Workplace drug testing probably wouldn’t be as standard as it is today if lab reports results weren’t so accurate (99%, allegedly). But away from that, thousands of people fail this test every year, which undoubtedly leaves a huge dent on their careers. Many drug users will avoid this test because the hair drug test can be beat. This means that you as a professional should be aware of the factors that play a part in the test if only to safeguard your future.
A large number of employers request a hair follicle drug test as part of the pre-employment process, and any number of illegal products can be traced. This includes several of the most commonly used drugs today. These drugs are mandated by the federal government for testing:
- Cocaine & Benzoylecgonine
A standard hair follicle screening test traces drug use over a period of 90 days, but this timeline varies based on the rate at which your hair grows. Hair is cut as close to the scalp as possible to get the most recent 1.5 inches for testing- but in fact, your hair can store a history of drug use over a much longer period, years even.
For employers, the test is a way for them to check if workers and new recruits have maintained soberness and restraint in the recent past, and presumably, motivated professionals can choose to insist on testing as an added validation.
How fast does hair grow?
As we mentioned, the rate at which your hair grows determines how much history the test collects. But the hair on your body can also store evidence of drug use-up to one year- although the results aren’t always indicative of actual drug history. It may indicate the presence of medications that have long left the system.
The hair on your head grows at a rate of about 1.3cm per month with a slight variation of + .2 cm per month, which means that a regular hair test will reveal at least a couple months of drug history. In the rare cases where no amount of hair is collectible, one may be required to undergo a complete urine adulteration test- however urine tests aren’t quite as far reaching (time-wise) and definitive.
How useful is this test?
Your regular hair follicle drug test reveals lots of information about old and existing drug habits, which makes it an effective legal jump-stick for the working person. You can find help for addiction from any number of not-for-profit organizations within your community or by visiting government websites for information.…