Hair Follicle Testing
Can Reveal Drug Use in the Last 90 Days
Hair testing is one of the most accurate and effective methods of finding drug abusers in the workplace. With a much longer window of detection than urinalysis, and nearly impossible to substitute or adulterate, hair testing has quickly become a necessity for employers to incorporate into their drug and alcohol testing programs, particularly for pre-employment screening.
Compared to the more traditional forms drug testing such as urinalysis, which has a 2-3 day window of detection, a hair sample can detect a much longer period of drug use. Each half inch of head hair provides a 30-day history of detection. The standard test length (1.5 inches) allows for a 90-day window. If no head hair is available, body hair from the chest, under arms, and legs may be used.
By using a small sample cut at the scalp, the laboratory test measures the drug molecules embedded inside the hair shaft, eliminating external contamination as a source of a positive test result. Any sample screened as potentially positive is confirmed using state-of-the-art technology. Drug screening using hair vs regulated (FMCSA) urine tests results in a positive test result at a rate of 6–8 times higher. The collection process is quick and safe (no handling of body fluids), and the test results are legally defensible and admissible in court cases.
Hair follicle testing detects the following drugs of abuse: Amphetamine/Methamphetamine/Ecstasy, Cocaine/Cocaine metabolites, Opiates (Codeine, Morphine, Heroin metabolite, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, and Oxycodone), Phencyclidine (PCP), and Marijuana.
Recent studies have revealed hair testing is the most effective method for pre-employment “safety sensitive” positions:
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