Hair Testing for Drugs

Drug testing using hair is a reliable and convenient alternative to tests that rely on saliva or urine. It’s a technique that’s excellent for detecting long term covert abuse. This is especially useful in safety critical or zero tolerance drug use environments.

zero drug tolerance
Zero Tolerance
difficult to adulterate
Difficult to Adulterate
3 months detection timeframe
3 Months Detection
 

Hair testing is also less personally intrusive than urine testing and more difficult to manipulate than other approaches.

Sample collection

laboratory hair testing

During testing, technicians will cut a lock of hair around 200mg from the back of the donor’s head. The amount of hair sample taken is equivalent to the size and thickness of a small pencil. We routinely collect the lock of hair close to the scalp.

We don’t use body hair for testing since it isn’t considered a preferred sample in most applications.

Testing process

SafeWork Laboratories uses accredited testing methodology at our Melbourne laboratory to check hair samples for the presence of drug traces. Unlike urine or saliva, it is very difficult to interfere with the testing process by substitution or manipulation of the sample.

Results are usually available within 7 – 10 working days.

Drugs detected

Amphetamines crystal meth

Unlike urine or saliva testing there is no specific Australian Standard for detecting drugs of abuse in hair.

SafeWork Laboratories performs hair testing based on a number of international guidelines and procedures such as those published by the (International) Society of Hair Testing. We can quickly and accurately detect the presence of the following drugs:

  • Amphetamines (speed, ice, crystal Meth)
  • THC (Cannabis, marijuana)
  • Opiates (Codeine, heroin, morphine)
  • Cocaine
  • Benzodiazepines (sleeping tablets, tranquilizers)

Limitations

In most circumstances, hair testing is an adjunct to traditional methods of drug detection. We don’t recommend using the procedure as a replacement screening regime for urine or saliva testing. A routine hair analysis is unlikely to detect small, infrequent episodes of drug use, or or very recent exposure (such as in the last few days).

However, hair screening is an excellent tool for abstinence monitoring or longer window (several months) pre-employment testing.

For further information or a confidential discussion, please contact us today.