U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Hair Analysis for the Detection of Drug Use in Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Populations

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 55 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1991) Pages: 3-10
Date Published
8 pages
The results of radioimmunoassay hair analysis for drug use were compared with urinalysis results and self-reports of clients in pretrial release, probation, and parole in the Central District of California.
Hair analysis was performed by a radioimmunoassay; urinalysis by enzyme immunoassay; and thin layer chromatography for opiates, marijuana, cocaine, and PCP. The comparisons were performed from both a retrospective and prospective approach. The retrospective study with clients with positive self-reports showed the hair analysis results in excellent agreement with self-reports and identified more drug users than urinalysis did. The large number of self-reported nonusers correlated with negative urinalysis and negative hair analysis results. The prospective study data suggest a cooperative use of hair and urine analysis; an initial application of hair analysis identifies a high-risk population which subsequently is monitored by random urinalysis testing for maximum and immediate deterrent effects. All these results indicate that hair analysis can provide a semi-quantitative measure of the severity of an individuals' drug use and that retrospective hair analysis can serve as a predictor of drug use during criminal justice supervision. 3 figures, 6 tables, and 40 references

Date Published: January 1, 1991