Hair Follicle Drug

Discover the accuracy of the Hair Follicle Drug Test for detecting drug use—a reliable, effective testing method for long-term drug usage.

By Telita Montales on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is a Hair Follicle Drug Test?

Using hair samples to identify particular substances in a person's system, a hair follicle drug test is a very sophisticated type of drug testing. A tiny amount of hair must be collected for this testing procedure, often utilizing scissors to remove hair from the top of the head. A hair follicle drug test aims to find and quantify the amount of drug metabolites trapped in the hair shaft.

The ability to offer a thorough history of drug usage for up to 90 days before the test is one of this test's most distinctive qualities. This makes it a trustworthy tool for employers, governmental agencies, and medical specialists who need to comprehend a person's prior drug use history over time.

The hair follicle drug test stands out for its high accuracy and difficulty to manipulate. Unlike urine or saliva tests that can be cheated or tampered with, the hair follicle drug test provides a more extensive and long-term record of drug use. It's virtually impossible to falsify the results, making it a preferred choice for many organizations.

In addition to its robustness, the hair follicle test is non-invasive and discreet. The collected hair samples can be tested in a lab, and results are typically available within a few days.

Printable Hair Follicle Drug Test

Download this Hair Follicle Drug Test to detect the presence of drugs.

How does it work?

Modern scientific methods are used in a complex procedure called a hair follicle drug test to find drug metabolites in hair samples. It is a thorough technique favored for giving a wide-ranging insight into a person's history of drug usage. Here are the stages that make up this process:

Step 1: Collection of the Hair Sample

A hair sample is the first step in a hair follicle drug test. The crown of your head will have a little section of hair, normally about 100 strands, softly clipped out by a doctor or other qualified practitioner. The obtained hair must be around 1.5 inches long since that length corresponds to the detection period of the test and roughly three months of growth. This sample collection procedure is quick, painless, and non-invasive.

Step 2: Preparation of the Sample

Once the hair sample is collected, it undergoes a thorough preparation process. This includes washing the sample to remove any external contaminants that might interfere with the results. It's crucial to ensure that the detected drug metabolites originated inside the body, not from external sources.

Step 3: Testing of the Sample

After preparing the sample, it's then processed in a laboratory. The sample is placed in a special solution designed to break down the hair structure and release any drug metabolites present. This process ensures that even minute quantities of drug metabolites are extracted for analysis, enhancing the sensitivity and accuracy of the test.

Step 4: Analysis of the Sample

The final step in the hair follicle drug test process is sample analysis. The solution containing the released drug metabolites is analyzed using a highly sensitive technique called mass spectrometry. This advanced technology can identify and measure trace amounts of drug metabolites, providing a detailed report of the detected substances.

The hair follicle drug test is a laborious procedure that provides a trustworthy and thorough assessment of a person's drug usage history. It is a helpful tool in various circumstances, from pre-employment screening to upholding a drug-free work environment due to its capacity to give a long-term record of drug usage. Please visit our resources page for a printable Hair Follicle Drug Test.

Hair Follicle Drug Test Example (sample)

A Hair Follicle Drug Test Sample is a comprehensive document that clearly illustrates what a typical hair follicle drug test result may entail. This sample, often in PDF format, offers a detailed representation of the substances the test screens for, the detection levels, and how the results are interpreted and presented.

The hair follicle drug test PDF often lists the substances examined, such as cocaine, marijuana, opioids, methamphetamine, and PCP. The minimal quantity of a drug or its metabolite that must be found in a hair sample for the test to be judged positive is listed next to each substance.

The sample report also presents the findings in a structured manner, often in tabular form, indicating whether the test was negative or positive for each drug. If a drug is detected, the concentration level is usually provided. The report may also include additional notes or comments from the laboratory scientist regarding the results.

Download this Hair Follicle Drug Test Example:

Hair Follicle Drug Test Example (sample)

When Would you use this test?

The hair follicle drug test is an invaluable tool used in various scenarios due to its unique advantages, such as its extended detection window and its resistance to tampering. Here are some instances where this test is particularly applicable:

  • Pre-Employment Screening: One of the hair follicle drug test's most popular applications is pre-employment screening. Employers frequently use this test to verify that potential workers are not abusing illegal substances. Given its extensive detection window, this test can offer a more thorough picture of a person's drug usage history than urine or saliva tests would be able to.
  • Random Drug Testing at Workplaces: Businesses committed to maintaining a drug-free environment often utilize hair follicle drug testing for random checks. The test's ability to detect drug use over the past few months makes it an effective deterrent against substance abuse among employees.
  • Post-Accident Investigations: In certain industries, particularly those involving heavy machinery or high-risk activities, hair follicle drug testing can be used following an accident. This allows employers to determine if drug use may have been a contributing factor, providing valuable information during incident investigations.
  • Legal and Forensic Settings: The hair follicle drug test is widely used in legal proceedings and forensic investigations. In child custody cases, for instance, the court may require a parent to undergo this test to ascertain their fitness as a caregiver. Similarly, chronic or historical drug use evidence can be crucial in criminal cases.
  • Rehabilitation Monitoring: In drug rehabilitation programs, the hair follicle drug test can be employed to monitor progress and verify abstinence from drugs over time. The long detection window of this test can help therapists and counselors understand the full extent of a patient's drug use, enabling them to tailor treatment plans more effectively.

The hair follicle drug test is a versatile resource used by many practitioners, from employers to legal professionals and healthcare providers. Its ability to provide a detailed and long-term record of drug use makes it a preferred choice in many scenarios where understanding an individual's substance use history is essential.

What do the Results Mean?

Interpreting the results of a hair follicle drug test can provide pivotal insights into an individual's drug use history. The results are typically categorized as 'positive' or 'negative,' each indicating different implications.

Positive Result: A positive result on a hair follicle drug test implies that the person has used the detected drug within the past three months. The test analyzes about 1.5 inches of hair, representing approximately 90 days of growth. However, a positive result does not specify the frequency or quantity of drug use. It simply confirms the presence of the drug metabolites in the hair sample above a specified cut-off level.

Negative Outcome: This indicates that the subject did not use the substance discovered during the test's detection window, which is often up to 90 days. This might indicate that the subject has either ceased taking the substance or has yet to do so in more than three months before the test. A negative outcome may also happen if the hair sample's drug metabolite concentration falls below the cut-off level established by the testing facility.

Understanding these results is essential for various situations, including pre-employment screening, legal issues, monitoring recovery, and upholding a drug-free workplace environment. Visit our resources page if you'd like to get a free hair follicle drug test or would like to view an example of a hair follicle drug test.

Why use Carepatron as your Hair Follicle Drug Test app?

Choosing the right application for managing your hair follicle drug tests can significantly impact the efficiency of your operations. Carepatron is an excellent Hair Follicle Drug Test app offering an exceptional blend of advanced technology, a user-friendly interface, and robust security measures.

So, why Carepatron? Let's delve into what sets us apart:

  • Simplicity at its best: Carepatron is designed to be simple. We understand that you value your time and would rather focus it on what's important - managing your tests and interpreting results. Hence, our Hair Follicle Drug Test Software requires no complicated training. Its intuitive design ensures a seamless user experience, allowing you to navigate and manage your testing needs effortlessly.
  • Global Compliance: At Carepatron, we prioritize your data's safety. Our healthcare compliance software meets worldwide security requirements, including HIPAA, GDPR, and HITRUST. This means your work is not just safe but globally compliant. You can rest assured that the highest security standards protect your sensitive data.
  • Collaboration made easy: Carepatron is more than just a Hair Follicle Drug Test app; it's a telehealth platform designed for collaboration. It facilitates better sharing across your team, professional network, and clients — making it seem like everyone is in the same room. This feature enhances communication and coordination, making your testing process more efficient.
  • Trusted Worldwide: Our global practice management system is trusted by users worldwide. At Carepatron, we continuously strive to deliver beautiful experiences every day. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in the positive feedback we receive from our global community of users.

Carepatron combines advanced technology, simplicity, collaboration, and global compliance to provide comprehensive and reliable Hair Follicle Drug Test Software. It's not just an app - it's a tool designed to make your testing process more efficient and secure.

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  1. Boumba, V. A., Ziavrou, K. S., & Vougiouklakis, T. (2021). Forensic Science International.
  2. Cone, E. J. (1996). Cleveland State Law Review.
  3. Kintz, P. (2012). Drug Testing in Hair.
  4. Moosmann, B., Roth, N., & Auwärter, V. (2015). Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
  1. Pragst, F., & Balikova, M. A. (2006). Handbook of Analytical Separations.
  2. Wang, X., Cone, E. J., & Yousefnejad, D. (2017). Clinical Toxicology.
Who typically requests a Hair Follicle Drug Test?
Who typically requests a Hair Follicle Drug Test?

Commonly asked questions

Who typically requests a Hair Follicle Drug Test?

Employers, legal authorities, and healthcare professionals typically request hair follicle drug tests.

When are Hair Follicle Drug Tests used?

They are used for pre-employment screening, random drug testing, and legal or forensic settings.

How are Hair Follicle Drug Tests used?

A small hair sample is cut from the head, processed, and analyzed for signs of drug use.

How long does a Hair Follicle Drug Test take?

The test can take minutes to an hour, depending on the specific procedure used. However, the results typically take 24 to 72 hours to return from the lab.

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