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What Do Hair Drug Tests Test for?

Mark Halsey
Chief Editor of - Cleanbreak Recovery

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands...Read more

Hair drug tests are a reliable and accurate way to detect drug use and can be used to determine whether an individual has used drugs in the recent past. But what exactly do hair drug tests test for? In this article, we’ll explore the details of hair drug tests and investigate what substances these tests can detect. We’ll also look into the advantages and disadvantages of this type of testing, as well as the various ways to beat a hair drug test. Read on to learn more about hair drug tests and their uses.

What Do Hair Drug Tests Test for?

What Do Hair Drug Tests Test For?

What is Hair Drug Testing?

Hair drug testing is a type of drug test that is used to detect the presence of drugs in a person’s hair follicles. This test is considered to be more accurate and reliable than urine or saliva drug tests as it can detect drug use up to 90 days prior. Hair drug testing is often used in legal proceedings and pre-employment screenings as it is considered to be very accurate and difficult to fool.

Hair drug tests work by taking a sample of hair from the person being tested and analyzing it for traces of drugs or their metabolites. The sample is then examined for the presence of the drug and its metabolites, which are the by-products of the drug that are created when the body metabolizes it. The results of the test will indicate whether or not the person has used the drug in question.

How Does Hair Drug Testing Work?

Hair drug testing is a very simple process that involves collecting a small sample of hair from the person being tested and sending it to a laboratory for testing. The sample is usually taken from the back of the head or other areas of the body where the drug may have been used.

Once the sample is received, it is analyzed for the presence of drugs or their metabolites. The results of the test will indicate whether or not the person has used the drug in question. This test is considered to be more accurate than urine or saliva testing as it can detect drug use up to 90 days prior.

What Drugs Does Hair Drug Testing Detect?

Hair drug tests are typically used to detect the presence of the most commonly abused drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, and opioids. In some cases, the test may also be able to detect other drugs, such as phencyclidine (PCP) or hallucinogens.

The test can also detect the presence of prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and opiates. The test is able to detect these drugs for a longer period of time than urine or saliva tests, which can only detect the presence of drugs for a few days after use.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hair Drug Testing

Advantages

Hair drug testing is considered to be more accurate than urine or saliva tests as it can detect drug use up to 90 days prior. This makes it an ideal test for pre-employment screenings and legal proceedings, as it is more difficult to fool the test.

Hair drug testing is also considered to be more cost-effective than other methods of drug testing, as it requires a smaller sample size and the results are more reliable.

Disadvantages

Hair drug testing is not without its disadvantages. One of the main drawbacks is that the test is not able to detect the presence of drugs in the body immediately after use. This means that the test may not be effective for detecting recent drug use.

In addition, hair drug testing can be more expensive than other types of drug testing, as it requires a larger sample size and the results can take longer to process.

Conclusion

Hair drug testing is a type of drug test that is used to detect the presence of drugs in a person’s hair follicles. This test is considered to be more accurate and reliable than urine or saliva drug tests as it can detect drug use up to 90 days prior. Hair drug testing is often used in legal proceedings and pre-employment screenings as it is considered to be very accurate and difficult to fool. The test is typically used to detect the presence of the most commonly abused drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, and opioids, as well as some prescription drugs. Hair drug testing has both advantages and disadvantages, but it is usually considered to be more reliable and cost-effective than other methods of drug testing.

Few Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Hair Drug Tests Test For?

Q1. What type of drugs are tested for in a hair drug test?

A1. A hair drug test looks for traces of illicit substances in a sample of a person’s hair. Hair drug tests can detect a range of common drugs of abuse, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP). Depending on the type of hair drug test, it may be able to detect drug use over the past 90 days or more.

Q2. Are there any drugs that cannot be detected in a hair drug test?

A2. Yes, hair drug tests cannot detect certain drugs, such as alcohol, LSD, and certain prescription drugs. It is also not possible to detect inhalants, such as glue or paint fumes, in a hair drug test.

Q3. How is a hair drug test performed?

A3. To perform a hair drug test, a sample of the person’s hair is taken. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. At the laboratory, the sample is washed to remove any external contaminants and then tested for traces of illicit substances.

Q4. How long does a hair drug test take to get results?

A4. The results of a hair drug test typically take around seven to ten days to be returned. Depending on the laboratory, the results may take longer or shorter. It is important to note that hair drug tests are highly accurate and rarely produce false positives.

Q5. How much hair is needed for a hair drug test?

A5. A hair drug test requires a sample of about 1.5 inches of hair. This is usually taken from the back of the head, near the crown. If the person does not have enough hair, a sample can be taken from other body areas, such as the chest or legs.

Q6. Are hair drug tests reliable?

A6. Yes, hair drug tests are a reliable way to detect drug use. Hair drug tests are highly accurate and rarely produce false positives. Additionally, they can detect drug use over a longer period of time, such as up to 90 days.

Hair drug tests offer a reliable and accurate way of testing for the presence of drugs in an individual’s system. Since hair can retain traces of drugs for months, this type of test is a valuable asset for employers and other individuals who need to know if a person has taken drugs. This type of test is also relatively non-invasive and requires no bodily fluids, making it an ideal option for anyone who needs to find out if a person has taken drugs in the past. With the help of a hair drug test, employers and individuals can rest assured that the results they get are reliable and trustworthy.

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands the complex needs of those struggling with addiction and utilizes a comprehensive and holistic approach to address them. He is well-versed in traditional and innovative therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.

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