If you have recently been in an auto collision, are entering a rehabilitation program, or you’re applying for a job, you may be required to submit a drug test. Common forms of testing include blood, urine, and hair follicle tests. When performed properly, these tests show drugs in your system anywhere between 30 and 90 days. Hair follicle tests are one of the newest forms of drug testing, and as a result, many people do not fully understand how they work. If you would like to learn more about how drug levels are evaluated using hair follicles, continue reading.
7 Frequently Asked Questions About Hair Follicle Tests
Which Drugs Are Tested?
A standard hair follicle test can detect various illegal and prescription substances, including cocaine, marijuana, opiates, PCP, methamphetamine, and ecstasy.
How Is the Hair Collected?
The hair should be cut from the head, as close to the hair follicle as possible or plucked directly from the root. About 120 strands are needed for the test, and the strands should be lined up, so all of the follicles face the same direction.
How Long Should the Sample Be?
For the most accurate testing, the sample should be anywhere between a half inch and a full inch and a half of hair. If your hair is longer than an inch and a half, submit the entire strand without cutting it. Only the top inch and a half will be tested; however, cutting off pieces can be viewed as tampering.
Can Body Hair Be Used?
If you do not have enough hair on your scalp for a sample, body hair can be taken from the underarms, legs, or chest.
What Is the Time Frame for Drug History in Length of Hair?
Every half inch of head hair represents about a 30-day history of use. Therefore, a one and a half inch sample would be a 90-day history. Because body hair grows slower, a one and a half inch sample can measure up to five or six months.
How Accurate Is This Form of Testing?
This form of drug testing checks for molecules, which have bonded to the hair follicle and is very accurate. However, there can be discrepancies. Often, THC molecules will not bind to the follicles, and it can take between five to seven days before the substances even reach the follicle.
Is It Possible to Cheat This Test?
Because this test is performed at the molecular level, drinks or chemicals used to “dupe” blood or urine test will not be effective in masking substances found in the hair follicles.
If you need a reliable, accurate hair follicle test, contact Pecos Family Chiropractic & Drug Testing. Located in Reeves County, TX, this clinic specializes in drug and alcohol tests, as well as chiropractic procedures. To learn more, or to schedule your appointment, call the experts at (432) 445-4878, or visit the website for additional information.