Frequently Asked Questions: Hair Follicle Drug Testing

New Era Drug Testing is dedicated to providing nothing but the best in DOT and FMCSA compliant drug and alcohol testing services. And to help us achieve that goal, we implement hair follicle drug testing. But many question how drugs can be found in hair, and the effectiveness of such tests.

If you’re looking for more information on hair follicle drug testing you’re in luck, because the experts at New Era Drug Testing are here to help. We’ve compiled a helpful list of frequently asked questions related to hair follicle drug testing, providing the insight you need on this effective, useful process.

How Does Hair Follicle Drug Testing Work?

Hair follicle drug testing is a pretty simple process. Your drug testing lab will simply take a sample of your hair and run it through their systems to determine if you have been using drugs.

Many people just think of the impact taking drugs has on their bodies, and don’t even realize that drugs can reach your hair! Drugs are spread throughout the body through the bloodstream, and regardless of the substance, those drug chemicals become embedded in your hair matrix. A hair test examines your hair matrix for any traces of drugs.

How Much Hair Is Needed For The Drug Test?

Thankfully, you won’t have to shave all your hair off for this type of drug test. To complete a hair follicle drug test, a lab will only need about 100 milligrams of hair, which is the equivalent of 90 to 120 strands of hair.

For more drug testing information, check out the blogs below: 

What Drugs Can Be Found In Hair Follicles?

Hair follicle drug testing can discover a variety of common drugs, and New Era Drug Testing’s comprehensive 5-panel drug tests screen for:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates, including heroin, codeine, and morphine
  • Amphetamines like methamphetamine and MDMA
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

What Happens If Drugs Are Found In Your Hair?

A positive drug test can be a major roadblock in your career as a trucker, bus driver, or any other profession monitored by the DOT and FMCSA. According to DOT and FMCSA standards, you will be removed from any safety-sensitive job duties until completion of a return-to-duty process with a DOT-approved substance abuse professional. That process will also include a return-to-duty drug test, which will need to have a negative result in order for you to return to your regular job.

Are Hair Follicle Drug Tests Accurate?

Even though they’re scientifically sound, many wonder about the accuracy of hair follicle drug tests. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that hair follicle testing is a particularly effective method that offers accurate results. Generally speaking, hair tests can detect drugs over a longer period of time than common urine drug tests. A hair follicle drug test can discover drugs in your system up to 90 days after they’ve been taken, while urine tests will only detect drugs up to a week after they’ve been used.

New Era Drug Testing employs a variety of drug testing methods to provide safety and DOT/FMCSA-compliance within the workplace. In addition to hair follicle drug testing, we also use urine drug testing and breath alcohol testing to ensure you and your employees are not abusing drugs and alcohol while on the job. And with 10,000 testing facilities nationwide, our consortium can provide services to your business regardless of location. For more information on our drug and alcohol testing services, contact New Era Drug Testing today.