What is Hair Follicle Testing?
Hair testing is the most accurate and effective method of finding drug abusers. Using a small sample of hair cut at the scalp, hair analysis
evaluates the amount of drug metabolites embedded inside the hair shaft.
When compared to the more traditional forms of testing, i.e. urine testing, hair samples can detect a longer period of drug use. With
urine, most drugs are undetectable if urinalysis is done more than 2-3 days after use, with the exception of marijuana, which may be
detected for a slightly longer period of time. After the 2-3 day period, a urine donor will test negative and slip through the urine screening
process. With hair samples, the only time limitation for detecting drug usage is imposed by the length of the donor’s hair. Each ½ inch of
head hair provides a 30-day history of drug use. The standard for the industry is to test 1.5 inches, which provides a 90-day
history of the donor’s drug use.
If no head hair is available, body hair can be used. Bleaches, shampoos and external contaminants (i.e. marijuana smoke) have no
known impact on test results.
Why choose Hair Follicle testing instead of traditional urine testing?
The primary differences are:
- Wider window of detection. Hair drug testing can help show a pattern of drug abuse by an individual. The chart below shows
a comparison of the detection timeframes of drugs between urine and hair testing:
- Inability to tamper with the test
- Non-intrusive collection procedures
Cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates and PCP are rapidly excreted and usually undetectable in urine 72 hours after use. The detection
period for hair is limited only by the length of the hair sample and is approximately 90 days for a standard test.
|hair follicle drug testing
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