Hair Follicle Drug Testing
Hair drug test is one of the most reliable drug testing methods these days. Often, an FDA-cleared hair follicle drug testing system is used to detect the presence or absence of medications in the body because it can reveal drug use for the past 90 days.
Typically, hair testing can reveal the presence or absence of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine (including amphetamines and Ecstasy), opiates, and phencyclidine or PCP.
The results of hair drug tests are usually defensible through the help of forensic principles. This kind of drug test also requires an observed collection process – this just means there are fewer chances of adulteration.
As have been mentioned, hair drug testing can reveal drug use for the past 90 days, depending on the length of hair sample.
Hair drug testing usually requires at least an inch and a half of hair to represent growth for the past three months. While a hair drug test can tell much about the history of drug use for the past three months, it cannot reveal drugs used seven days before the collection of the samples.
Hair follicle drug testing after five days will lead to positive results for sure. The most amazing thing is that the traces of drugs or other toxic elements remain in the hair follicles for almost three months.
Some prescription drugs contain the same kind of components found in illicit drugs. Not many hair drug tests can distinguish the difference between the two forms of the drug (prescription and illegal).
Nevertheless, this does not pose quite a big issue because there is rarely a legal use for cocaine or PCP, although cocaine can be utilized in a medical setting in extremely rare cases (like controlling bleeding in the eye or nose). And should it be used, it should be complete in that person’s medical file.
When someone tests positive for drug use, a confirmation test would be needed. This is necessary because there are drugs that can interfere with screening and these might cause false positive results.
Presently, the accepted method for confirming a drug test result is through GC/MS or gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. When someone tests positive for methamphetamine, his or her hair samples should contain methamphetamine and its metabolites (like amphetamine) and should, later on, be confirmed by GC/MS.
While there are those who believe in the reliability of hair drug tests, there are still some who are apprehensive about the accuracy of their results. Unlike what most people think, a hair drug test will not reveal any drug use if you were merely n a room with someone who uses drugs. There are also those that speculate hair drug testing can be dodged by masking the hair. Masking the hair is possible through the use of hair products but remember: drugs and their metabolites stay inside the hair and not on it.
The hair drug test method has revolutionized the way of drug testing. There simply is no doubt why a lot of entities are resorting to them to ensure that they stay safe from drugs, which is a social pariah to any society.