Illegal drug abuse affects the physical and mental health of a person. It also has an effect on his or her personal, professional as well as social life. It is therefore necessary to conduct drug tests frequently. Urine, saliva, and blood are the testing materials used more commonly to check for drug usage. However, these days hair is also used for drug testing. In order for a new drug testing material like hair to be useful for drug testing, the test using that material must have certain attributes.
- The testing material must be obtained easily. The drug testing method should be as non-invasive as possible.
- The biological testing material should contain the drug or its metabolite.
- The available technology must be able to detect drugs or their metabolites accurately and precisely.
- You should be able to establish the relationship between the concentration of the drug or its metabolite and the drug dose taken.
- There must be low rate of false negative results. The amount of drug or its metabolite appearing in the biological material after the use of a single dose of drug must be sufficient for routine detection.
- The risk of false positives resulting from the environmental contamination during drug testing must be minimum.
- The time course of appearance and disappearance of the drug or its metabolite in the drug testing material must be established clearly. It should also be matched with the purpose of testing.
If a test is able to follow these attributes, then the testing material can be considered as efficient for its use in drug testing.