Hair Drug Testing, How Does it Work?

When one consumes drugs, regardless of ingestion method (snorting, smoking, injection) the body has to filter and process the chemicals and various substances.  Once it is processed, the molecules and metabolites of that drug are released and reside in your hair follicles for up to 3 months.  This gives scientist an accurate account of which drugs were consumed and how much of the substance was used. One of the most reliable and accurate drug testing procedures out there is the hair drug test.

In order to receive a proper screening, the hair drug test requires at least 2 inches of body hair. Usually the hair follicles are clipped from the top of the head but in cases where a person is bald or has a shaved head, a licensed screen-er will still be able to take hair samples from other parts of the body (such as groin, underarm, leg, etc).

The great thing about hair drug testing is that it has the longest drug detection window of any drug screening service.  It can usually detect drug use for the previous 90 days. The main purpose and reason for this type of home drug test is that it can detect high or low level drug use over a long period of time.

Hair drug testing can detect all of the five illicit substance classes administered by the Federal Government.  These five drug types are: cocaine, marijuana, opiates (codeine, heroin) methamphetamine and phencyclidine (PCP).

Some companies chose to go with hair drug testing, instead of urine drug tests.  The urine drug test can be a bit embarrassing and uncomfortable to perform in front of other people. Privacy is a real issue with urine screening. This is not the case with hair drug testing.  All that is needed is a small clipping of your hair which is easier to collect and more sanitary to store than urine.

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