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Hair Drug Testing, what is involved?

Hair drug testing, what is it?

Now, don't be pulling your hair out over this one.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the process, collecting a sample, and conducting a substance abuse test on that sample is a fantastic way of gaining an overview of the donors’ substance abuse history.

Hair drug testing is gaining popularity for both a workplace drug testing option AND as a test used by private parties to ascertain what, if any, substances are in a person’s system.

Why? The test itself can give up to a 6-month history of a person’s substance misuse BUT NOT FROM THE DATE OF THE TEST!

Results are usually read from 7 to 10 days prior to the test being administered and cover the six months prior (or one to six months for alcohol). This allows tim

e for the hair follicle to grow through the scalp to a point where it can be cut, collected and used for drug and alcohol testing.

What substances do hair drug testing collections check for?

The test can check for both alcohol and a range of drugs.

How much hair is required?

Two samples are collected, usually from the scalp and need to be ideally at least 3 cm long.

Failing that, body hair can be collected to an amount suitable for testing.

What are the benefits to me in my business?

From a business perspective, it can detect if a member of staff who may be on a treatment program for substance misuse is sticking to the program. Shorter detection collection tests can also be used, but you will require a constant stream of testing to be conducted and the time frame for such tests may mean they still miss whether the donor has taken something or not.

They are also excellent for staff members who may work from home and are not on the premises on a regular basis.

Throughout lockdown, the amount of drug and

alcohol consumption increased, this includes people working from home. A hair strand test will give an overview of a staff members history in this case.

How accurate are they?

Highly accurate and difficult to cheat. However, they can only determine if a substance is in a person’s system, not the amounts.

First Cohort International offer a full consultation and collection service for hair drug testing.

If you have any questions about workplace drug and alcohol testing, please feel free to contact us


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