What companies use hair drug testing? Anheuser-Busch, the Federal Reserve, General Motors, Blockbuster, the Boston PD and the NYPD to name a few. Thousands of corporations have begun to use hair follicle testing instead of urine testing to evaluate whether their employees and potential employees use drugs. This is because hair follicle testing is less invasive, easy to collect and drug tests for longer periods with more accuracy in addition to offering a minimized ability to cheat the results. Hair drug testing is an effective way to maintain a drug free environment in the office and offers many advantages to corporations and businesses that need to handle things quickly and efficiently.
Casinos have used this form of drug testing for a long time now and other corporations have begun to catch on to the many advantages. Positions with companies where safety and a clear mind are crucial are the ones you are most likely to find using hair follicle drug testing. It is also becoming popular among fortune 500 companies and those where tech services are involved.
While hair follicle testing can be more expensive than other forms of drug testing, it also does a better job than urine drug testing without many of the problems. In many ways, hair follicle testing is a far better way for companies to maintain a drug free work environment without having to invade the personal space and lives of their employees. By utilizing this type of drug testing, companies can be sure that their employees are drug free and the work environment is at its best.
Before you begin, it is best for the subject to have washed their hair recently and for it to be free of styling products as well. Keep in mind, it takes 4-5 days for more recent drug use to be in the hair follicle and therefore only the use that occurred before that time will show up in the drug test. You will also need to make sure that the hair sample comes directly from the subject; hair from a brush or comb will not be an effective or accurate source for results.
Here’s the right way to collect hair follicles:
- Clean the pair of scissors with an alcohol wipe to sterilize it. This helps prevent the possibility of any contamination from anything that may be on the scissors.
- Next you’ll need to choose a small area about the size and thickness of a straw or pencil; this should be about 90-120 strands though you may need to take more if their hair is shorter than 1.5 inches or the hair is very thin. Cut this section as close to the scalp as you can get at any location of the head.
- Place the hair sample in the collection foil that comes with the hair collection kit. Then you’ll need to seal the sample in the drug test envelope to keep it clear of any contaminants. Be careful to avoid handling the hair directly and make sure that the envelope is properly sealed.
- The sample can now be sent in for drug testing.
For a long time, urine drug testing has been the standard method of evaluating a person’s drug use in places of employment, sports, play and schools. However, despite all its advantages, urine drug testing still falls short when compared to other more advanced techniques. Hair follicle drug testing is one such technique, which, while still a little more expensive than a standard urine drug test, is a far more accurate and longer spanning form of drug testing.
Here are some of the advantages of hair follicle drug testing over urine drug testing:
- While urine testing can generally only test for a window of about 2-3 days, hair follicle drug testing can detect drugs taken within 90 days. Some specialty hair testing techniques are even capable of detecting drugs taken within 6 months.
- Hair follicle drug testing is far more sensitive and the results are not affected by short periods of abstinence from the drugs. This is because the hair follicle stores the drug history (via certain trace chemicals) in the cells of the hair itself. This technique can also be used to determine patterns of drug usage.
- Hair follicle drug testing can be used to reliably distinguish between poppy seed and opiate use. It can also be used to easily identify a wide array of drugs including but not limited to Cocaine, Cannabis, Opiates, Barbiturates and Ecstasy.
- Hair follicle drug testing is relatively un-intrusive as compared to urine testing.
The only drawback in hair follicle drug testing is its higher working cost. However, the advantages far outweigh the cost factor , making this the preferred method of drug testing in doping tests and forensic studies.
Hair follicle drug testing involves taking a sample of hair from the subject and drug testing it for trace amounts of certain materials, which indicate that drug use has occurred. This form of testing works by detecting and measuring the drug molecules and their specific metabolites that are left behind in the bloodstream after specific drugs have been used. After a drug has been processed by the body, trace amounts of metabolites are left behind. These pass through the bloodstream and are eventually inserted into the hair follicle. A hair follicle drug test covers a period of approximately ninety days.
Hair follicle drug testing works by cutting a hair sample as close to the scalp as possible (about 1.5 inches). This is because the most recent hair is required to get results. Typically, around 50-70 strands of hair (40 milligrams) are required for a standard test; this could vary slightly depending upon the thickness of the hair as well as the pigment color.
If there has been any drug use, it will be clear in the presence of the specific trace chemicals stored in that follicle; the amount of the chemical traces found in the hair can even reveal the extent of drug use during that period. This technique can test for the presence of all 5 drug classes mandated by the Federal Government. These include Marijuana, Cocaine, Phencyclidine (PCP), Methamphetamine (Methamphetamine/Amphetamine & Ecstasy) and Opiates (Codeine, Morphine & 6-Monacteyl Morphine).
Because it offers a higher accuracy rate and is less invasive, hair follicle drug testing is now increasingly being preferred over the traditional urinalysis drug testing.