For employers and families plagued with the problematic consequences of drug abuse, there may be light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. A new type of medical-grade hair follicle testing can find drugs in a person’s system with an accuracy that has never been seen before. This gives employers and family members peace of mind and more control over whether an employee is using drugs or not.
With its high detection limits and a long window into past drug use—a whole 3 months!—this powerful technique promises to revolutionize the way we understand and address substance abuse.
In this post, we’ll explore exactly how hair follicle screening works—as well as its obvious benefits—and debate some nuances around result interpretation to equip you should you ever need this valuable technology yourself. Let’s begin!
What is hair follicle drug testing and how does it work?
Hair follicle drug testing is a non-invasive, accurate way to detect drug use in an individual within the past 90 days. It works by extracting hair samples and analyzing them for drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, opiates, and amphetamines.
To ensure accuracy, hair specimens are initially screened with immunoassay technology, then confirmed with more advanced chromatographic assays.
This ensures that any results reported are reliable and correct. Here in Oregon, this type of drug testing is becoming increasingly popular as businesses look for ways to protect their employees from illegal or prohibited drug use while maintaining privacy and dignity.
How is this different from traditional urine drug tests?
More and more, saliva drug tests are being used instead of urine drug tests because they are more accurate and easier to do.An oral fluid specimen can detect recent use much more quickly than urine, often within a few hours compared to one to four days for urine testing.
Furthermore, saliva specimens require only a few milliliters rather than the large collection cup traditionally needed for a urine test, and their minimally invasive collection process eliminates some of the potential problems that may arise from collecting a sample from unwilling participants.
To top it off, saliva drug testing is so easy to administer that no additional staff or special training is necessary. Saliva drug tests are a good alternative to traditional urine drug tests because they are easier and faster and still give accurate results.
The advantages of using hair follicle drug tests
There are many reasons why hair follicle drug tests are a good way to find out if someone has used drugs.Unlike certain other types of drug tests that are unreliable and may even be easy to tamper with, hair follicle tests provide a reliable, long-term trace of a person’s drug use.
This makes them perfect for situations where results need to be as accurate as possible, such as workplace safety or criminal investigations.
Hair follicle testing can detect a wide variety of substances over a longer detection range—up to 90 days—making it nearly impossible to beat the test by using additional substances or masking agents. On top of all this, hair follicle testing is often an affordable option that gives quick, dependable results.
The disadvantages of using hair follicle drug tests
Hair follicle drug tests are becoming more common for drug detection. Before choosing them over other testing techniques, consider their downsides. For instance, scalp hair yields the most precise findings, but body hair must be utilized if the person is bald or has no long hair.
This material is unreliable and requires costly lab examination by expert professionals. As body hair must grow to provide enough material for the sample, regular or continuous testing may not be possible.
Lastly, because everyone’s hair grows at a different rate and their medications are broken down at different rates, test results might be different and hard to explain.
Are there any legal implications for employers when it comes to these types of tests?
Yes, employers must be aware of the legal implications involved with pre-employment tests. These tests could present their own ethical and legal issues, such as if the employer’s tests unintentionally cause discrimination against certain applicants based on their gender, age, or ethnicity.
The employer has a responsibility to make sure that the test is job-related, relevant to job duties, and free from bias. Employers also have to let potential employees know what the results are so they can dispute any false or inaccurate information in the screening report.
Lastly, employers should have a way for applicants to appeal if they aren’t hired because of the results of a test. They should also make sure that candidates’ privacy and confidentiality are protected during these tests.
In conclusion, hair follicle drug testing is quickly becoming the method of choice for employers who want to make sure their employees are following safety rules and other policies while at work or while driving or using other equipment.This kind of test can find drugs up to 90 days after they were used, and it’s often thought to be more accurate than traditional urine drug tests.
Even though there are benefits and best ways to use these tests, it’s important for employers to know what could happen if they violate an employee’s privacy rights in the process. In the end, the decision about whether or not to do this kind of screening should be well-thought-out and based on the ideas of everyone involved who knows the rules and laws about privacy and drug testing standards.