A lot of companies these days require their employees to undergo drug tests before they are formally offered a job.
While this may not be a problem for those people who have ever ventured in these territories for those that did dabble in it before, this may cause an issue. If you happen to have a checkered past and you would not want it to interfere with how you are trying to rebuild your life right now, getting to know some essential facts about drug testing is crucial.
A lot of people would tell you that the hardest drug test to pass would have to be hair test, the reason for this is because it goes back way much longer when compared to how much urine testing can trace back your history.
When the substance is ingested, they go to the hair follicle. Then, they settle to the actual strands afterward they usually stay there pretty much forever.
Now, hair has an average growth of 5 inches per month. This means that there is a very good chance that when your hair strand tips are tested, drugs that you have consumed even three years ago can still be found there.
This is basically the reason why a lot of people have dreaded the possibility of getting tested through their hair.
However, people should be informed that when it comes to standard testing through hair, it is not really the end of the strands that will be done so. In fact, nobody really tests the end of the hair strands these days, the police can, of course.
But you are not being suspected of any crime. You just needed to go through the test to get that job.
The standard for the hair tests us to take 1.5 inches of hair, which are cut from the root. The rest of the non-rooted hair is then discarded. This is to make sure that the part that will be tested is only going to cover an approximate three months.
Other Areas Where Hair Can be Tested
There are, of course, circumstances where people do have at least 1.5 inches of hair on their head to test. In this case, hair from the other parts of the body can be used as the substitute this possible it gets the hair under the arm tested, as well as hair from the chest or the leg. There are some situations where beard hair is used for testing as well.
These are those that argue about how there is a very good chance that body hair retains more drug residue for a longer period of time. This is because many have alleged that body hair grows at a much slower rate.
What is true though is that body hair grows at the very same rate as normal hair. The only difference is that body hair stops growing once it reaches the maximum length.
In both the body and the hair, a dormant strand is then replaced with new ones. The new strand will push them out which uses the hair to shed in the process.
When the hair is dormant, there is no way for drug deposits to get into it. So, dormant strands tend to only be able to deposit substance residues for longer than 4 months.
Type of Drugs That Can be Detected
You will want to be aware of the different types of substance residues that can be detected using this test. Cocaine and marijuana are some. It is also able to detect the presence of opiates such as morphine and codeine.
The test is able to detect the use of methamphetamine, as well as PCP or phencyclidine. These are the usual categories of drugs that most companies would want their prospective employees to be tested for.
When drugs circulate the body through the blood stream, they will enter the follicle cells and then nourish them. As the cell goes through the growing process the substance molecules are then trapped within the cells of the hair.
Eventually, they get sealed into the hair shaft, which gets keratinized. This is the reason why the time, as well as a number of drugs, was in the blood stream can be easily detected through this method.
With urine testing to producing very reliable results these days and not very conclusive when it comes to substance history, many companies have since opted for the use of hair testing when checking the substance history of their employees.
Comparing With Urinalysis
The major advantage that hair testing provides over urinalysis (read here how to do it) is the fact that it is able to have a much wider window of detection of the substance use from the hair sample.
Cocaine, opiates, PCP, and methamphetamine are drugs that are easily excreted. This is why they tend to be detectable especially if the urinalysis has been performed 72 hours after the chemicals have been used.
When it comes to detecting the drug content in the hair, it is only limited by the length of the hair sample. This is why it is able to detect up to a standard of 90 days in most tests.
There is also the fact that the screening is non-obtrusive. The collection procedure does not require any injection as the hair strand is just cut the head. It also helps eliminate virtually the capacity of people to evade the test. It is not that hard to take a strand off one's head, after all.
There is also the fact that the test offers much greater accuracy.
The combination of both prevents evasion and provides a much wider window of detection which is why a lot of companies have opted for this type of substance testing. After all, it is the hardest to pass.