Forensic Hair Analysis

Identifying drugs of abuse with forensic hair analysis

Hair was one of the first alternative sample matrices for drugs of abuse testing, after blood and urine. It is considered one of the most efficient matrices to investigate long-term drug use or drug-related histories. The window of detection can indicate drug use as far back as several months. Hair testing primarily involves identifying metabolites of drugs of abuse, with labor and time intensive sample preparation.

Identification of unknown new psychoactive substances (NPS) can be aided by forensic hair analysis. Potential metabolites from these new unknowns may be detectable in hair, long after partitioning into blood and urine.

Learn how forensic scientists use innovative mass spectrometry–based technology for identifying drugs of abuse in hair.

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