Below you will find answers to our most frequently asked questions. If you need to make an appointment. Please call us today!
1. What is Hair Drug Testing?
Since hair growth is fed by the bloodstream, the ingestion of drugs of abuse is revealed by analyzing a small sample of hair. Our testing method measures the drug molecules embedded inside the hairshaft, eliminating external contamination as a source of a positive test result. Hair testing results cannot be altered with shampoos or other external chemicals.
2. What drugs are included in a standard Hair Drug Test?
Cocaine, marijuana, opiates (Codeine, Morphine & 6-monoacteyl morphine), methamphetamine, (Meth/amphetamine & Ecstasy), and phencyclidine (PCP). These five drug classes are mandated for testing by the Federal Government.
3. What time period does a standard test cover?
A standard screen covers a period of approximately 90 days. The hair sample is cut as close to the scalp as possible and the most recent 1.5 inches are tested.
4. Does hair color affect results?
Hair color is determined by the amount of melanin in the hair. It has been shown experimentally, through actual hair samples, as well as determined in court that hair color has NO basis in fact.
5. How fast does head hair grow?
Studies indicate that head hair grows on the average approximately 1.3 cm (or 1/2 inch) per month. This growth rate varies slightly (estimated at ± .2 cm per month), consequently there is some (± 1 week) time variation possible.
6. How much hair is needed?
A standard screen with GC/MS confirmation requires 60+ milligrams of hair or approximately 90 to 120 strands. The thickness of different types of head hair (thick coarse vs. thinning fine) is the reason for this variation.
7. How does Hair Testing compare to urinalysis?
The primary differences are:
1) Wider window of detection
2) Inability to tamper with the test
Cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates and PCP are rapidly excreted and usually undetectable in urine 72 hours after use. The detection period for hair is limited only by the length of the hair sample and is approximately 90 days for a standard screen.
At this time there are no known adulterants for hair tests. Since hair tests analyze the drugs inside the hairshaft, external contaminants/chemicals have no effect.
Additional advantages include non-intrusive collection procedures and virtual elimination of test evasion.
The combination of an increased window of detection and resistance to evasion makes hair testing far more effective than urinalysis in correctly identifying drug users.
8. How soon after use can a drug be detected in hair?
It takes approximately 4-5 days from the time of drug use for the affected hair to grow above the scalp. Body hair growth rates are generally slower and cannot be utilized to determine a time frame of drug use.
9. What is the shortest time period that can be evaluated?
The minimum time period is approximately two weeks (1/4 inch). Body hair can be used if head hair is too short for a test. If body hair is used the time frame represented by the test is approximately one year, due to the different growth pattern in hair below the neck.
10. Can tests be run on people with little or no hair?
Hair can be collected from several head locations and combined to obtain the required amount of hair. In addition, body hair may be used as a substitute to head hair. In the rare case where no hair is collectible, complete urine/adulteration testing may be utilized.
11. Does body hair give the same type of results as head hair?
Yes, body hair can be used to test for the five standard drug classes, though body hair growth patterns are different than head hair. Most body hair is replaced within approximately one year. This means a test done with body hair will be reported as drug usage during approximately a one year time frame.
12. How effective is Hair Testing in detecting drug users?
In side-by-side comparison studies with urinalysis, hair drug testing has uncovered significantly more drug use. In two independent studies hair drug testing uncovered 4 to 8 times as many drug users as urinalysis.
13. Does external exposure to certain drugs, like marijuana or crack smoke, affect the Hair Test results?
To rule out the possibility of external contamination, Omega testing (where appropriate) looks for both parent & metabolite (bi-product) of drug usage. For marijuana analyses, Omega detects only the metabolite (THC-COOH). This metabolite is only produced by the body and cannot be an environmental contaminant.
14. What other drugs are available to be tested in hair analysis?
Currently, nicotine, methadone, simple benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants assays and mescaline have been detected in hair. However, many details such as cutoff levels and dose response relationships have not yet been established for these compounds. Currently these assays are in the Research and Development process.
We can help you administer the federally mandated drug testing programs for all operating administrations of the DOT. We will help you ensure a safe and drug free workplace to keep you in compliance with DOT regulations. You will always receive prompt and secure results.
1. Candidates that are drug-free have a lower turnover, reducing hiring and training costs.
2. A well-publicized pre-employment drug testing program will "pre-screen" unwanted job candidates.
3. Drug-free employees have fewer health problems, creating lower health costs.
4. Drug abusers create worker's compensation claims at more than twice the level of non-abusers.
5. Drug abusers are four times more likely to injure a fellow employee.
6. Employee theft is a significantly greater problem with drug abusers.
The drug user is 3 times more likely to be injured on the job or injure someone else. The drug user is 2.5 times more likely than any other employee to be absent or late to work,with an average 20-35 days in a years time. The drug user is 5 times more likely to file a workman's compensation claim. The drug user is 7 times more likely to have wages garnished. The drug user has 2.5 times more auto accidents.
Marijuana is the number one cause of accidents in the workplace.Almost 26 million Americans (13% of the population) used marijuana,cocaine or other illicit drugs at least once in the past year. Drug users can cause employers to loose as much as twenty-five percent loss of salary through absenteeism, health care costs, and poor productivity. In the past ten years, substance abuse testing has increased 1200% with companies that enforce drug testing showing a 50% decline in positive tests.
Do you own your business? Have employees that are in safety sensitive positions? Do you know that lost work time, employee theft, sickness and tardiness cost you money? Illicit drug and alcohol use is one of the top drainers of profit in a business.
Wait a minute, I run a clean shop! How do you know? Are you with your employees 24 hours a day 7 days a week? Unless you have a random drug testing program for you and your entire staff, you don't know how clean your shop is. We gather your staff information, feed it into our computer and each month, quarter or whatever time frame you and the director agree upon, a certain percentage is pulled for randoms. Nobody knows when, or who, but us! It takes all the pressure off of you! You assign a director in your company and we deal with them. They tell the employees it is their turn for a test.
In return, you get a peace of mind knowing you have a system in place that will help keep your facility clean and make for a more safer & productive work environment for all.