Drug Testing
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When is a Hair Follicle Drug Test Used?

Ongoing advancements in lab testing technology have made it possible to choose from a wide variety of test types and methods, allowing patients to select an option that perfectly fits their situation. One of the most popular types of lab-provided drug tests is the hair follicle drug test, which offers a minimally invasive but highly effective means of detecting drug use.

Hair Follicle Drug Test Uses

Hair follicle drug tests are a versatile testing method that can be used in many different scenarios, including for personal use, in the workplace, and for legal purposes. Because the testing process is non-invasive, straightforward, and able to be completed at a lab or on-site at another location, hair drug testing is commonly utilized for a variety of reasons.

If you’re an individual, a hair follicle drug test can be used to confirm or deny drug use. You may choose hair drug testing to prove to loved ones, an employer, or the court that you have abstained from drugs for a period of up to 3-6 months. Body hair can detect drug use up to 6 months, whereas head hair can detect drug use only up to 3 months.

If you’re an employer, a head hair drug test is ideal for pre-employment drug testing, because the detection window is 90 days. This means that even if a candidate avoids drugs for a few days leading up to the test, you will still be able to detect past drug use, protecting your company from a potential problem.

If you’re a legal representative, hair drug testing is commonly selected for use in court to demonstrate a client’s long-term patterns of use or non-use. Because tampering is not an issue with this type of test, it’s an excellent choice for legal matters.

Benefits of a Hair Follicle Drug Test

Why are hair follicle drug tests so popular? The primary reason is that they offer an array of unique benefits that make them an excellent option for many different people:

  • Hair drug tests are non-invasive and painless. Because the test doesn’t require a blood draw or urine sample, collection is a quick, easy process that can be completed anywhere
  • Hair drug tests have an extended detection window. Using a head hair test, technicians can detect drug use within a 90-day window, and a 180-day window with body hair, making it a great way to get a “big picture” of drug use.
  • Hair drug tests have little to no potential for tampering. Unlike urinalysis, the collection process for hair testing is completed by a professional technician, with the subject under total supervision. There is no opportunity to tamper with or switch out the sample, making the results extremely reliable.

How Does a Hair Follicle Drug Test Work?

A hair follicle drug test uses a 100-milligram sample of hair (about 90 to 120 strands), cut at the scalp, to analyze for the presence of drugs. Because drugs in the bloodstream can become part of hair cells as the subject’s hair grows, a hair follicle drug test is an effective method for measuring long-term drug use. 5- and 10-panel drug tests are the most common options typically chosen, but testing can go up to a 17-panel if more extensive testing is required. The most common drugs detected by a 10-panel hair follicle test include:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Methadone
  • Propoxyphene
  • Oxycodone

Reliable Drug Testing in Jacksonville, FL

Whether you’re an individual, employer, or legal representative, ARCpoint Labs of Jacksonville has a wide range of testing solutions to suit your needs. Our selection of drug testing services includes hair follicle drug testing, blood testing, and other testing options, making it easy to choose the test type that best fits your situation.
For more information about hair follicle drug testing and whether it’s the right testing solution for you, contact ARCpoint Labs of Jacksonville today.
Image Credit: Tonhom1009