Hair Follicle Drug Testing

For those that support hair strand drug testing in the workplace there is convincing evidence. Here are some sobering (no pun intended) statistics.

  • 77% of illegal drug users in the U.S. are employees!
  • American has 5% of the world’s population and consumes about 60% the world’s illegal drugs!

In a months time according to U.S government research:

  • almost 3 million people used marijuana
  • nearly 10 million individuals used cocaine
Drug testing advocates maintain that companies large and small experience more accidents and low productivity. Poor attendance and bad job performance are also areas of concern. Employees with substance abuse issues account for more employee theft from co-workers and the company.

Hair Dna Drug Testing

Workplace substance abuse is also referred to as significantly increasing workers’ compensation payouts and medical claims. This in turn causes higher insurance premiums paid by the business and employees. Therefore employers of all shapes and sizes are using all or combination of …
  • drug awareness programs
  • business-wide drug abuse policy
  • drug testing programs
  • drug education programs
  • drug rehabilitation programs
Many companies also provide employee counseling services such as an employee assistance program.

hair strand drug testing

Most businesses and organizations around the country or not obligated to drug test or hair drug test their employees. There are also a lot of local and state laws that prohibit or restrict employee drug testing. Nonetheless, most private businesses have the right to drug and alcohol test for many different drugs.

Hair Sample Drug Testing

The number one reason for hair drug use testing is it provides a much longer time period of drug abuse detection (several months). The process is non invasive(meaning no needles or pee cups!), and the sample is easy to get. Drug testing hair is popular because hair does not break down or deteriorate which means its very suitable for testing. break down or deteriorate which means its very suitable for testing.

The procedure for hair drug use testing involves cutting a small sample of hair from close to the scalp. When hair grows any drugs that you have used will be in the hair shaft. The longer your hair the longer back in time the drug or drugs can be traced. Some job applicants and employees shave their head to beat a drug hair test.

Hair Drug Test

The employer has the right to request hair from any part of your body! The specimen is then examined at a lab that should be (SAMHSA)Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration regulated under the (CLIA) Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments. I love those acronyms! More and more companies, organizations and law enforcement agencies are using hair follicle drug tests.

Info on hair drug tests indicates them to be more efficient than drug testing of urine and other methods in accurately spotting drug abusers. The scalp sample shows the amount of metabolites in the hair. A metabolite is any substance produced or used during metabolism (digestion). If drugs are taken, the term usually refers to the end product that remains or is produced after metabolism.

hair strand drug testing

Drug Testing of Hair

Many lawsuits are evolving as a result of testing hair for drugs. Research has revealed that various ethic types of people have diverse hair and different hair structures. NORML) The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has an interesting perspective on this issue.

“Hair testing is racially biased against Africans, being much more sensitive to thick, dark hair than to light, fine hair”. NORML further states, “Although the (FDA) Food and Drug Administration and scientific community has been critical of hair testing, that hasn’t stopped employers from using it.” Research has demonstrated that this type of hair sample drug test has lead to false positives among different ethnic groups.

Hair Drug Tests

Studies show that a hair follicle drug test may be influenced by various types of shampoo. One test found hair treated with Head & Shoulders® (Fine/Oily), Neutrogena®, and Rave® displayed lower drug concentrations than with Pert® (Oily/Fine) or Prell® (Normal, Normal/Oily).

Employees in the workplace may be able to challenge drug testing by hair sampling and other employee drug testing methods. There are circumstances where local regulations and labor laws may restrict or not allow a drug abuse screening test. Job seekers have a right to refuse a drug screening test. Unfortunately, they have no legal right to challenge pre employment drug testing.

hair strand drug testing

Hair Drug Screening

Hair strand drug testing information has proven it to be one of the most credible ways of detecting drugs in the workplace. A drug test of hair analysis does not give evidence of impairment in job performance, only that drugs may have been used for a longer period of time.

A drug hair strand test can detect the main types of illicit drugs or what’s called the “NIDA-5”. The NIDA-5 stands for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and its following category of drugs.

  • Cannabinoids (marijuana, hashish- metabolite tests for THC)
  • Opiates (heroin, opium, morphine, codeine)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Cocaine (cocaine, benzoylecognine, cocaethylene) - tests for cocaine metabolite
  • Amphetamines (amphetamine, methamphetamine)

Hair strand drug testing is complex and detailed which is one its drawbacks. It is a slow process that can take up to 3 months to get the hair tests for drugs. Nonetheless drug testing using hair appears destined to become the dominate workplace drug abuse testing method.

As an employee I intend to learn all I can about this process. Many believe hair strand drug testing will replace urine drug testing as the drug test of choice. I believe anyone that works or seeks to work for someone else for a living should learn all they can about how hair drug testing works.

hair strand drug testing

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