Hair Follicle Drug Testing

New Era’s hair follicle drug testing is a popular option for organizations or businesses that want to determine an employee or potential employee’s drug use history going back as far as 90 days. This form of testing is especially effective in detecting low-level drug use and, because it’s nearly impossible for the donor to contaminate the sample or disguise the chemical composition of the hair, extremely accurate and cost-effective.

Hair Specimen Testing Process

Hair follicle drug testing is a fairly straightforward procedure: a certified specimen collector obtains 100 milligrams of hair – roughly 90-120 strands – from the donor’s head or body, securing the specimen in foil before completing chain-of-custody documents in preparation for shipment to a testing facility. Hair samples are obtained in full view of the collector, thus minimizing the likelihood of sample adulteration or specimen substitution, and hair is tested for drug molecules embedded in the hair shaft using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with confirmation of presumptive positive screens by gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (GC/MS/MS) or liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Negative tests for all drugs are generally available within 48-72 hours after a hair sample is received at the laboratory, though positive screens may require an additional 72 hours for confirmation testing.

Hair Drug Testing

Drugs Detected with Hair Follicle Drug Testing

  • Amphetamine/methamphetamine/ecstasy- Marijuana metabolite
  • Cocaine and metabolites
  • Opiates (codeine, morphine, 6-acetylmorphine)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Hair Follicle Drug Testing Advantages

New Era’s hair follicle drug testing has several advantages over other drug testing methods. First, because almost all traces of a drug is naturally flushed from the body within 5-7 days following the use of an illicit substance, blood, salvia, and urine tests may be ineffective or inconclusive after only one week. Hair follicle testing, on the other hand, can detect drugs and drug metabolites that have been incorporated into the hair matrix from the bloodstream, increasing the testing window to 90 days, in some cases. Furthermore, because a hair follicle’s composition cannot be altered with bleach, shampoos, dyes, or other “stripping” chemicals, this testing method is resistant to contamination. Finally, hair samples are taken in full view of a DOT- or SAMSHA-certified collector, which makes cheating (i.e. switching the hair sample with a “clean” sample) practically impossible.

New Era Drug Testing strives to keep up with changing technology in drug and alcohol testing, and offering clients hair follicle drug testing options is just one example of our pursuit of excellence. If your company is interested in learning more about our hair follicle testing services, customized drug testing programs, Drug Free Workplace management tools, or convenient network of more than 10,000 collection sites nationwide, contact New Era Drug Testing today at 1-800-801-0966

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