Drug and alcohol testing specialist Cansford Laboratories has extended its in-house testing capabilities to include a variety of prescription medications.

The laboratory, which pioneered the introduction of hair testing in the UK and works extensively in family law and social care, can now test in-house for medications commonly used to treat clinical depression, anxiety and OCD.

The new analyte list complements Cansford’s existing nine-drug panel, which tests for nine of the most common drugs (including cannabis, cocaine, and opiates), as well as for steroids.

Managing Director Kim Bagley says that increasing the scope of testing to cover depression, OCD and anxiety medications is a response to requests from family law professionals and social workers amid a rise in people experiencing mental ill health over the last year:

“Our new testing regimen covers specific selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NASSAs) - more commonly known as mental health and anti-depressant medications,” Kim says.

“We have developed this service following demand among family law and social services professionals, which is in line with the government statistics we are all seeing about growing mental ill health following lockdowns and the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, family law cases may require a parent to demonstrate they have depression or anxiety under control.

“Samples in our new analyte list will all be processed here in the UK, with fast turnaround times –always within three days of receipt at our lab.

Cansford can now test for Amitryptiline, Citalopram, Clenbuterol, Cyclizine, Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), Kratom, Methylphenidate, Mirtazapine, Propranolol, Psilocin, Sertraline, and Quetiapine.

From a laboratory in Cardiff, the company provides UK-wide testing services for individuals and organisations operating in family law, social care, criminal law and education, as well as workplace testing. The Cansford team pioneered hair testing in the UK more than 25 years ago, and today their testing methods are used by laboratories across the globe.