Why hair drug testing using strand analysis can prove whether a substance misuser is dependant
The Home Office is currently reviewing its stance on those found in possession of a controlled drug. It is proposing a clampdown on individuals holding or taking drugs without differentiating between Class A, B, or C.
In an open consultation, the government sets out its plans to deal with recreational drug misuse. The legislation focuses on the spiralling problem of regular drug misuse.
Government proposal to tackle growing numbers of recreational drug misuse
The proposal sets out a three-tier framework with individuals being given “the chance to change their behaviour at every stage“.
Those caught in possession of a controlled drug for the first time will be required to attend and PAY for a drugs awareness course.
Failure to do so would incur a financial penalty larger than the cost of the course.
Those caught a second time would be offered a caution which could include a period of mandatory randomised drug testing.
They would be required to attend a more in-depth drugs awareness course.
Those caught in possession on a third occasion would be charged and a Drug Reduction Order would compel the individual to attend a drugs awareness course.
Furthermore ‘one or more of the following four interventions would be attached to the Drug Reduction Order: an exclusion order, drug tagging, passport confiscation, and disqualify driving license’.
Does the legislation apply to all drug users?
Interestingly, the government has specified that the framework “will apply to all those in possession of a controlled drug, except where the individual has a drug dependence”.
The findings of Dame Carol Black in her review confirm that drug dependency should be treated as a chronic illness.
Hair drug tests to identify drug recreational users
It will be important that individuals caught can be identified as “recreational users”, as opposed to someone suffering from drug dependency.
As the diagnosis of drug dependency usually requires a clinical assessment, this may prove costly and time-consuming.
However, hair testing may be a way of identifying individuals who are taking drugs regularly and so aid the identification of individuals who are dependent.