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What Should I Know About Hair Drug Testing?

Periodic drug testing can be a part of the hiring process for a new job or part of your employment at a position you’ve been in for a while. Depending on your job and the occupational health program your employer chooses, you may need to submit a sample of blood, urine or hair for testing for drugs and alcohol. AFC Urgent Care Southcenter works with businesses throughout the area to provide timely drug tests in our on-site laboratory, where we can quickly process and analyze results. 

What is hair drug testing?

Hair testing involves taking one to several strands of hair and running tests through the shaft, rather than testing bodily fluids. Hair can hold traces of drugs for longer periods of time, and unlike bodily fluids which can quickly flush out substances, hair tests are virtually impossible to fake or alter. Hair from the head and certain locations around the body can be used for drug testing. Because the business will be getting more accurate results, employers will ensure that the workplace stays safe and maintains the level of productivity.

What can a hair test check for?

The following substances may appear in hair during a drug test:

  • Marijuana
  • Opiates
  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • MDMA 
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl

How hair is tested

One and a half inches of hair will be needed to test for drugs taken in the last three months. Hair grows at a speed of one half inch per month, which is all that will be tested unless otherwise requested. Because the root is not needed for drug testing, the strand will be cut close to the scalp for an accurate sample and further cut down for the time frame. The remaining part of the strands will be keep on file in the even further tests are needed. Drugs can be detected in hair after it grows above the scalp, typically 5-7 days after use.

What results are possible for a hair drug test?

Hair drug tests can have positive, negative or inconclusive results. 

  • Positive results will be confirmed within 72 hours after the first test is performed. Retesting is performed on all positive or inconclusive hair samples in order to confirm results and determine which drug traces are present in the sample.
  • Negative test results are confirmed within 24 hours of the first test. A negative result indicates that no illicit drugs that can affect performance have been used in the previous 90 days. 
  • Inconclusive results will require the test to be repeated or additional samples to be collected in order to get a concrete result.

Employer Hair Drug Testing in Southcenter, Kent, Renton, SeaTac & Tukwila, WA

If you need to undergo a drug test for your current or prospective employer, visit AFC Urgent Care Southcenter today! Our center is open to walk-in patients seven days a week and will be able to quickly process and return your results. For questions, please call 425-970-8117.