There are many different reasons why drug testing might be required by someone. If you run a business, you may have a final hurdle of a drug test as part of your condition for offering a job. You may conduct drug tests at your workplace to ensure worker safety. If you have a business related to transportation, you or your drivers may need to be periodically tested to remain compliant with the DOT regulations.
For all these reasons and more, the hair follicle test is now available. It’s a more recent development compared to the still very common urine drug test, but it brings three major benefits that contribute to its growing popularity.
Longer Range Of Detection
The first and most critical benefit is the range of detection, also known as the “look back” period. Hair testing can be used to detect common drugs like cocaine and heroin, but it can also be used for legal substances, like alcohol. However, urine drug tests have a more limited window, often only able to detect the use of these substances within a week, or even just three days of usage.
Standard hair testing, on the other hand, can detect the usage of drugs and alcohol up to three months, or 90 days. With the right sample and more comprehensive testing, it may even be able to detect usage up to six months in the past.
Another reason hair drug testing is popular is that it is less intrusive and embarrassing. No one enjoys going to a collection site and handed a container and having to collect a specimen for testing by urinating in that container. Hair testing has none of these issues, since the tester can simply collect hairs off the head, and that’s it. Done.
Harder To Cheat
A final benefit that testers themselves like is that cheating with a hair sample is much more difficult to pull off. Some people, after being told that a drug test is coming may immediately drink large amounts of water to dilute the results. In other cases, people have even managed to substitute urine samples to get a pass.
With a hair test, though, the sample can be collected on the spot, and it doesn’t have to be head hair. Any body-hair, from the arm, armpit, chest, or legs, is suitable for testing. Hair testing is very accurate and currently, there is no special shampoo or soap on the market that can wash out or remove the drug metabolites from hair.