What is Hair Follicle Drug Test and Why is It Necessary?

Nowadays, drug consumption is increasing day by day, and mostly, parents of teens are worried about them. Therefore, the test named hair follicle drug test can be conducted to check whether an individual has consumed any type of drug in the last 90 days or not. The test has gained popularity because of its vast features. With the help of this test, one can know about the drug consumption history of a person. To know more about it, keep reading this blog:

What is Hair Follicle Drug Test and How does it Work?

Basically, with the help of this test, you can know about the consumption of drugs or misuse of medication prescribed by your doctor. It is also known as a hair drug test, and it is used in:

  • Offices screen employees to test them after some issues or an accident
  • Drug rehabilitation program to identify long-term drug abuse
  • During criminal investigations that come under forensic and legal testing

When conducting the test, hair samples are collected by removing hair from your head. The sample is stored in an envelope and sent to the laboratory for test. The test is conducted to test:

  • Ecstasy
  • PCP
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamine
  • Opioids (morphine, codeine, 6-acetylmorphine)
  • Methamphetamine

Why is Hair Follicle Drug Test Required?

A person may require going through this test for legal, employment, or medical purposes. Some organizations have made it compulsory for employees to get tested for a hair drug test if a job profile has a high risk of injury. Some healthcare professionals also request people to get their hair drug tests done if they are at higher risk of alcohol or drug misuse. However, before conducting the test, a person’s consent is required. If you are interested in getting a hair drug test done, then you can search for ‘hair follicle drug test near me’ and in this way, you can choose the lab near your location where these types of tests are done.

There is a wide range of home kits for hair drug testing on the market. If you want to do it at your home, then you can buy online, from pharmacies or through the company’s website. It completely depends on you which method you want to choose.

How can be Hair Drug Test done at Home?

If you want to do a hair drug test at home, then you can order a hair follicle testing kit. On these kits, there will be instructions and pre-paid envelope sending the sample of hair to the laboratory. How to do a test at home:

  • Read the instructions carefully from the kit
  • Collect the sample of your hair as mentioned
  • In a foil, cover the hair sample
  • Now, put the hair-wrapped foil into the envelope
  • Send the envelope to the lab for analysis
  • Individuals can get the result by calling a toll-free number

Can a Hair Follicle Test Identify One Time Use?

If a person doesn’t consume drugs often or is a first-time drug consumer, then the hair drug test may not detect the consumption of the drug a few days before the hair drug test because hair takes time to grow.

What are Problems with Hair Follicle Drug Testing?

  • The melanin amount and chemical treatment in hair can impact the ability to consume drug metabolites.
  • This hair drug test can select any level of exposure to a drug, even if an individual doesn’t consume drugs.
  • Certain religions don’t accept cutting of hair, that’s why it is quite difficult for them to get tested.

Hair Follicle Drug Test Cutoff Levels

Take a look at the following section to know the cutoff levels of hair drug tests that are demonstrated in picograms (PG) per milligram (MG).

Drug Screen Cutoff Level Confirmation Cutoff Level
Marijuana 1 pg/mg 0.1 pg/mg
Cocaine 300 pg/mg 300 pg/mg
Amphetamines/Methamphetamines 300 pg/mg 300 pg/mg
PCP (phencyclidine) 300 pg/mg 300 pg/mg
Opiates 500 pg/mg 500 pg/mg

Summing Up

Some medical, legal, corporate, and educational institutions have started opting for a hair drug test, which acts as a complementary approach to conventional urine-based testing. Many organizations are interested in hair drug testing because of its features and method of knowing whether someone has consumed a drug for the last 90 days or not. This test includes two phases to minimize the risk of false positive outcomes.


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