Hair Follicle Drug Tests While urine drug screens offer a great method of monitoring drug use, the window period they cover is often too limited. Cocaine and prescription medications, for example, are currently highly abused drugs and they are typically detectable in urine for only a brief amount of time. For past consumption a hair follicle test is often recommended. When drugs are ingested they are carried through the bloodstream and eventually reach the hair, where they are embedded in the hair follicle. These metabolites will remain in the hair for an extended amount of time, providing up to a 90-day window period for drug detection.
What to expect at the lab: The process at the lab is very simple. In most cases there are no long lines to wait in and no paperwork to fill out. Simply present your Angel Health Services issued registration number, provide a photo ID (driver’s license, passport, and in some cases school ID), then provide the specimen.
The collector only needs a small amount of hair (90-120 strands), which is collected directly from the scalp. This collection does not leave any visible spots or changes in appearance, and because the entire collection is done by a professional there is a minimal chance for specimen adulteration or substitution.
Hair follicle testing: Typically results out in 3-5 business days; however, this time may be shorter or longer depending on certain circumstances.Angel Health Services will be happy to call as soon as results are available, provided a donor’s contact number is available, or the donor may simply call a counselor to access his/her results. Hard copies of test results can also be sent at the donor’s request.
Testing Method: The initial screening tests by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). If necessary, confirmatory testing is done by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) or GC/MS confirmation for presumptive positive screens.
5 panel Hair Follicle Drug Screening: Tests for Amphetamines, THC (Marijuana), Cocaine, Opiates, and PCP. (This panel can also be done by blood or urine.)
Testing a teen or family member: When parents are concerned about their teen engaging in drug use, it often involves past drug use. Unfortunately a urine drug screen may not always detect past usage, which presents the option for a false negative test result. To avoid this, a hair follicle drug test may be used.
Hair follicle testing cannot be performed at every location. In most cases we can provide testing the same day. In some cases we may have to make special arrangements which may take 1 or 2 days.
Results take about 3 to 5 days, but can take as long as 7 days if the results need to be confirmed.