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Drugs of Abuse in Hair (DAH)

Drugs and their metabolites become incorporated in hair when ingested. Analysis for these drug residues can provide a useful assessment of an individual’s intake of drugs over a prolonged period of time, as the detection time of drugs in hair is significantly greater than other samples commonly tested, such as blood, urine, and saliva. The advantages of analysing hair samples for the presence of drugs include; a large window of detection, the assessment of the regularity of drug use (or continued abstinence), and sample stability.


The AXIO Proficiency Testing Drugs of Abuse in Hair Scheme (DAH) is suitable for laboratories performing forensic analysis of hair for drugs of abuse and provides an independent assessment of measurement quality. The test materials that we provide consist of real cut (2–3mm pieces) human hair that has been declared free from common drugs of abuse. The analytes are then incorporated by a method that includes soaking. Drugs (and/or metabolites) from six major classes are included during the scheme year.


The operation of the AXIO DAH scheme is supported by an Advisory Group consisting of members of professional bodies, scheme participants, and others experienced in the field.


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ISO 9001

Scheme Information


Despatch Date

Reporting Deadline


29 November 2021

10 January 2022


28 February 2022

28 March 2022


09 May 2022

06 June 2022


30 August 2022

26 September 2022


28 November 2022

09 January 2023

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