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Hair Analysis and Its Concordance with Self-Report for Drug Users Presenting in Emergency Departments.

Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2016;167:149-155. [doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.08.007]

Gaurav Sharma, PhD (CTN Data & Statistics Center, Emmes), Neal L. Oden, PhD (CTN Data & Statistics Center, Emmes), Paul VanVeldhuisen, PhD (CTN Data & Statistics Center, Emmes), Michael P. Bogenschutz, MD (New York University School of Medicine, GNY Node).

This secondary analysis of data from NIDA Clinical Trials Network protocol CTN-0047 (Screening Motivational Assessment and Referral to Treatment in Emergency Departments (SMART-ED)) aimed to investigate the utility of hair analysis in drug use disorder trials with infrequent visits, and its concordance with Timeline Follow Back (TLFB). This study compared the self-reported drug use on the TLFB instrument with the biological measure of drug use from hair analysis for four major drug classes (cannabis, cocaine, prescribed opioids, and street opioids). Both hair analysis and TLFB were conducted at 3, 6, and 12 month follow-up visit and each covered a 90-day recall period prior to the visit.

The concordance between the hair sample results and the TLFB was high for cannabis and street opioids, but was low to moderate for cocaine and prescribed opioids. Under-reporting of drug use given the positive hair sample was always significantly lower for the drug the study participant noted as their primary drug of choice compared with other drugs the participant reported taking, irrespective of whether the drug of choice was cannabis, cocaine, street opioids, and prescribed opioids. Over-reporting of drug use given the negative hair sample was always significantly higher for the drug of choice, expect for cocaine.

Conclusions: This study extends the literature on hair analysis supporting its use as a secondary outcome measure in clinical trials, particularly when assessing long-term abstinence, given its extended window of detection compared to typical follow-up sessions, for which urine drug testing may be more appropriate. Reliability varied considerably by drug category and by site, indicating that the target drug and participant characteristics should be considered when weighing the pros and cons of employing hair testing as an objective cost measure. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2016)

Keywords: Cocaine | CTN platform/ancillary study | Emergency departments | Heroin | Marijuana | Prescription-type opiates | Self-report | Drug and Alcohol Dependence (journal)

Document No: 1218, PMID: 27522871, PMCID: PMC5037031.

Submitted by CTN Dissemination Librarians, 8/15/2016.

Bogenschutz, Michael P. mail
Oden, Neal L. mail
Sharma, Gaurav mail
VanVeldhuisen, Paul C. mail
NIDA-CTN-0047 www

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Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
The materials on this site have neither been created nor reviewed by NIDA.
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