Hair Drug Testing And Sample Acquisition

Companies generally conduct a series of examinations during the hiring process including a drug test. It serves to screen those who might have habits that are potentially detrimental to their job. A lot of positions require mental clarity and absolute focus which might be impaired by drug consumption. These tests can follow different methodologies using various samples from the subjects. Urine, blood, saliva, and hair are the most commonly utilized for this purpose. Each of them has their own pros and cons. Hair drug testing is preferred by some organizations with sample strands being taken near the scalp.

Duration

The biggest reason why this testing procedure is popular is chemical retention. The follicles can keep chemical traces for much longer periods of time compared to the other samples. Blood and urine can only retain drugs and their metabolites for days. If a person knows that he will be tested soon, then he can simply stop for a while or use products that accelerate the process of getting rid of the toxins. Evasion will not be difficult for those who are aware of the pertinent dates.

Hair testing can’t be treated as lightly because the laboratory may be able to find traces of substances taken up to 90 days prior to the test. On the other hand, it also takes up to 10 days before drugs make their way to the scalp so anything taken recently might not appear. This form of testing is geared more towards catching long-term users and not first-time offenders.

Substances

There are also limitations with regards to what hair drug testing can catch, as with all other forms of chemical screening. Usually included are opiates, amphetamines, PCP, cocaine, and marijuana. Each laboratory will be different with some offering extended results for those who need it. For example, they might be able to detect tramadol, fentanyl, barbiturates, oxycodone, sufentanil, propoxyphene, benzodiazepines, and much more. Some companies want the most comprehensive form of testing available while others are only concerned with certain types of drugs. Extensive analysis is also more expensive so that can play a factor in choosing a testing center.

Home Testing

It should be noted that hair testing does not always require physical presence in large laboratories. There are kits on the market allowing anyone to do the process at home or office. These kits are quite popular among parents who are worried that their kids might be taking drugs. Law enforcement officials can also use this in aid of their work. Schools and business are known to use these kits as well. They contain materials that help users obtain a sample from the subject. The samples must then be shipped to the nearest lab where a complete analysis can be performed. It only takes a few days to get the results.

Samples Acquisition

Hair grows all over the body. In theory, it is possible to use any form of hair for testing. However, the high variability in growth rates in various parts make it difficult to determine the timeframe covered by the test. Growth tends to be more uniform around the head so things are a bit more predictable. That the strands tend to grow longer there is also a definite plus. Getting samples is easier unless a person is bald. Extreme cases would force dependence on alternate sources. Most of the time, though, it would be ideal to get hair that is an inch and a half from the roots. This represents the past 90 days of accumulated substance residues.

Test Cost

The fee for these tests varies widely. It ranges from less than $100 up to several hundred depending on the coverage. The more types of substances under observation, the more complex the analysis and the higher the cost. Interested parties should, therefore, check every package that they see to make sure that the item they are most concerned about appears on the list. This should be easy for those who are or have been on prescription medication and are vulnerable to abuse. If the drug use is rather vague, then it would be best to get the most comprehensive package available.

Usage

The kits may be used by those who are scheduled for pre-employment drug testing if wish to see whether they would come out clean or not. It never hurts to be sure when there is so much on the line. Since the hair follicle can retain traces for such a long time, people would have to stay sober for many months in order to pass. Three months may not even be enough depending on the individual. This makes it hard to schedule job applications with any certainty. Self-testing can help reduce the risk and help in terms of recovery. It is better to postpone than lose an opportunity forever.

Parents can also use these test kits to monitor their children if they are worried that they might be having substance abuse problems. There are telltale signs that they can watch out for but one never really knows unless there is concrete evidence. They can always get samples from their kids if they still live at home. Do check if they are using bleach or other hair products that can alter the findings. The sooner the problem is confirmed, the sooner they can extend the right form of assistance. Rehabilitation is easier if the child is not yet too deep into drugs. It will require the coordinated effort of the whole family and even the community.