Things to Know About Hair Drug Test
We can all agree that drug tests are standard nowadays, especially pre-employment screening. Even though one of the most popular screenings include urinalysis, some business owners decide to conduct hair analysis as the most effective option to determine a long term drug abuse.
Generally, it is a screening method used for detecting the presence of prescription meds and illegal drugs. During the procedure, a certified technician will take a small amount of your hair and remove it.
They will check the sample for traces of marijuana, meth, amphetamine, PCP, opioids, and many more. This hair analysis is an effective solution with the most prolonged detection period, which means that they can see what you consumed in the last three months.
Compared with urinalysis that can detect traces of drugs you consumed in the last few days, you should know that hair screening has the longest period. You should check out a shampoo that cleans hair for drug test that will help you deal with this particular screening method.
Most workplaces tend to request this special screening as a pre-employment or random screening during employment. It is a great way to monitor drug abuse in risky individuals especially since it can deal with long-term abuse.
What Should You Expect During the Test?
In most cases, this particular type of screening will happen within a hospital setting or a laboratory.
At the same time, your workplace can perform it at the workplace and send it to a lab, but they need to follow a set of rules and regulations that will not interfere with your privacy issues.
Some workplaces have mandatory option due to federal regulations or particular policies created to ensure all employees’ overall safety. The best thing about this specific screening is that the accuracy will not be affected by using styling products, dyeing your hair, or washing it.
As soon as you reach the lab, the technicians will collect between a hundred and hundred and twenty strands of it from the crown. However, if you are completely bald, they can take samples from other areas of your body, which is vital to consider.
Therefore, if you completely shave your entire body, you will be suspicious, and the business owner may decline your job offer.
When it comes to results, the negative one will be transparent in the twenty-four hours after removal. The first one is ELISA, which will determine the traces of drugs within strands.
If you get damaging results, it means that you have not consumed anything illegal in the last three months. They will conduct additional testing to make sure that a test is positive. When it comes to getting positive results, you can get it three days from the specimen taken.
If the first one is positive, they will take it to GC/MS or gas chromatography/mass spectrometry test to confirm it and reduce chances of false-positives.
In this particular procedure, inconclusiveness is not common, which means that it can happen only if a technician did not take the proper amount of your strands. If that is the case, you should repeat it as soon as possible.
A lab will deliver results to an organization or individual who requested it by using confidential means such as online interface, phone call, and secure fax, among other principles.
Since the lab results are confidential based on the privacy act, you need to sign a release before they can send it to your employer.
Is It Accurate?
Since we have mentioned above that the process requires double-checking the positive result, this particular type of screening is one of the most accurate ones on the market.
The technicians will test your strands from environmental contaminations and try to get the proper test results.
To prevent false positives, they are conducting two tests to determine everything. Of course, you should know that particular medications could affect the results. For instance, if you consume legally prescribed opioid painkillers, they will show up on the test.
We recommend you talk with your employer as soon as you get a prescription, which will help you reduce the hassle that may happen afterward.
Urine vs. Hair Drug Test
The most significant difference between urinalysis and a hair drug test is a detection window. Generally, urinalysis is excellent if you wish to determine a short-term drug usage for a specific occasion or situation.
On the other hand, the hair drug test is not practical for short-term usage because the metabolites will enter your follicles seven days after consumption. However, it is sufficient for detecting patterns or repeated drug usage up to 90 days before the test.
It is important to check here to learn more about hair analysis in general.
The main reason for that is that an active substance will break into metabolites within your bloodstream and become part of follicles or hair cells as it grows. Another important consideration is that sebum and sweat can play a vital role in presence.
As you can see from everything we have mentioned above, this particular test is almost impossible to cheat on than urinalysis.
Of course, you can find a wide array of detox shampoos available on the market that come with specific regulations you should remember. That way, you can prevent positive results, but you need to follow a guide and every single detail inside.
However, if you are consuming prescription meds, you should contact your employer before administering the test to make sure that you can handle it based on your position and role in a company.