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Alcohol and Drug Abuse Testing Case Studies

Hair Alcohol Abuse (HAA) TestThe FAEE Hair Alcohol Abuse Test (HAT) has been used in LEGAL PROCEEDINGS to identify individuals with recent histories of alcohol abuse. If you are using this test in a court of law, we will guarantee that the results will be supported, or your lab fee will be paid back to you.

Legal Sector

Study 1: Alcohol Abuse

Mr and Mrs Smith have been married for four years in which they have two young children. Their marriage has broken down due to Mrs Smith’s increased alcohol consumption over the past year, in which she is known to physically abuse the children when under the influence.

The parents have separated for the past 14 months in which the children have been living with each parent on an alternative basis. Mr Smith claims that as a result of Mrs Smith’s drinking habits, the children are subjected to physical abuse whilst in her care. The injuries suffered by the children are apparent. Mr Smith now wants sole and full custody of the children in order to protect them, in which he has sought advice from his solicitor. His solicitor suggests that Mrs Smith undergo a Hair Alcohol Test to provide sufficient evidence in court to help show that Mrs Smith has become a reckless drunk over the past six months and is incapable of having the children in her care at any point in time. She denies any wrongdoing. The court has ordered that Mrs Smith undergo a Hair Alcohol Test.

The test results are positive and corroborate the claims made by Mr Smith that she has been drunk for most of the past six months, including evidence of the children’s injuries whilst in her care. Mr Smith has been granted full and sole custody of the children until further notice.

Mrs Smith claims that she has abstained from drinking for the past six months and is willing to undergo the Hair Alcohol Test. The test results are negative in which the court does not deny Mrs Smith access to her children on the basis that she has in fact abstained from drinking in recent months. Note: hair alcohol testing allows one to look at long-term alcohol dependency so the right choices can be made for the benefit of the child.

Study 2: Drug Abuse

A child has just been taken away by social services due to a report that the child’s parents are taking cocaine.

Within seven days, the parents applied for legal counsel to assist them in getting the child back into its regular home. Upon making an application to the court by the parent’s solicitors, the legal counsel representing the child (now in care) requests for both parents to undergo hair drug testing. This is sometimes called a “tricho test” (the word derives from “trichology”, meaning the study of the hair and scalp).

Upon the application, the court made an order to complete the test before the next hearing. The test was conducted on both parents over a three-month period that demonstrated both mother and father had abused cocaine in month three (60-90 days) and the results for months two (30-60 days) and month one (0-30 days) were negative. This supported the statements of both parents that their usage had decreased. Note: hair drug testing allows one to look at patterns of abuse so one can effectively judge if an individual has long-term drug dependency. Based on this, the right choices can be made for the benefit of the child.

Corporate Sector

Study 3: Alcohol Abuse

A trucking company with 100 vehicles and high value cargo on the road wants to ensure that they are keeping the roads and their drivers safe.

During the hiring process, to ensure they employ drivers that are alcohol-abstinent, the company performs hair alcohol testing. This quickly eliminated any drivers that demonstrated to have an alcohol dependency of up to six months ago. The company after this process were confident in the selections they made to represent their brand on the roads and in the market.

Study 4: Drug Abuse

An individual in an existing job is suspended as the company has a zero-tolerance policy against drugs.

She was asked to do a urine test (common practice in most organisations) and the results for this test demonstrated that she was suspected of using cannabis. Further investigation of the individual’s medical records showed that she was having regular massages for a back injury and it was further noted that the masseur was using hemp oil. The company felt that it was necessary that considerable efforts were made to ensure that the individual was not using the illegal substance (cannabis) and sought to have a hair drug test over the last 12 months.

The test results were negative for the whole period demonstrating clearly that the individual did not have any pattern of drug abuse. This corroborated and made stronger the evidence presented by the employee. Note: hair drug testing can help employers with responsibility to accurately identify whether drugs were ingested illegally or previous results from other methods were reporting false positives.


Study 5: Drug Abuse

Urine testing (traditional method in random drug testing in schools) is known to be invasive, embarrassing and generates false positives.

This was identified in a recent case where a school had a parent protesting the innocence of her sons’ drug test. The son assured his parents that he did not ingest any of the drugs he was accused of taking. The first step in the parents’ process to prove innocence was a hair drug test to clearly show that no substance was found in the child’s body in the last three months. This particular hair drug test was run at limits of detection, looking at any substances detected in the body. When this was presented to the school, the school remained supportive over their original finding in the urine test. The parents wrote to the media which raised attention to the urine test conducted and forced the school to have the testing kit itself analysed by an independent third party. It was discovered that the urine kit was faulty. If the school had chosen to use hair drug testing in the first instance, the accurate identification of possible substance abuse would have taken place in the first instance with no room for false positives.