TSU Alum Dr. Jeanita Pritchett: How Chemical Straightening Can Affect Hair Drug Testing

The Stability of Drugs in Hair After Treatment With Two Varieties of Chemical Straighteners (Those Containing Lye And Those Not Containing Lye)

By: Dr. Jeanita S. Pritchett

Hair testing is gaining popularity as a specimen of choice when it comes to testing for drugs of abuse. It is important, therefore, to study its limitations as well as its advantages. While attending the 2012 SoHT conference, we listened to a very important presentation on the influence of chemical straightening on the stability of drugs of abuse in hair samples treated by two different kinds of relaxers/straighteners by Dr. Jeanita Pritchett. She agreed to an interview to introduce her study and her findings to our readers.

[USDTL]: Dr. Pritchett, could you please give our readers a little bit about your background and work you have done.

[JSP]: I graduated with a B.S. in Professional Chemistry from Tennessee State University in 2005, and then followed up with a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry in 2011 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. After completion of my degree, I was awarded a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg MD. Since beginning at NIST, I have had the opportunity to participate in a multitude of forensic and toxicology related research projects.

Read More Here


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