The recent spate of stories about entertainers' drug use has prompted more parents to test their children with the same technique police have used on celebrities: hair tests.
While urine samples will usually only return positive results if people have taken drugs within several days, hair samples can detect drug use several months in the past.
Tsai Wei-chen (
Officials at Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, the only hospital at which the public can have hair tests done, confirm the trend.
Chang Yao-jen (
Some parents arrive with strands of their child's hair to be tested, while others arrive with intoxicated children in tow, he said.
Many parents are not angry when the tests come back positive, but appreciate having their suspicions confirmed, Chang said.
The parents say the positive test results give them a basis for making their children get treatment, he said.
The hair tests take about 10 working days, and the hospital gives parents information about treatment options if the tests come back positive.
Chang says that more young people are taking ketamine, which is not only easier to take than other drugs, but it is not subject to stiff legal penalties because it is designated as a minor drug.
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