A hair follicle drug test is a type of drug screening method that analyzes a small hair sample. It is aimed at detecting the presence of several drugs and their metabolites. Many people ask where can I get a hair follicle drug test after knowing how it works. It is often used in pre-employment screening, legal proceedings, and other situations where a drug use history is essential. Feel free to have a hair follicle drug test, and here is everything you need to know.
Familiarize Yourself With how it Works
For the users, during drug use, there are traces of drugs and their metabolites that enter the bloodstream. It then has substances later deposited in the hair follicles through the bloodstream as the user’s hair grows. Note that a hair follicle drug test collects small hair samples, typically from the scalp. However, there is a need for analysis so that the identification of drug metabolites is made.
There is a vital advantage of hair follicle testing, which is the detection window. Remember that blood and urine tests also detect drug use but within a few days. But then, when it comes to a hair follicle test, it can only detect drug use for up to 90 days or even more. Remember that drug use within the last two weeks may have challenges for it to be detected. The reason is that it takes time for drug metabolites to reach the hair follicles.
The Drugs Detected
When it comes to hair follicle drug tests, a wide range of drugs are detected. These drugs include amphetamines, opiates such as heroin and codeine, benzodiazepines, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and marijuana. This test is crucial as it can also identify the levels of drug use. It can also provide an estimate of the frequency and quantity of drugs consumed.
The Collection Process
During this hair follicle test, the technician collects a small sample of hair close to the scalp, estimated to be 1.5 inches. The sample taken from the user is later taken to the laboratory for further analysis. Some technicians also prefer using the body hairs in case the scalp is unavailable for the hair follicle drug test.
Even though hair follicle testing has various advantages, it also has specific limitations. The test cannot detect recent drug use within the past few days of use. The reason is that drugs take time to enter the hair follicles. Another limitation is that the hair follicle test cannot determine the exact drug use or intoxication time. Note that false positives can sometimes occur if the user has been exposed to drugs through environmental contamination. It mostly happens when the user has been in proximity to others using drugs.
Accuracy and Controversies
The hair follicle test is one of the most assured tests, and it is considered to be highly accurate and also has a low rate of false positives. For instance, like any testing method, there might be a possibility of false results in a certain period. Factors like improper sample collection or handling, contamination, and laboratory technical errors may cause such possibilities. Hair follicle testing has been the subject of some controversies. Critics argue that it may lead to discrimination against individuals with dark and coarse hair. However, some studies suggest that drug metabolites can bind more easily to these hair types.
It is crucial to note that the regulations and guidelines regarding hair follicle testing may vary between jurisdictions and organizations. If you are a user and you have concerns about drug testing, it is good to consult with legal professionals so that they work it out for you. They can best understand the rules and regulations that apply to your situation.