Pascal Kintz, editor of the book entitled 'Drug Testing in Hair', exposed the investigation made on a new-born baby with abnormal behavior patterns. This took place in 1987 where the first ever prenatal hair drug testing was initiated. The incident was prompted by a concerned family member who observed the case. From such a simple scenario, more and more hair analysis research concerning prenatal drug exposure was made. This prompts us to learn how important hair drug testing is for mothers and babies.
#1 – Hair drug testing evaluates the mother and neonate exposure to drug abuse.
Dr. Amitava Dasgupta, author of the book "A Health Educator's Guide to Understanding Drugs of Abuse Testing' mentioned about the importance of hair drug testing for mothers and babies and pointed out the above reason as the topmost benefit of undergoing the hair test. According to her, this type of drug test, when performed on newborns, may help detect whether the mother was exposed to illicit drugs even months prior to giving birth. When compared to urine analysis, hair drug testing is far more efficient in that the former can only detect the most recent use of the substance.
#2 – It helps counteract the effects of drug dependence on mothers.
Karst, Valentine and Hall, author of the paper 'Drug Testing for Newborn Exposure to Illicit Substances in Pregnancy: Pitfalls and Pearls' published in 2011 for the US National Library of Medicine under the National Institutes of Health, mentioned that there are various effects of illicit substance exposure of mothers during pregnancy. These mothers were found to experience poor nutrition aside from a questionable overall health status which they are required to be cautious of during this delicate stage in their lives. Add to that, the researchers of the same study found out that mothers experiencing such problems were more likely to miss on prenatal visits.
This being said, we come up with another point of importance that hair drug testing for mothers and babies will deliver. From the study made above, we can conclude that such a procedure will help monitor the patient, in this case, the mother. When mothers are monitored for drug abuse through hair drug testing, it will be easier to detect unlikely symptoms that will eventually lead to possibilities of early treatment.
#3 – When a mother decides to undergo hair drug testing early on during the pregnancy, she can help save her soon-to-be-born child from drastic effects of her drug use or abuse.
Karst, Valentine, and Hall enumerated possible effects of illicit substance use on the newborn. The list includes low birth weight as the most usual problem seen in babies. Of course, it was specified too that the baby whose mother was exposed to drug use during pregnancy may have an unusual behavior when compared to others whose mothers did otherwise.
WebMD's take on the issue of 'Drug Abuse and Pregnancy' presented developmental concerns on the part of the newborn. Such developmental issues range from birth defects to behavioral problems that are observed during early childhood. These effects may last a lifetime, warns WebMD. The website furthermore illustrated how the National Institute on Drug Abuse defines these effects that can, later on, be present on these kids. Among them are deficits in cognitive performance, attention to tasks and information-processing. All of these are generally important in any person's life.
MedlinePlus, on the other hand, reiterates the possibilities of either short- or long-term effects of drug abuse on babies born to mothers who are positive of drug abuse during pregnancy. Among such short-term effects are feeding-related issues, irritability, jitteriness, and diarrhea while the long-term ones may include organ problems and fetal alcohol syndrome that brings about intellectual disability as well as unusual facial features.
Considering all the effects on the newborn, as mentioned above, it would be wise for mothers to undergo hair drug testing. Undergoing the test will somehow ease the possible consequences that the prenatal drug use may bring to the child later on in life. When the mother submits herself to the test, it will be easier for experts to devise a treatment plan that will benefit not only her but also her child.
To conclude, hair drug testing is very important. Reasons #2 and #3 focused on how hair drug testing may help lessen the effects of drug use on both the mother and the newborn baby. Reason #1, on the other hand, says that using hair over urine for analysis is better because the former helps even when mothers used drugs months prior to giving birth.
If you suspect that your loved one is taking illicit substances while she is pregnant, you must be wary. Part of your concern is to take action and have her hair tested for the substance. You may order from a list of products from HairConfirm.com or browse through other hair drug testing kits you may find worthy of purchase over the Internet. Put this on top of your priorities if you want to protect not only the mother but also her baby.