"Laboratory testing of hair has been commonly used to detect cocaine, marijuana, heroin, amphetamines and PCP. However, it is unclear whether hair tests can detect date rape drugs such as Rohypnol or GHB. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Rohypnol stays in the body for several hours and can be detected in the urine up to 72 hours after ingestion, and GHB leaves the body in 12 hours.”
“Forensic consultant Shannon Miller, also a physician and associate professor of psychiatry at Wright State University in Ohio, said conducting date-rape drug testing is standard procedure. Negative results, he said, don't necessarily mean no substances were used. That's because some drugs can wash out of the body quickly, he said, also citing the importance of the timing of the test. But Miller said the bottom line is that the defense can reach back and cover a fair chunk of time and say, "Look, there were no drugs there."
West also apparently attempts to use the statements of “renowned medical authority”, Kroger’s Security Guard Angel Altmon, to dispute the scientific results of the hair analysis:“One of the security guards, Angel Altmon, told The Herald-Sun that when she called police, she told the dispatcher the woman was sitting in a car and was "intoxicated, drunk or something." "Somebody must have slipped her something, because she wasn't drunk," Altmon told the newspaper. "If she was drunk, I would have smelled something."
“You can pretty much incapacitate almost anyone with a handful of pharmaceutical drugs," said Doug Scott, a former police lieutenant who worked 18 years in nearby Cary, N.C., and who now trains state health care professionals and law enforcement officers on the dangers of drugs like GHB. "And I'm really surprised that we haven't been hearing more about the possibility that this woman may have been impaired by some covertly administered drug. I went through the time line (of the case) and it really looks like (the victim) was impaired fast."
"In order for you to be able to interpret the spike (in GHB levels), you need to take the hair shaft, cut it in small segments and then analyze each segment for GHB," he [Dr. Nikolas Lemos, chief forensic toxicologist at the San Francisco office of the chief medical examiner, whose lab is equipped to test hair samples for GHB] says. "You will be able to see a spike. That's how you interpret if somebody was given GHB, rather than GHB that is present in the body by its nature.”
- sniff test “expert” Ms. Altmon
- suggestions that traces of date rape drugs wash out of the system [an argument applicable to urine and blood tests and not hair analysis]
- descriptions of the effects of date rape drugs
- suggestions that “it is unclear whether hair tests can detect date rape drugs such as Rohypnol or GHB” when there have been multiple studies that demonstrate it is possible
- failure to note that there are laboratories that specifically conduct testing of hair for drugs
- failure to note that the accuser admits voluntarily drinking alcohol that night
The media continues to promote the possibility that a date rape drug was used despite the information that scientific testing has proven otherwise. It is another example of the upside down world, where the accused must prove that they did not do it and couldn’t have done, over and over again.
Hat tip: K H and KRDDURHAM