About HairConfirm Hair Follicle Drug Testing
HairConfirm provides reliable hair drug test results you can trust. Ingestion of drugs of abuse as well as some prescription drugs, will be detectable in even just a small sample of hair. Since hair growth is fed by the bloodstream, drug metabolites are embedded inside the hair shaft. Hence, external contaminants and commercial products like shampoos, bleaches and other hair chemicals will not alter the test results.
Drug testing methods using urine samples is the most common drug screening method at present. The problem with a urine drug test is the unreliability of the results because most drug metabolites in urine are eliminated out of the body after 48-72 hours. The success of a clinical treatment, reducing drug use by random drug testing and even historical proof of drug use or non-use will be difficult to detect using only urine drug testing methods.
Hair drug tests can provide solutions to these problems. Hair can reveal a drug habit of a drug user over time and can also determine what drugs were used by the donor. The result is an earnest and secure drug detection. Most importantly, testing hair for drugs can determine if an individual has been taking illicit substances.
Consider these facts on drug abuse:
- Drug test using hair is the most effective test for long term drug use
- 1 in 16 high school seniors admitted to using an illicit drug in the past month
- In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older – 9.4 percent of the population – had used an illicit drug in the past month
- The most commonly used drugs of abuse are marijuana and opiate pain killers including oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine & fentanyl
- In 2009, there were nearly 4.6 million visits to emergency rooms related to the use of illegal drugs or non-medical use of legal drugs
Hair drug testing is the most accurate and effective method of finding users of drugs of abuse. Hair analysis evaluates the amount of drug metabolites embedded inside the hair shaft through a small sample of hair cut at the scalp. Whereas the traditional urine drug testing method cannot detect intermittent use since most drug metabolites disappear within 2-3 days, drug testing with hair provides a more accurate long term picture. The hair shaft is where most drugs are deposited. The amounts may be small, but still measurable, and can identify drug use for months or years prior to the test. Hair test for drugs is an accurate and distinguished type of screening program.
Hair Sample Drug Test Programs
Seasoned drug users may substitute a specimen with a bogus urine sample when collection is not directly witnessed. HairConfirm’s improved detection rate proves 5 to 10 times greater than urine testing. One hair sample can produce the same amount of information as 6 urine samples. Only 4 samples throughout the year are needed to accurately determine total abstinence from illicit drugs making this a cost-effective procedure.
Urine can only detect drug use within a short window of time (usually 2-4 days), while hair follicle testing for drugs can provide a detection window of several months. Determination a drug history through a hair drug test has many benefits including:
- Longer window of detection (months instead of 48-72 hours)
- Cost-effective and time-saving (one hair test vs. 18 urine samples for a 3-month profile)
- No need for random drug testing
- Easier and more sanitary to collect, store and transport
- Differentiates one-off incidents from addictive behavior
- A more dignified drug testing method
Hair provides a window of detection measured in months not days as in the case of urine. There are numerous benefits from the knowledge of the history of drug taking.
Advantages of Hair Testing
- Longer window of detection, months instead of 48-72 hours
- Cost-effective and time-saving – one hair test vs. 18 urine samples for 3-month profile
- Eliminates the need for random drug testing
- 5-10 times more sensitive test than urinalysis, and proven in a court of law.
- Easier to collect, store and transport
- More dignified method to use
- Differentiates between one-off incidents and addictive behavior
Our hair grows at an average of 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) each month. In order to grow, each hair needs relevant nutrients provided by its own blood supply through the hair follicle. Once a drug is taken, it is absorbed into the blood stream and becomes part of the body’s blood circulation. While hair grows, drugs from the blood supply are incorporated into the hair follicle growth. The drugs may remain in the hair almost permanently. A 1.5-inch section of hair can give a 3-month profile of drug use or abstinence.
Compared to more traditional forms of drug screening, hair follicle drug testing can detect a longer period of drug use. Except for marijuana, most drugs are undetectable if a urinalysis is performed more than 2-3 days after use. A drug user may eventually pass a urine drug test if timed right. When using hair samples for testing, the length of the donor’s hair is the only limitation for detecting drug usage. Each 0.5 inch of head hair gives approximately a 30 day drug use history. For most industries, the standard test 1.5 inches, reflecting an approximate 90-day history of the donor.
When head hair is unavailable, other body hair can be used. External contaminants like bleaches, shampoo, and even marijuana smoke, have no known impact on test results.
PLEASE NOTE: There are instances when a hair drug test, like HairConfirm™, may be unable to detect THC metabolite from marijuana usage because this metabolite was unable to bind with the hair shaft. This depends on the type/quality of the marijuana smoked/ingested, or by what it has been mixed with, like tobacco. Marijuana results may be a false negative.
Reports have shown that teenagers who have used marijuana may be more likely to use other dangerous drugs of abuse, too. When testing due to suspicion of marijuana usage for your child, remember that you are also testing for other illicit drugs.