Hair follicle drug testing is used for screening illegal drug use and misuse of medication prescription. Scissors are used to remove a small amount of hair from your head during this test. During the 90 days preceding the test, the sample analysis is used to look for drug use signs. The hair follicle is used to test for the following:
The hair follicle is a more reliable test than urine testing because it can detect drug use in the past 90 days, while urine tests can only see the drug’s use in the last few days.
What Takes Place During the Test
Hair follicle drug testing can be done at your workplace or within a hospital setup. Your workplace can, however, perform the test using a kit mailing the follicle to the laboratory. If there’s a mandate at your workplace that you take the test, they will likely supervise you during the entire testing process.
Washing your hair, dyeing, and using styling products can’t affect the test accuracy. Collectors will cut between 100 and 120 hairs from your head crown after confirmation and identification of the information.
They collect the hairs from different spots to prevent balding.
Acknowledging the Results
After 24 hours of hair removal, you can be able to determine a negative result. ELISA is the screening test. The test determines harmful drug use in the hair sample.
Gas chromatography confirms positive test results after 72 hours. It can also detect specific drug use. You’ll need to sign a release before you get the results because lab results are confidential information.
Accuracy of The Test
In increasing the test’s accuracy, the collection and testing of the hair follicles follow specific standards.
Laboratories usually conduct two tests to protect against a false positive.
However, you may request a retest from your employer or organization if you believe your hair follicle drug testing is inaccurate.
Significance of Hair Follicle Drug Testing
Hair follicle drug testing can detect drug use up to 3 months before the testing date. That’s due to the presence of the chemicals from the drugs in your bloodstream becoming part of your hair cells as they grow.
The test can’t be used to identify recent drug use since it may take five to seven days to determine the drugs through the hair follicle drug testing.
Difference Between Hair Follicle and Urine Drug Testing
The window of detection is the primary contrast between hair follicle drug test and urine drug test. The urine test can only identify drug use over the three days before the test, while hair follicles can determine drug use up to 90 days preceding it.
It is possible since the drugs in your bloodstream become part of hair cells as the hair grows. The presence of sweat and sebum on your scalp also plays a vital role in the drugs’ presence.
Reach out to the medical officer or your health provider if you have concerns or questions about your drug test results.