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Are there any blood or pathological test for evidence of drug abuse?

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Psychiatrist
Practicing since : 2007
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I need to know if there are any tests that prove drug abuse accurately and to what extent it is being done. If a person has not been smoking weed for a week or so, however he is a regular smoker, are there any blood tests or any other pathological tests that can give evidence to drug abuse.
Posted Thu, 16 May 2013 in Drug Abuse
 
 
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 12 minutes later
Hello,
Thanks for using health care magic for posting your query.
Before I answer your question I would request you to kindly give me a few more details:
1) Is your question specific for the "weed" or it is in general for all the drugs of abuse.
2) How long before has the person taken the substance?
Hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks and regards,
Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD
Addiction Specialist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Are there any blood or pathological test for evidence of drug abuse? 10 minutes later
The person smokes weed on a regular basis. His parents want to have a surprise test conducted to determine whether he is an addict or not. But they are worried that he will come up with the excuse that he was just trying it. However we want to ensure that it is proved that he is an addict.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 17 minutes later
Hello again,
Thanks again for the details.
Yes cannabis can be tested. There are different tests to detect cannabis. cannabis can be detected from urine, blood, hair and saliva. The active component tetra hydro cannabinoid (THC) is actually measure.
The Duquenois–Levine test is a good screening test as along with cannabis it can come positive for many different drugs as well.
To differentiate between the recent experimental use and regular chronic use, the urine test will be most useful. The test commonly used is " "10-panel urine screen", as well as the "SAMHSA-5"". An occasional user or on and off user may not come positive after 3-4 days of abstinence. If he is still positive even after 4 days then it is likely that the person is a heavy smoker of cannabis.
Similarly in blood the on and off use of cannabis will be detectable until 2-3 days . However if it is detected even after 10 days, it is surely a regular heavy use of cannabis.
In a nutshell, its the time duration of testing after the last exposure that determines the type of usage.
in your case get a blood sample and get it tested. even if it is positive, and the person accepts that it was an experimental use ask him to be abstinent for 8 days and re-do the test. if it again comes positive then it was not an experimental use.
Hope I am able to answer your concerns,
Thanks and regards,
Dr. Srikanth Reddy
MD
Addiction Specialist

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Are there any blood or pathological test for evidence of drug abuse? 2 hours later
I hope you can understand my apprehension but this matter for me is like life and death. I would like to describe the case again. If a person smokes up everyday or every alternate day, is it really a bad thing? How bad is it? Does such a person require professional help to get off it? Also the person can abstain from it for a period of about 15 days at a stretch. So is it being paranoid to be taking such a person for drug test? Also can I take the guarantee that such a person will have the weed chemical present in the pathological test? I really need to be sure that the test would result positive if the person is a regular consumer of weed? Also where in Bangalore can I avail these tests?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 44 minutes later
Hello,
Thanks for the followup query.
I can understand your apprehension and we here are there to help you.
I will take one question at a time:
If a person smokes up everyday or every alternate day, is it really a bad thing? How bad is it?
Yes, smoking cannabis or tobacco is a bad thing even it is being done occasionally. It has many psychiatric repercussions. It can lead to mood disorder or psychotic disorders as well. Moreover a person taking marijuana (cannabis) is exposed to a peer group which are at risk for experimenting other narcotic drugs as well. You are very much right in your concerns.

Does such a person require professional help to get off it? Also the person can abstain from it for a period of about 15 days at a stretch. So is it being paranoid to be taking such a person for drug test?
Yes he requires professional help. Cannabis is a drug which doesnt have withdrawal effects except for a mild headache. But it can cause dependance. You are right in your concerns. you should seek help.

Also can I take the guarantee that such a person will have the weed chemical present in the pathological test? I really need to be sure that the test would result positive if the person is a regular consumer of weed?
The tests are very sensitive and will come positive if he is a regular user.

Also where in Bangalore can I avail these tests?
The best expert in Bangalore for addiction is Dr. XXXXXXX Benegal at NIMHANS, Hosur Road. He is considered as an expert all over India. Do XXXXXXX him and he might be surely having access to these tests or else he can advice you for the same. Why not XXXXXXX him once in alone and next time take your ward as per the appointment.

Hope I am able to answer your concerns.
If you have any further query, I would be glad to help you.
If not, you can close the discussion and rate the answer accordingly.
In future if you wish to contact me directly, you can use the below mentioned link:
bit.ly/dr-srikanth-reddy

Wish you good health,
Dr. Srikanth Reddy M.D.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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