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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 provides a longer timeframe for detection of drugs after use than either blood or urine as drugs will remain relatively stable in hair for many months or even years.  

The detection period depends on the length of hair available for testing. Head hair is the preferred sample however if this is not available then auxiliary hair (e.g. pubic, beard or underarm) can be analysed.

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

A commonly used segment length of head hair is the first 3cm portion proximal to the scalp which represents hair growth over an approximate 3-month period as head hair grows an average of 1cm per month. Hair can be analysed in segments of 1cm to 3cm lengths. 

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

Limit of reporting* (ng/mg)

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (D9- THC)

0.05

Amphetamine

0.2

Methylamphetamine

0.2

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)

0.2

3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)

0.2

Cocaine

0.5

Benzoylecgonine (metabolite of cocaine)

0.05

Codeine

0.2

Morphine

0.2

6-Monoacetylmorphine (metabolite of heroin)

0.2

Fentanyl

0.02

Methadone

0.2

Oxycodone

0.02

Pethidine

0.02

Ketamine

0.02

Zolpidem

0.02

Alprazolam

0.05

Diazepam

0.05

Nordiazepam

0.05

Lorazepam

0.05

Midazolam

0.05

Oxazepam

0.05

Temazepam

0.05

7-Aminoclonazepam (metabolite of clonazepam)

Reported as present only

7-Aminoflunitrazepam (metabolite of flunitrazepam)

Reported as present only

7-Aminonitrazepam (metabolite of nitrazepam)

Reported as present only



 

 

*Concentrations lower than the limit of reporting will be reported as ‘not detected’

Note that the screening of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is performed using a separate procedure and therefore requires the collection of sufficient hair (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.