How does Hair testing work?
Since the bloodstream carries nourishment to produce new hair, scientists are able to identify the ingestion of drugs of abuse by simply analyzing a hair sample. Using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) methodology and a variety of mass spectrometry techniques, scientists measure the drug molecules embedded inside the hair shaft. Through this method, which has been approved by multiple accrediting agencies, any chances of external contamination are totally eliminated. In fact, hair testing results cannot be altered through the use of shampoos or any other external contaminants or chemicals.
Why should you opt for this test?
When compared to other drug testing methods, hair sample testing is known to detect a much longer period of drug use. The test’s standard window of detection for head hair is 90 days whilst body hair samples are noted for having an approximately 12 month time-frame. On the other hand, urinalysis (urine testing) can only detect most drugs within 2 to 3 days of use. After this period, the tested person will result negative and slip through the screening process. This is important in pre-employment testing since most candidates are aware that a drug test might be required and might try to delay or avoid it.
What Drugs and Substances are tested for?
Standard Testing – Hair 5 Panel
Amphetamine (Methamphetamine & Ecstasy), Cocaine, Marijuana, Opiates (Codeine, Morphine & 6-MAM Heroin Metabolite) and Phencyclidine (PCP).
These five drug classes are mandated for testing by the U.S. Federal Government.
Extended Testing – Extended Opiates Panel (optional)
The laboratory offers an Extended Opiates panel including Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, Hydrocodone and Hydromorphone.
Collecting the Sample
In the Hair Drug kit, you will find a hair specimen pouch, collection foil and a clear plastic transport bag. The sample collection process is relatively simple and easy. However, please make sure to read the below instructions for a successful collection.
- More than 60 milligrams or 90-120 strands of hair is required
- Take hair from several places around the crown
- Do not use head hair if it is shorter than ½ inch long, in such a case use body hair only
- If you take body hair, you must mark on the chain of custody form that body hair was collected
- Make sure not to mix head hair and body hair
For more detailed information, please read the sample collection instructions.