Is a methamphetamine level of 6709 pg/mg considered high - in a hair follicle test?


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Stuart Smith Profile
Stuart Smith answered

My first question is, what do you mean by "high"?

For instance, a "high" reading could be one that suggests you've taken methamphetamine yourself.  Lower readings on hair follicle tests can reflect passive exposure (i.e., someone else taking the drug nearby) rather than personal use.

If that's what you're worried about, then I'm afraid this is indeed a very high reading.  Anything over 500 pg/mg usually suggests that you actually ingested methamphetamine in some way, rather than just being passively exposed to it.

There was a recent case where a four year old boy was present while his dad and the dad's friends took meth.  The mother became suspicious based on things that the boy described, so took him to be drugs tested.  His hair follicle reading was 765 pg/mg, and that was felt to indicate that he had probably been given direct hits of it, rather than just sitting in the room while the adults were using it (for a reading that high to be passive exposure, he would have needed to be sitting on people's laps while they were using it).  So I'm afraid that 6709 pg/mg is much too high to pass off as passive or incidental exposure.  It definitely confirms that you have been using the drug yourself.

On the other hand, perhaps you're simply wondering whether your reading suggests heavy use of the drug, rather than occasional or social use.  If that's what you're asking, then I'm afraid 6,000+ pg/mg is still pretty high.  According to this chart, your reading is getting on towards the high end of the medium use category ("daily/weekends") and not far off being in the high use category ("constant").  The author of that chart classes anything been 500 and 2,500 pg/mg as low ("recreational") use, so you'd struggle to argue that you don't use it very often.  Bear in mind that anyone who has to judge your hair follicle readings may be referring to a similar chart.

So, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it isn't a great reading.

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