Cocaine Case Study
The mother is trying to prove the cessation of cocaine in order to reinstate custody of her child.
Participants - Mother
Type of testing - Hair strand testing (HST)
Detection period - 3 months (segmented)
No chemical treatments
Declared use: Last used cocaine 15th June
Detection period covers:
- First month (recent) - beginning of August to the beginning of September
- Second month (middle) - beginning of July to the beginning of August
- Third month (oldest) - beginning of June to the beginning of July
Month by month analyses of results:
Hair segment 3 (Oldest):
Cocaine was detected in the third segment above the Society of Hair Testing (SoHT) recommended cut off level. Cocaine metabolites benzoylecgonine and norcocaine were also detected in the third segment. These results suggest the repeated consumption of cocaine during the third monitored month.
Hair segment 2 (Middle):
Cocaine was detected in the second segment below the SoHT recommended cut off level. Cocaine metabolites benzoylecgonine and norcocaine were also detected in the second segment. These results suggest either the low consumption of cocaine during the second month or from the previous use of cocaine prior to the second month.
Hair segment 1 (Recent):
Cocaine was detected in the second segment below the recommended cut off level. Cocaine metabolites were not detected in the first segment. Due to the absence of the metabolites, these results do not indicate the active consumption of cocaine during the first month.
The mother declared the last consumption of cocaine on the 15th June. This last consumption is covered in the third segment (between the beginning of June to the beginning of July). Therefore, the declared consumption of cocaine is likely to be in line with the detected cocaine in the third segment.
The results show a noticeable decrease in cocaine and cocaine metabolite concentrations during the recent two months. A significant decrease in concentration in the subsequent months is a characteristic sign of previous use, due to the telogen phase of hair growth, but only in the absence of hair cosmetic treatment. Therefore, due to the decrease in concentration, the previous use of cocaine before the first and second months has likely contributed to the detected cocaine in the first and second segments.
The detected cocaine in the third segment in line with the mother’s declaration of the consumption of cocaine during the beginning of June. Due to the significant decrease in concentration during the recent two months, there is scientific evidence to support the hypothesis of the cessation of cocaine from the last declaration as advised from the mother.