The Different Sample Types Available in Drug & Alcohol Testing Programs
At Randox Testing Services we utilise discreet and non-invasive methods of drug & alcohol testing for comfort and fast sample collection. Offering a choice of a urine test, hair drug test, saliva drug test or a combination of tests, our drug testing methods ensure the possibility for short-term and long-term drug abuse profiling. With different drug testing methods having different windows of detection, we offer advice on which methods to utilise depending upon your company’s drug testing requirements, ensuring the best method or combination of methods is chosen to ensure all your testing needs are fulfilled.
Below we will provide a breakdown of each sample type and accompanying detection windows for the presence of illicit substances.
Urine – Drug & Alcohol Testing
Urine is the most common sample type for drug & alcohol testing. Simple and practical to obtain, it offers short-term drug abuse profiling. It is considered non-intrusive and sample collection is not observed.
Drugs: 4 hours – 8 days (30 days for regular cannabis users)
Alcohol: <12 hours
Oral Fluid – Drug Testing
Oral fluid testing analyses a saliva sample for parent drugs and their metabolites. Providing analysis of short-term drug abuse, an oral fluid test is used for with-cause testing and post-incident testing, with results detectable 30-60 minutes after ingestion.
Drugs: 24 hours – 48 hours after consumption (drug dependent)
Breath – Alcohol Testing
Breath can be tested for alcohol using handheld devices which provide immediate results. These devices are specific to alcohol and can gauge blood alcohol content (BAC) by measuring deep lung air. This type of testing can accurately determine whether a person has recently consumed alcohol or is currently over the legal or pre-determined limit.
Hair – Drug Testing
A hair drugs test offers a longer window of detection than alternative testing and provides a detailed month-on-month view of overall picture of drug use. This can highlight trends of drug use, suggest abstinence or show evidence of use depending on the length of the hair sample. Our hair testing services are tailored to meet the specific needs of our customers.
Typically, up to 90 days using a 3cm sample (1cm of head hair = 1-month detection).
Body hair can be used to provide extended window of up to 1 year
Randox Testing Services
At Randox Testing Services we are committed to improving the safety of workplaces who may be affected by drug & alcohol consumption. We offer a wide range of quality products designed to test for illegal substances quickly and efficiently, ensuring minimal disruption in your workplace.
To find out more about sample types and how they are utilised in workplace testing programs, click this link: http://bit.ly/RTS-samp
For more information on the different drugs we currently test for, click: http://bit.ly/RTS-drugstest
If you would like to find out more about our drug & alcohol testing programs, contact us today to speak to one of our experience business development executives.
Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011
Randox Testing Services offers high quality drug testing with use of our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology specifically optimised for drugs of abuse testing. This technology allows multiplex back-to-lab testing of different drugs from one sample and offers test consolidation for comprehensive testing at an affordable price.
With a comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu we are able to test for a range of different drugs. Drug testing packages can be customised to include multiple different drugs to test per sample.
Our drug testing methods ensure fast and simple sample collection. We have a variety of non-invasive methods for patient comfort including use of a urine sample, hair strand or oral fluid sample to test for specified drugs. Utilisation of different testing methods also ensures flexibility of drug abuse profiling with the ability to offer short-term drug abuse profiling via oral fluid and urine testing, long-term drug abuse profiling via hair testing or a combination of both.
Oral Fluid Testing
An oral fluid test can detect drugs for up to 48 hours after consumption. Providing analysis of short-term drug abuse, an oral fluid drug test is used by employers conducting for-cause and post-incident testing, as well as medico-legal solicitors who may require testing for abstinence of drugs.
An oral fluid test consists of obtaining a saliva sample from between the cheek and gums to analyse traces of drugs. This sample method is reliable due to the high concentrations of drug components which remain in the oral cavity for a period of time after drug consumption. Sample collection is taken quickly, easily and is non-invasive. The sample collection is also observed which ensures samples are not tampered with.
A urine test offers short-term detection of substance abuse. Alcohol is detectable in urine for less than 12 hours, and a urine drug test can detect traces of drugs from between 4 hours and up to 8 days (this may be extended for regular cannabis users to around 30 days). It is often used in a combination with hair testing to provide an enhanced time-line for drug and alcohol detection; therefore allowing analysis of chronic substance abuse.
As a simple and practical method it is used as the most common sample type for workplace drug and alcohol testing. It is also utilised when conducting family law testing to ensure no alcohol intake by someone who has been forbidden to consume alcohol by a court of law or someone who is on a drugs or alcohol rehabilitation program.
A urine test consists of gaining a urine sample from the individual securely. Due to the nature of the urine sample being deposited privately by the sample donor, measures need to be taken to ensure the sample is not tampered with. At Randox Testing Services samples are collected under strict chain of custody protocols to guarantee sample integrity for legally defensible testing. We also increase accuracy of results by testing for creatinine which is a simple method of testing the authenticity of the sample given and reduces false-negative results giving you confidence in these testing methods.
Hair testing is a long-term substance abuse profiling with a detection window of 90+ days. It is commonly used by recruiters and employers conducting pre-employment screening and is the most common sample type used for substance abuse assessment in child protection and medico-legal cases.
Hair testing involves taking a hair stand sample from an individual to detect if and approximately when someone has consumed drugs or alcohol. A 3cm sample is generally used to obtain a longer analysis of substance abuse.
When a drug is taken it is absorbed into the blood stream and circulated around the body. As a result it is incorporated into the hair follicle meaning that as the hair grows, drugs are transferred into the hair strand. It can take up to 2 weeks for drug components to enter the hair and therefore analysis of a 3cm sample is recommended.
Analysis of the hair strand allows traces of drugs to be detected to provide an overall picture of drug abuse or a month by month analysis. Segmentation of the hair sample to provide a detailed month-on-month view is advantageous as it can highlight trends of drug use and identify periods of abstinence or high level use. Body hair can be used in special circumstances however segmentation into a month by month analysis is not possible.
Randox Testing Services
Through utilising innovative multiplex drug and alcohol screening methods as well as LC/GC mass spectrometry confirmatory analysis our complete service guarantees reliable and accurate results.
For more information on our back-to-lab testing services contact us at email@example.com to speak with one of our experts.
“Family Law defines the legal attributes of the status, for example, the mutual rights and obligations of the married couple and provides remedies for regulating the relationship of the parties. Family Law determines the status of a child and provides mechanisms for regulating the exercise of parental responsibility.” – James Munby
James Munby spoke on the social justice for children and families and outlined the aims of the family justice system. He concluded with the ultimate aim stressing that the system must be about ‘securing social justice for children and their families.’
In specific circumstances in family law cases testing for drugs and alcohol may be required by various professional bodies involved in child custody cases, care proceedings or child protection cases. In cases regarding divorce and children, a dispute may arise during the process of discussions involving the custody of children. In these cases drug and alcohol testing may be sought if there has been a substance abuse claim against a parent fighting for custody or visitation.
Family law drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have a quality of life they deserve. In addition it is also important to enable parents the opportunity to get the help and support they need and begin rehabilitation treatment. Doing the right thing by the child is the main priority, and where possible parent and child relationships are sought to be maintained.
Randox Testing Services – Medical Review
The comprehensive medical review service from Randox Testing Services offers independent and expert examination of positive results under medical confidentiality. As a cause for concern, positive results are recognised as a serious trade issue in all areas of drug and alcohol testing be it employee testing, testing carried out for family law issues or forensic toxicology.
A medical review report provides a detailed analysis of results to determine if there is a legitimate medical reason for positive results. Performed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO) the assessment involves a donor’s medical background to determine if, for example, a donor is taking or has taken in the recent past any prescriptive medication that may have affected results.
Our medical review service ensures confidence in results by eradicating any wrongful conclusions being made while helping to protect the rights of the person being tested and the person requiring the testing.
Family Law solicitors involved in care proceedings must take seriously the consequences of a parent or guardian testing positively for drugs or alcohol. The wrongful conclusion of a positive test result could lead to child parent separation for those involved in a custody battle or child protection case and cause unnecessary stress and anguish. A medical review protects the rights of all involved and ensures trust in the legal sector is maintained by determining legitimate reasons for a positive result while eradicating false conclusions from being made.
Randox Testing Services – Expert Witness Report
An expert witness report is a document providing a detailed outline of the drug and alcohol testing procedure followed and an interpretation of the results found. It is used as objective evidence in court and provides a detailed explanation of whether or not substances tested for were detected as well as information regarding chain of custody compliance.
Family law solicitors or social services may require an expert witness report for use in care proceedings relating to a dispute over the custody of children, or an issue concerning child protection. An expert witness report ensures non-biased and factual evidence for use in family court and guarantees confidence in results by ensuring sample integrity has been maintained throughout the testing process. In addition strict chain of custody procedures guarantees donor confidentiality which is vital in family court care proceedings.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0 161 741 2760 to speak to one of our experts.
CBD Oil, Cannabis Oil and Hemp Oil are naturally produced from the plant Cannabis Sativa. This article will aim to distinguish between the different variations, and highlights differences in their use, abuse and legal standing.
Cannabis is the name given to the common drug of abuse, made from various parts of the Cannabis Sativa plant that contain a high level of a chemical called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the chemical responsible for most of cannabis’s psychological effects. It stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine and interferes with how information is processed in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for forming new memories. Strains of Cannabis Sativa are specifically bred for their high THC content in resinous glands on their flowers and some leaves.
Cannabis Oil contains a high level of THC and if administered can result in psychoactive effects. There is a growing movement to legalise THC in the form of oils or capsules for medicinal use (pain relief), however, like cannabis itself, it is currently illegal to possess, or supply cannabis oil in the UK.
CBD (or cannabidiol), like THC, is another chemical component extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a ‘high’. CBD is derived from a specific hemp strain that is high in CBD and low in THC and is extracted from the whole plant (and not just the seed like hemp seed oil). The use of CBD oil is becoming widespread for its reported health-giving benefits. It is perfectly legal to use (because it contains negligible amounts of THC) and can be purchased from health food shops and on-line.
However, it is also sometimes (mistakenly) referred to as ‘cannabis oil’ which causes confusion.
Hemp is a fast-growing strain of Cannabis Sativa specifically bred for its fibre (for textile use), oils (including CBD oil) and nutritional benefits among its ever-expanding range of uses. However, hemp is bred to be low in THC. Hemp seed oil is acquired by pressing the hemp seeds only and contains neither THC nor CBD. Hemp oil is perfectly legal and you may find it in some health food products or even beauty products.
Effects of Cannabis
Cannabis is the most commonly abused drug in the UK and can produce a range of side-effects including an increased risk of developing a psychotic illness. For an extensive list of the side-effects of regular cannabis use download our free educational resource: http://www.randoxtestingservices.com/download/Effects-of-Cannabis-Poster.pdf
About Randox Testing Services
Randox Testing Services is a market leader in the drug and alcohol testing industry. Our expertise is relied upon by a range of leading safety-critical companies across the world.
We pride ourselves on helping our customers improve the health and safety of their working environment through helping them implement a comprehensive substance misuse policy. As experts in our field we ensure that we are aware of current drug trends and issues that are affecting society.
Contact us today at email@example.com or call 028 9445 1011 to speak with one of our experts.
Medico-legal testing for drugs and alcohol may be required by various professional bodies involved in child custody cases, care proceedings or child protection cases. In cases regarding divorce and children, a dispute may arise during the process of discussions involving the custody of children. In these cases drug and alcohol testing may be sought if there has been a substance abuse claim against a parent fighting for custody or visitation. In cases relating to child protection, social services may seek drug and alcohol testing if child welfare claims have been made regarding suspected substance misuse.
Normally in medico-legal cases a hair sample would be tested as it provides the longest detection window.
Why is Drug and Alcohol Testing in Medico-legal Cases Important?
Drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have a quality of life they deserve. In addition it is also important to enable parents the opportunity to get the help and support they need and begin rehabilitation treatment.
Doing the right thing by the child is the main priority, and where possible parent and child relationships are sought to be maintained. Drug and alcohol testing assists in these efforts and in such cases abstinence monitoring testing may be required to assess a parent’s recovery e.g. if a visitation case is being reassessed.
At Randox Testing Services we provide drug and alcohol testing to all professionals within the family law and medico-legal sector. Our hair drug testing service utilises accredited testing methods and is made more cost-effective through utilising patented testing methods developed by Randox.
We understand the impact a positive result can have on a parent, child, and extended family and ensure results of the highest precision and accuracy. With over 35 years’ experience in the diagnostic industry we have gained reputation as a trusted provider.
Our drug and alcohol testing solutions are flexible and can be tailored to our customer needs with a choice of testing methods. We offer a comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu and our service also includes expert witness reporting where applicable.
To speak to one of our experts about hair drug testing contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 161 741 2760. We work with companies within the medico-legal sector along with a wide range of workplaces and also private individuals.
For further information on RTS, or to arrange interviews, please contact the Randox PR team via email: email@example.com or phone 028 9442 2413
RTS, the whistle-blower which exposed alleged data manipulation in the forensics industry, would like to highlight to our customers and clients that there is no connection between it and the now-defunct Trimega Laboratories.
Trimega went into administration in April 2014. The administrators were KPMG.
RTS purchased some laboratory equipment from KPMG and moved onto the vacant laboratory premises in Manchester. RTS did not take-over Trimega’s business or order book. In contrast to Trimega which was wholly engaged in testing for family law, RTS was significantly engaged in criminal law, only taking on a minimal number of family law cases.
A small number of former Trimega staff were employed by RTS. Two of these former Trimega workers were dismissed by RTS after the alleged data manipulation was uncovered and reported.
Since acting as whistle-blower, RTS has fully supported the police investigation. At the NPCC media briefing on November 21st 2017, the NPCC publicly acknowledged this support and said RTS was “reputable, professional and responsible.”
The authorities have concluded the prioritising of all RTS cases for re-testing, including forensic and family law, and the process is underway. RTS is managing this at appropriately accredited external laboratories and is covering the necessary costs. To date all priority one and two re-testing not resulted in any criminal case being overturned. All affected parties have been kept informed of the process.
On November 21st 2017, the UK Government revealed that an official investigation into alleged data manipulation at Trimega between 2010 – 2014 was underway.
RTS cannot comment on the scale or timetable for re-testing of family law results provided by Trimega. The government has requested that the public self-report if Trimega was involved in their case as poor record-keeping by the laboratory means the number of Trimega customers and identities may never be known.
RTS has no responsibility for any alleged data manipulation which occurred at Trimega.
- RTS is the whistle-blower in this issue of forensic manipulation.
- In January 2017, RTS investigated an anomaly in a forensic report, identified manipulation of quality control data and immediately reported this to the police, accreditation agency and the forensic science regulator.
- This activity had not been identified in numerous external audits by the accreditation agency, other forensic science providers, or by defence experts in numerous cases.
- RTS are working with Greater Manchester Police, the Forensic Service Regulator and the Home Office to resolve the situation. The investigation now dates beyond RTS to laboratories which are unconnected to it. However, it was RTS action that identified this activity.
- RTS remain actively engaged with all the appropriate agencies to resolve the outstanding issues and are committed to supporting the criminal justice system.
- RTS is currently managing the process of retesting samples at appropriately accredited laboratories, as well as covering the associated costs.
- Two former employees remain on police bail. All appropriate pre-employment checks were conducted.
- RTS are new to the forensic science industry. The majority of staff were employed with experience from elsewhere in the forensic science industry, from both the public and private sectors.
- In light of these circumstance RTS volunteered and agreed to the suspension of the related forensic accreditation in RTS laboratories only. All other Randox laboratories are unaffected.
Randox celebrates British Science Week 2017
Last week was British Science Week 2017, an annual campaign that aims to inspire innovation and celebrate science. To mark the occasion, Randox Laboratories got involved by celebrating the innovation of each Randox product group. The product groups within Randox shared a series of posts, videos and blogs showcasing the #ScienceBehindRandox throughout British Science Week.
To initiate the Randox British Science Week campaign, Randox shared this video, which highlights the company’s dedication to improving health worldwide. The video provides an introduction about each product group, however throughout British Science Week, each product group has gone into further detail about the #ScienceBehindRandox.
Randox Careers, the RX series, Randox Reagents, Randox Quality Control, Randox Toxicology, Randox Biosciences, Randox Testing Services, & Randox Food Diagnostics all got involved in the British Science Week Campaign. You can read a snippet of each product groups post below, with videos and links to the full content also provided. We hope you enjoy learning about the #ScienceBehindRandox.
Randox – Dedicated to improving health wordwide.
Joanne Darragh spent some time with Randox Careers to discuss her role as R&D Toxicology Manager.
“Working in this area has been both challenging and exciting as we are at the cutting edge of assay development. We work in a great team and we work along very closely alongside other departments such as Marketing & Sales so that we are in close contact with what the customer needs, which means we are producing relevant tests very quickly and effectively. Every day brings a new challenge.”
– Joanne Darragh, R&D Toxicology Manager
Listen to what Joanne had to say on the video above
Randox RX series
As part of British Science Week, the RX series caught up with Daniel Melly, one of our very talented Mechanical Design Engineers based in Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, Ireland.
Daniel was an integral part of the team involved in the design of our new semi-automated analyser, the RX misano. The RX series asked Daniel a few questions about why Randox created this analyser, the design process involved in creating such a unique system, and what his favourite features are.
“Randox set out in creating the RX misano with the philosophy of supplying the customer with a more modern, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing analyser than those that are currently available on the market. Robust part selection was always at the fore of any design decisions, and we feel that we have delivered on all of these requirements.”
– Daniel Melly, Randox Mechanical Design Engineer
One unique test by Randox, adiponectin, is becoming an increasingly significant biomarker for health professionals. Low levels have been linked with several illnesses including metabolic syndrome, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
What is adiponectin?
Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced and secreted by fat cells called adipose tissue. Adiponectin is normally found in relatively high concentrations in healthy individuals. Its role in the body is to regulate the metabolism of lipids and glucose, which influences the body’s response to insulin and inflammation.
At Randox, our R&D Scientists are helping to change healthcare. By investing heavily into research and development to develop unique diagnostics tests, such as the adiponectin test, Randox provide doctors with the ability to identify disease risk sooner- offering the opportunity to prevent illness, rather than the need to find a cure.
Randox Quality Control
One Simple Change to Randox Quality Control can save your laboratory time and money.
Randox Quality Control are a world leading manufacturer of true third party controls with over 390 analytes covering Antioxidants, Blood Gas, Cardiac Markers, Routine Chemistry, Coagulation, Haematology, Diabetes, Immunoassay, Immunology, Lipids, POCT, Therapeutic Drugs, Toxicology and Urine Chemistry, providing complete test menu consolidation. Randox Quality Control produces the most consistent material available with the most accurate target values.
Randox Quality Control guarantee to simplify QC practice in any laboratory, just ask one of their 60,000 users worldwide.
Find out more information about Randox Quality Control in the video above
Randox Toxicology provides trusted solutions for the screening for drugs of abuse. With significant reinvestment in Research and Development, we persistently stay ahead of this ever challenging market. Being the first to develop New Psychoactive Substances tests such as fentanyl, bath salts and flakka allows us to maintain our position as a global leader.
Our pioneering technology has created a number of advancements in the field of toxicology. In particular, our patented Biochip Array Technology which can simultaneously screen from a multi-analyte testing platform, achieving a complete immunoassay profile from the initial screening phase.
During British Science Week, we are delighted to introduce you to our latest development utilising this technology; our Gastropanel Array,* a multiplex test engineered to diagnose those at risk of developing peptic ulcers and gastric cancer using non-invasive methods.
Our Gastropanel Array encompasses two quantitative assays, a H. pylori assay for the detection of antibodies produced in response to a H. pylori infection, a common cause of gastric cancer1 as well as a 3plex Gastropanel assay, for the detection of pepsinogen I (PGI), pepsinogen II (PGII) and gastrin 17 (G17).
Currently recorded as the world’s 5th most common cancer, the majority of gastric cancer cases are diagnosed after presenting as an emergency, when treatment may be less effective due to the cancer being at an advanced stage, highlighting the need for the availability of diagnostics tests like our Gastropanel Array to enable practitioners to administer prompt treatment and ultimately increase survival rates on a global scale.
Randox Testing Services
Randox Testing Services have shown how they are at the forefront of continually reacting and developing tests for NPS. NPS (formerley known as Legal Highs) have had devastating effects on users since emerging in the UK in 2008. These substances are highly dangerous and have caused unnecessary deaths. This is due to the effects from different elements used in production. Legislation concerning the substances changed in 2016 with the implementation of the Psychoactive Substance Act.
How have Randox Testing Services implemented change? Find out in the video above
Randox Food Diagnostics
Of the 41 antibiotics that are approved for use in food-producing animals by the FDA, 31 are medically important for human health. Randox Food Diagnostics provides advanced screening solutions for 94% of these antibiotics including beta-lactams, quinolones and tetracyclines, allowing you to ensure the integrity of your end product without compromising quality. Randox Food provides multiplex screening solutions validated across a range of matrices including urine, serum, tissue, milk, honey and feed.
The Evidence Investigator matched with Biochip Array Technology (BAT) provide the end user with fast, reliable results to aid in ensuring your produce is antibiotic free. BAT provides a platform for the simultaneous determination of multiple drug residues from a single sample using miniaturised immunoassays with implications in the reduction of sample/reagent consumption and an increase in the output of test results.
This week, Randox Testing Services opened the doors of its laboratory to BBC Newsline, and Donna Traynor, to offer an expert opinion on legal highs. Legal highs are mood-altering or stimulant substances whose sale is not banned by current legislation. They are made up of various chemical ingredients and replicate a similar user experience of illegal drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine. They are extremely addictive and can have fatal side effects.
April 2016 marks the anniversary of one such case. The tragic passing of Adam Owens, a 17 year old boy who died after taking a legal high known as Sky brought this issue to the spotlight, and now one year on, the BBC want to know what is being done to tackle this issue.
The most difficult issue to combat with legal highs is that their chemical make-up is constantly being altered in order to get around legislation. As they keep changing it is difficult to create tests for these substances as they constantly evolve. Addressing this issue, Dr Mark Piper, Head of Toxicology at Randox Testing Services explained what is currently being done to try and counter this problem:
“We counter it here at Randox by continually developing new tests. In the past 12 months, Randox has developed over 115 new tests for new types of psychoactive substances.
These drugs are continually being developed and evolving into new types of substances which have previously fallen outside of the legislation, so it is a challenge for the likes of ourselves as drug testing laboratories to continually develop new tests to detect these substances.”
The prevalence of legal high use makes this an issue that cannot be avoided. Randox Testing Services are dedicated in their commitment to continually develop new tests in the fight against legal highs.
Leading forensic toxicology company, Randox, are riding high despite a recent National Audit Office report which raised concerns about a reducing marketplace for private forensic services.
The Co. Antrim-based company are bucking the trend and growing market-share, and in 2014 provided forensic services to all 43 police forces across England and Wales.
Recently the NAO raised concerns that a shrinking private forensic marketplace will result in reduced capacity, and detrimentally impact the judicial process.
At present UK police forces can either conduct forensic toxicology testing in-house, where such laboratory facilities exist, or outsource the work to one of ten fully-accredited service providers – including Randox – through the National Forensic Framework procurement process.
Under the Framework, all private forensic service providers must be fully accredited, which is a costly process but ensures that rigorous practices are upheld. The NAO highlights that the Forensic Regulator does not have powers to force police labs to comply with accreditation standards.
As police budgets are cut and more forensics are brought in-house, expenditure on private sector forensic services have declined significantly, to around £60m a year.
NAO highlights a growing concern in the industry that if forensic services continue to move in-house this will force some private operators to pull out of the market.
Gary McCutcheon, Manager of Randox Testing Services said:
“Randox is extremely proud to be one of only 10 forensic providers on the National Forensic Framework: all 43 police services in England and Wales have used Randox’s forensic toxicology services. The fact we are now an established provider, meeting and exceeding standards, means we are a major player and puts us in a strong position going forward.
“Having achieved considerable success in GB police forces we are in a strong position, when circumstances allow, to provide the same first class services and considerable cost savings to forensic toxicology users in Northern Ireland.”