such as uncertainty of measurement and the difficulties legal highs present, for example.

“Ultimately, the ever changing drug culture means that hair testing cannot stand still and must adapt and change on demand to ensure the clients who use hair testing are getting the most information they can.”

From the use of pharmaceutical drugs in a clinical setting, through to smart drugs and new psychoactive substances, the book documents the wide range in which drugs today are abused as an essential resource for both postgraduate students in forensic toxicology, and for researchers in forensic toxicology laboratories in need of the latest data and knowledge.

Dr Kingston, who was asked with Ms Cave to compile a chapter on Lextox’s behalf by the book’s authors Susannah Davies, Atholl Johnston and David Holt, said: “… increased communication between expert toxicologists worldwide will prove vital in order to allow hair testing to continue to be a valuable testing method in the future.”

“Due to the majority of results produced through such testing methods being used in a court of law, the accreditation of the testing laboratory concerned will also prove increasingly crucial to ensure samples are analysed using accepted robust methods, and that results obtained and reported are accurate.”

Based in the UK, Lextox draws on more than 50 years of combined industry experience to deliver a broad range of services as the trusted choice for over 6,000 family law solicitors and local authorities nationwide.