Hair Drug Testing

Hair Follicle Drug Testing

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment, ensuring a drug-free workplace is paramount for maintaining productivity, safety, and the well-being of your employees. While standard urine and saliva tests are commonplace, they may not provide the comprehensive results needed to accurately screen for illicit drug use over extended periods. This is where the hair follicle drug test stands out, offering a deeper look into an individual’s drug use history. In this comprehensive guide on hair follicle drug testing, we delve into what it is, how it differs from other tests, its benefits, and how it empowers employers, HR and Risk professionals to enforce a drug-free policy effectively.

Need to order a drug screen or physical today?  Contact our knowledgeable Support Staff at 844-573-8378 or or press on link to order now:

Understanding Hair Follicle Drug Test: What Is It?

The hair follicle drug test, sometimes known as a hair drug test, is a robust method of screening for illicit drug use. It operates on the principle that drugs introduced into the body leave behind metabolites that deposit in hair follicles, offering a more extended timeline of drug use history compared to standard urine or saliva tests. This makes it especially useful for employers in industries that require strict safety protocols, such as transportation, logistics, or manufacturing, as it can detect drug use from days to months prior to the test date.

How Does a Hair Drug Test Work?

  1. Sample Collection: A small sample of hair, typically taken from the scalp, is collected under direct supervision to prevent tampering.
  2. Laboratory Analysis: The hair sample undergoes extensive laboratory analysis to screen for a broad range of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP).
  3. Detection Window: The hair drug test can detect drug use over a more extended period, r from up to 90 days, depending on the length of the hair at the time of sampling.
  4. Verification and Reporting: When analysis is complete, results are verified by a Medical Review Officer (MRO) before being reported to the employer. This critical step ensures accuracy and provides individuals a chance to legitimately explain any positive results.

Hair Follicle Drug Test vs. Other Drug Tests

  1. Urine Test:
  • Pros: Widely available, relatively inexpensive.
  • Cons: Offers only a short-term detection window (a few days to a week).
  1. Saliva Test:
  • Pros: Provides real-time results for recent drug use and directly observed collection without having to remove clothing.
  • Cons: Limited detection window of up to 72 hours.
  1. Hair Follicle Test:
  • Pros: Detects drug use over a more extended period (90 days to 1 year), difficult to adulterate due to directly observed collection.
  • Cons: Higher cost.

What Drugs are  Detected in a 5 Panel Hair Drug Test

Standard hair drug tests typically screen for the following substances:

  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates (heroin, morphine, codeine)
  • Amphetamines (methamphetamine, ecstasy)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

What Drugs are Detected in a 10 Panel Hair Drug Test

  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates (heroin, morphine, codeine)
  • Amphetamines (methamphetamine, ecstasy)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Methadone
  • Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
  • Propoxyphene

Many other drugs are available in Hair Testing.

There are many other drugs available in hair follicle testing.  Please contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or or visit our website for more descriptions:

Benefits of a Hair Follicle Drug Test

  1. Longer Detection Window: Provides a more comprehensive perspective of an individual’s drug use history compared to urine or saliva tests.
  2. Difficult to Cheat or Adulterate: Requires collecting hair samples under direct supervision, making it virtually tamper-proof.
  3. Highly Accurate and Reliable: Reduces the likelihood of false-positive or false-negative results when conducted by accredited labs and verified by MROs.
  4. Adherence to Strict Safety Guidelines: Ideal for industries such as transportation, manufacturing or construction where safety is of utmost importance, as it can detect historical drug use that might pose a risk in safety-sensitive positions.
  5. Heightened Deterrent to Drug Use: The perceived invasiveness of hair follicle testing and its capacity to detect drug use over a significantly longer period serves as a more potent deterrent than other standard tests.

Implementing Hair Follicle Testing in the Workplace

For employers and HR professionals considering the adoption of hair follicle drug testing, several best practices can guide the process:

  1. Educate the Workforce: Provide clear, detailed information to employees about the rationale for and process of hair follicle testing. Clear communication can address misconceptions and foster a culture of safety and compliance.
  2. Develop a Comprehensive Drug and Alcohol Policy: Ensure that hair follicle testing is incorporated into a broader, consistent drug and alcohol policy that clearly outlines testing procedures, consequences for non-compliance, and avenues for employees to seek help.
  3. Provide Employees with a Standardized Process: To maintain fairness and transparency, lay out a standard process for testing, including how samples are collected, recorded, and stored.
  4. Use of a Trusted Medical Review Officer (MRO): Engaging a reliable, experienced MRO for verification and reporting of test results is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the testing process.
  5. Understand Legal and Regulatory Considerations: Before implementing hair follicle testing, ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations, taking into account employee rights and privacy concerns.

The Role of Medical Review Officers (MROs)

The involvement of a Medical Review Officer (MRO) is essential for the integrity of hair follicle drug testing. An MRO is a licensed physician responsible for reviewing and verifying drug test results, ensuring accuracy, and interpreting findings in light of medical explanation. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Verifying positive, negative, and inconclusive results with the donor.
  • Evaluating legitimate medical explanations for positive results.
  • Ensuring the confidentiality of drug testing information.
  • Serving as a liaison between the donor, testing facility, and employer, when necessary.

Regulatory Considerations for Hair Follicle Testing

While hair follicle testing provides a powerful tool for maintaining a drug-free workplace, it’s essential to remain cognizant of regulatory considerations that safeguard the rights and privacy of employees. Key points for employers to consider include:

  • Ensuring testing adheres to state and federal regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. For example not allowed for Marijuana testing in California due to new regulations introduced in January 2024.
  • Respecting employee privacy throughout the testing process, including the collection and handling of samples and confidential reporting of results.
  • Developing clear policies and procedures for testing, as well as for handling positive results and any necessary follow-up, such as the employee’s right to explain or contest findings.

Understanding the Cost of Hair Follicle Testing

Compared to standard urine or saliva testing, hair follicle testing can involve higher upfront costs due to the need for more sophisticated analysis and the requirement for sample collection under supervision. While these costs may present a barrier for some employers, the extended detection window and greater accuracy of hair follicle testing can lead to more substantial long-term savings by reducing the risk of hiring individuals with undetected drug use that can lead to accidents, injuries, or legal ramifications for the employer.

Making an Informed Decision: The Importance of Experience and Technology

For employers and HR professionals navigating drug testing protocols, weighing the benefits of hair follicle testing against its implementation costs is vital. Partnering with a reputable drug testing service provider that offers advanced technology, extensive experience, and compliance with all regulatory guidelines can significantly streamline and enhance your drug testing program.

  • Advanced Technology: Look for providers that use state-of-the-art equipment, well-established testing methodologies, and strict quality control processes to ensure accurate, reliable results.
  • Experience: Choose a service provider with a proven track record in drug testing, particularly in your industry, and one that can provide tailored solutions to meet your specific needs.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Verify that your service provider is up to date with all relevant regulations and can offer guidance on maintaining legal compliance.
  • Medical Oversight: Ensure that the provider offers access to experienced, qualified MROs who can provide support and clarification throughout the testing process.

Drug Test Near Me

If you’re seeking a “drug test near me” to ensure compliance with your workplace’s regulations or simply for personal reasons, you’re in luck. Workplace Screening Intelligence has over 20,000 electronically and conveniently located collection sites across the country, finding a facility close to either your workplace or home is as simple as typing in your zip code. These widespread collection sites are easily accessible, providing you with timely and confidential drug testing services that meet your needs. Whether you require immediate testing or are planning a pre-employment screening, the comprehensive network of locations means finding a nearby facility has never been easier.  Need to order a drug screen or physical today?  Contact our knowledgeable Support Staff at 844-573-8378 or or press on link to order now:

You may also visit our location tabs to find the nearest site to your workplace or your employee or applicant’s home:

For many employers, the peace of mind that comes with a thorough and reliable drug testing program, especially in safety-sensitive industries, makes the additional investment in hair follicle testing a sound decision. By leveraging the latest advancements in technology, thorough compliance with regulations, and the expertise of medical professionals, your organization can maintain a safe, healthy, and productive work environment. Let our 30 Years of Experience and Technology Be Your Peace of Mind.

As employers and HR professionals continue to prioritize workplace safety and compliance, the role of the hair follicle drug test as a comprehensive screening method is more critical than ever. With its ability to accurately detect drug use over an extended period, hair follicle testing offers an invaluable tool for maintaining workplace safety and fostering a culture of accountability and integrity. By considering the information presented in this guide, including the benefits, best practices, regulatory considerations, and the importance of choosing the right service provider, you can successfully incorporate hair follicle drug testing into your organization’s drug testing policy, enhancing safety and productivity for all.

Need assistance with your Employee Screening Program.  Let our 30 Years of Knowledge and Experience be your Peace of Mind!!  Contact our knowledgeable Support Staff at 844-573-8378 or or press on link to order now: