Drug‐testing police officers and police recruits: The outcome of urinalysis and hair analysis compared

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Police, Drug abuse, User studies, Tests

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The purpose of this article is to explore the issue of drug use among police officers and police recruits. Data from two large police agencies were used in this analysis. Results of the two most popular drug screens (urinalysis and hair analysis) in the identification of drug‐involved individuals, who are either currently employed in or applying for law enforcement positions, are presented and discussed. It is found that there is an identifiable group of people in policing which appears to be drug‐involved. It also appears that, at least in some situations, and for rapidly excreted drugs like cocaine, the use of urine may be producing underestimates of these groups. The data support the idea that policing agencies may want to consider using multiple drug‐testing modalities in order to maximize the identification of different drugs, whose characteristics can be an important consideration in interpreting drug test results.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Policing: An International Journal, v. 25, issue 3, p. 581-601