China to promote drug testing using hair samples
KUNMING, June 5 (Xinhua) -- China's health department will promote a drug testing method which uses hair instead of blood or urine samples to test for drug use, according to the developer, the Yunnan Institute for Drug Abuse.
Southwest China's Yunnan Province borders the notorious drug production base of Golden Triangle in southeast Asia and is a major front in China's battle against drug crime.
The Yunnan Institute for Drug Abuse said it has conducted the new test on 100 people, all new arrivals at the provincial drug abuse rehabilitation center.
Wen Pinyuan, director of the institute under the provincial health department, said the test showed 93 percent were morphine or
methamphetamine positive. The result was the same as previous result from urine drug testing on the same group of people.
"Compared with blood and urine samples, hair samples have the advantage of being more stable, easier to obtain and preserve," he said.
Wen said hair samples can preserve drug residue for weeks and even months, giving drug enforcement officers a larger time window to confirm a suspect is a drug user.
In the first quarter of this year, Yunnan police seized 5,759.7 kg of drugs, up 31.4 percent year on year. Over 12,000 drug users were placed in mandatory drug rehabilitation programs during the period, local authorities said.
Wen said the institute will continue to optimize the use of the hair drug testing technology, making it more accurate, feasible, and economical.