Drugs and Alochol

Drug and Alcohol testing

In some cases the Court will order testing for illegal drug use, excessive alcohol use or both.

Testing for drug and alcohol consumption can be undertaken in a number of different ways. Hair samples can determine the use of illegal drugs for a number of months prior to the test. Hair strand alcohol testing can determine excessive alcohol consumption in approximately the preceding 6 months.

Blood testing can also be undertaken to determine alcohol consumption and generally takes the form of two different types of blood tests. A Liver Function Test (LVT) determines whether the liver has been damaged by sustained misused of alcohol. A CDT test determines alcohol use for a few weeks prior to the sample being taken. If there is a serious suspicion of alcohol abuse the Court is likely to order a combination of the available tests.

Most forms of testing are expensive and therefore the Court is likely to require a good reason to order such testing. Generally (although not always) the costs of such testing may either be shared between the parties or paid for solely by the person who is subject to the testing, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Because of the expense of such testing it is important that the parties are clear as to precisely what tests should be carried out. It is advisable for the type of testing to be set out very clearly on any court order and that the order gives permission for the party seeking the testing to give a copy of that order to the company that will be undertaking the testing so the company knows exactly what the court has asked for.

The links below open websites for testing companies that carry out the types of testing referred to above. It should be noted that at the time of writing only some companies undertake hair stand alcohol testing.

Any testing must be undertaken by an accredited company and samples must be taken in a controlled environment - in other words in circumstances where the identity of the person giving the sample has been firmly verified (usually the nurse will take a picture of the person providing the sample as well as ask for formal identification). If the sample is taken by a person's GP, the GP will be asked to verify the identity of the person being tested. Home testing kits will not be considered appropriate for court proceedings.

The links below are provided for information only and are not in any way an endorsement of the companies referred to.

Drug and Alochol Testing Companies

The links below are provided for information only and are not in any way an endorsement of the companies referred to.







Free Drug and Alochol Testing

Sometimes a person's General Practitioner will agree to undertake a 'one off' Liver Function Test (LVT) to determine whether a person has damaged their liver by sustained excessive alcohol consumption. However, the Court cannot order a GP to do so and it will be a matter for discussion by the person seeking a test to speak to his GP to see whether the GP will carry out the test and write a letter to the Court informing it of the results. It must be remembers that LVT test do not tell the Court whether  person has consumed alcohol excessively in the immediate past and it is possible for someone to be consuming alcohol excessively for a considerable period before there is a lasting detectable affect on the person's liver. Likewise, LVTs can be affected by other factors as well as alcohol and sometime require expert interpretation. For this reason, if there is a good reason to conclude that a person abuses alcohol, a court is unlikely to accept a LVT alone as conclusive proof that someone does not consume excessive alcohol.

General Practitioners do not usually undertake drug tests.

Urine and mouth swab tests can be carried out to determine both drug and alcohol use, however such testing only determines use for a few hours prior to the samples being taken. For this reason the Court does not usually order urine or mouth swab testing unless it can be undertaken at very frequent intervals. Some organisations in Liverpool will carry out such testing at frequent intervals and for free as part of a structured recovery programme and are often prepared to report the results to the Court. 

However, it should be understood that such testing is not usually a 'stand alone' service as it takes place within the setting of services to assist people who have a self-admitted difficulty with illegal drug use or excessive alcohol consumption. Likewise, whilst a Court is likely to accept evidence from such organisations it cannot generally 'order' them to carry our testing and usually will only 'request' a report from them. It will be the responsibility of the person using the service (or their solicitor) to ask the organisation to provide a copy of any test results in the report.

Generally, should a Court be informed that a person is accessing one of the services below it will request a report from that organisation. It is helpful for the Court to allow the organisation to see a copy of the order, which should set what the Court wants to know. As well as the results of any testing carried out, it is likely the Court will ask for information as to the users attendance, engagement and likely further involvement with the organisation.

Such organisations cannot usually comment of 'child welfare' matters directly and will not be asked to do so. However they can provide useful evidence which the Court can take into account when making decisions about the which whom a child should live and spend time with.

Drug and Alcohol Support

The following are links to agencies in the Cheshire, Merseyside and Nationally that provide support service for individuals with substance misuse difficulties.

Rehabonline - Rehab Online is a directory of residential rehabilitation services for adult drug and/or alcohol misusers in England and Wales. It will give you information about these services, whether you are a member of the public, a professional or a service user.

Addiction - Addaction is the UK's leading drug and alcohol charity. Every year, they help over 40,000 people in England and Scotland to recover from their problems.

Community Recovery in Liverpool - Offers a structured day treatment programme at a house based in Rodney Street.

Alcoholics Anonymous - Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

NHS Choices - Alcohol - General advice on reducing alcohol usage.

Narcotic Anonymous - NA is a non-profit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem.

Release - Providing a wide range of advice and services regarding drug use. Helpline: 020 7324 2989.

Frank - Friendly, confidential drugs advice.
© 2017 Website written and complied by Clive Baker Contact Me