The hair follicle drug test is a useful scientific method of identifying the usage of any drug by a person. This article provides some information on the same.
There are various types of drug tests which are performed to determine the presence or absence of any illegal drugs in the body of a person. Some of the popular tests amongst them are – the urine test, blood test, sweat test, saliva test, and hair follicle test. All these tests are useful for the detection of drug abuse or drug addiction of a person. The detection period of the drug and the validity of the drug testing depends upon various factors like the class and the amount of the drug consumed, the frequency of its usage, and several other physiological factors like the age, weight, rate of metabolism, urine pH, and overall health of the person. Amongst all the above mentioned drug tests, the hair follicle drug test has the longest detecting period of the major drug classes.
What is Hair Follicle Drug Test?
This test is an examination of a small hair sample, to determine and specify the kind of drug, which was used by the person who is being tested. It measures specific metabolites of the drug molecules, which are produced inside the body. These drug molecules are produced only after the drug is totally processed by the body. Later, these drug molecules are brought into the hair follicles by the bloodstream. It takes around 3 to 5 days for this whole process to get completed. Astonishingly, this test can be performed even after 90 days from the consumption of the drug.
What is the Process of this Test?
A single hair sample is all that is needed for this test to be performed. A sample of about 100 milligrams is collected from the specimen. This sample is then secured in a foil and transported to the laboratory. Adequate precautions are taken, so that there are no chances of sample adulteration or substitution. Following that, there are a few methods in which this test is performed like ELISA, GC/MS (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry), etc. The detection time is different for both positive and negative results. For instance, the process of confirmation of a negative result can take around 24 hours, while the confirmation of positive results can take around 72 hours.
Which Drugs can be Detected by this Test?
All the major illicit substances including amphetamine, cocaine metabolites, marijuana metabolite, methamphetamine/ecstasy, opiates (codeine, morphine, 6-acetylmorphine), phencyclidine (PCP), etc., can be detected by this test. In fact, testing of these drugs with the help of the hair follicle test is made mandatory by the Federal Government. The validity of the test is certainly more than the urinary drug test, especially for detecting drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, PCP, and Opiates. The detection of marijuana is less sensitive, however, the efficiency level of the hair follicle test in case of marijuana is same as the urinary drug test.
How to Pass this Test?
Due to its accuracy level and longer detection period, this test is opined efficient by many. It is also a trusted drug test, which is popular amongst many employers for testing their employees and pre-employees. It takes about 3 to 5 days for the drug metabolites to get inserted into the hair. Once the drug traces are inserted in hair, they can be detected for up to 90 days. Moreover, some drug tests that are specially performed for government or military drug testing, can detect drug traces up to 1 year. The easiest way to pass the test is to never consume any drug. Well, there are a few marketed drug cleaning shampoos and detox conditioners which claim total remotion of the drug from the hair. However, there is a big question about their cogency and reliability.
Hair Follicle Drug Test Facts
One interesting fact is that this drug test can be performed on hair which is present on any part of the body. That is, in case a person is bald, then the test can still be performed by taking samples of his body hair or even the eyebrow hair. However, due to their high efficiency in detecting any kind of drug traces, the test is at higher risk for the ‘false positive drug test’. Sometimes, a person who is merely taking several pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs, can be found positive to some drugs like opiates and marijuana. This is the reason why this test has faced a lot of law suits in the recent past.
Staying away from the drugs would certainly keep one away from any unnecessary worries and legal issues. It is the best way to lead a happy and healthy life.