SA’s drink/drug abuse future could hang on a thread

Chris Bateman


A 35-year old South African entrepreneur firmly believes he can revolutionise the local alcohol and drug testing market through gold standard hair testing technology that provides up to three months (and often more) of accurate abuse history.
What it requires, he told Izindaba, is for government policy and legislation to catch up with science and emulate other countries where his technology is widely used, enhancing judicial rulings across a host of fields. Not only could drunk or drug-taking drivers (the latter for whom no legally enforceable test exists locally) be accurately and quickly tested, but drug abusers in rehabilitation, parents or guardians with alcohol and drug dependencies and prospective adoptive parents could also be checked for historical abuse.
Using a 381 mm (1,5 inch) length of hair, the analysis evaluates the number of drug metabolites imbedded inside the hair shaft, (via sweat) - with every 381mm or half inch of hair providing a 30-day history of drug or alcohol usage.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

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Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2011;101(4):224,226.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-03-07
Date published: 2011-04-04

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