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Drug testing

Forensic Science SA (FSSA) carries out a number of drug tests, including hair drug testing. 

Hair drug testing

Hair testing conducted at FSSA detects trace amounts of drugs and can show drug use over a period, if the concentration is high.

The presence of a drug does not always prove drug use. It can be detected for a number of reasons, including external contamination. Chronic drug use can also present a positive result even if the use has stopped months before the test.

FSSA conducts hair testing for:

  • health professionals
  • Police officers
  • accredited workplace drug testing agencies.

These groups can request a collection kit by emailing forensicadministration [at] sa.gov.au.

Hair required for testing

Hair can be analysed in segments of 1cm to 3cm length.  1 cm = approximately 1 month hair growth. 

Collect 1 cm of hair growth from the head that is 3cm wide. Other hair including, pubic, beard or under-arm hair can be analysed if head hair is not available. Hair from other regions of the body cannot be analysed.

Fees and payment 

$748.18 + GST (total $823) for each segment.

Payment is required before the hair can be analysed.

The cost includes a report but not an interpretative report or court appearance time. Multiple segments of up to 3cm each can be analysed. You can pay by:

  • cash
  • cheque (to Forensic Science SA)
  • credit card  - call Forensic Science SA on 08 8226 7700 or use the bpoint payment system.

Follow these prompts if using bpoint:

  1. Biller Code: Forensic Services
  2. Full Name: person paying for the testing
  3. Contact number/email: if FSSA needs to contact you
  4. Customer reference: subject’s name – eg the donor
  5. Amount (AUD): depending on the amount of segments

Hair sampling procedure

Use the collection kit provided by FSSA and follow the hair sampling procedure.

https://www.agd.sa.gov.au/modules/file/icons/application-pdf.png Hair Sampling Procedure (PDF 233KB)

  1. Complete the https://www.agd.sa.gov.au/modules/file/icons/application-pdf.png Request for Hair Drug Analysis form (PDF 119KB)
  2. Email to forensicadministration [at] sa.gov.au (subject: Request%20for%20Hair%20Drug%20Analysis)
  3. Post the sealed sample to FSSA

The results should always be interpreted by an FSSA expert.

Drugs covered by the test
Drug Lower limit of reporting* (pg/mg Uppper limit of reporting# (pg/mg)

delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

50 1000

amphetamine

20

2500

methylamphetamine

20

2500

3,4- methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA)

20

2500

3,4 methylenedioxyamhetamine  (MDMA)

20

2500

cocaine

20

2500

benzoylecgonine (metabolite of cocaine)

20

2500

codeine

20

2500

morphine

20

2500

6-monoacetylmorphine (metabolite of heroin)

20

2500

fentanyl

20

1250

methadone

20

2500

oxycodone

20

2500

pethidine

20

2500

ketamine

20

2500

zolpidem

20

2500

alprazolam

50

6000

diazepam

50

6000

nordiazepam

50

6000

lorazepam

50

6000

midazolam

50

6000

oxazepam

50

6000

7-aminoclonazepam (metabolite of clonazepam)

Reported as present only

Reported as present only

7-aminoflunitrazepam (metabolite of flunitrazepam)

Reported as present only

Reported as present only

7-aminonitrazepam (metabolite of nitrazepam)

Reported as present only

Reported as present only

* Concentrations lower than the LLOR will be reported as 'not detected'



# Concentrations above the ULOR will be reported as 'greater than (ULOR)'



Note that the screening of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is performed using a separate procedure. and therefore requires the collection of sufficient hair to ensure it is tested for (see Request for Hair Drug Analysis Form for details).

Road Traffic Act blood samples

Results of blood samples analysed under this Act will normally be posted to the driver within three weeks.