One of the most efficient approaches when it comes to drug detection is a Hair Drug Test. This drug test is done on a hair follicle and is considered to be a very effective examination, having no tolerance. With zero tolerance, this process is able to find even the smallest quantity of drugs. Because of its efficiency, it is very often used by law enforcement, officials, employers, and even parents.
How much does a hair drug test cost?
The average cost of a professional hair drug test is anywhere between $115 and $400, but the exact price you will be faced with will depend on factors like the testing center you choose and your geographical location, among others.
The number of drugs you need to look for will also influence the final bill. For example, a 5-panel drug test may cost around $115, whilst a 14-panel test can go up to $400.
As an easier and cheaper alternative, you can procure a test that can be done at home. The cost of such a test will be anywhere from as little as $40 to $115. However, it may vary depending on where you bought it and the brand. For example, a test drug from the Hair Confirm company is somewhere between $60 to $97. Also, another brand such as the First Check 12 offers products that can cost between $44 and $57.
Hair follicle drug tests overview
Based on the available research, a hair drug test is more effective than a urinalysis. From a follicle of hair you can find out if, over the past 90 days, any kind of drugs were used. However, from a urine sample, you can only find out if an individual has used drugs in the past seven days. This is because around 90 days will be necessary for the affected hair to come out from the scalp.
A small hair sample will be removed from the scalp when a test for trace of drugs needs to be done using a Hair Drug Test kit. The test will then assess the amount of drug substance present inside the hair.
Several types of drugs can be found with a hair follicle test. Such as:
- Marijuana (THC)
- Opiates (Codeine & Morphine)
- Phencyclidine and Propoxyphene
There are several types of hair drug tests on the market. You can find tests that show different numbers and/or types of drugs. The most common ones are the 14-panel, 12-panel, 10-panel, and 5-panel.
In the case of drug detection, the hair sample will be examined by a specialist. The drug test results can be sent to the person or company who requested the testing, or they can be given through the phone. In order to do an accurate testing, the hair needs to be decontaminated using a special shampoo. Afterward, to detect if there is any trace of a drug, the laboratory will proceed with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methodology.
A CAP-accredited Laboratory is able to provide an accurate result of the hair follicle drug testing.
For a more precise result, depending on the test, an amount of 100 strands of hair may be needed. A good thing to know is that you have the possibility to send the hair to a lab through the mail. Generally, they ask that the hair be thick as a shoelace tip, as a reference. That amount of hair can be tested for more than five different types of drugs.
What are the extra costs?
A basic drug use testing for the past 90 days will need a 1.5-inch sample. You will usually spend additionally to go farther back in time with the test. The cost depends on how far back they want to be tested and can go up to $2,300. Keep in mind that a drug may not be identified if the testing is done three years or more after use.
A shipping charge may be applied when ordering a kit from the Internet. Taking the test at home is not authorized by most employers. Also, there may be an extra charge from their laboratory, in order to analyze the results, depending on the purchased kit. Always remember to read the fine print.
Important things about drug test results
A common hair test can detect the presence of a drug for up to a year. So, even if the tested person has not used any type of drugs for the last three to six months, the test might still show positive results.
For an accurate result, send a sample to an accredited lab.
Body hair is an option if the hair from the head is too short to be used. Laboratories can also work with facial hair, underarm hair, and even pubic hair, as an alternative. In case of a lack of hair, the laboratory will have to choose between oral or fluid testing.
A hair drug test is deemed to be a much more efficient method than other drug tests. It is known to detect a longer period of drug presence and also has the capability to reveal the time when the drug was used.
In order to beat this test, shaving your body completely is the only way to go. Even though there may be other trickeries all around the Internet, none of them are efficient. Some state that there is a special shampoo you can use or you can give up drugs for 90 days before you take the test, and you will be cleared. Although these methods might have restricted positive outcomes, keep in mind that there are tests that can expose any trace of drugs used outside of this 90-day window.
Some people talk about people failing the test due to passive smoking. If this is something you’re afraid of, then you really shouldn’t as this will not influence your test results.
How can I save money?
Any company that demands this kind of test, will need to purchase it for you.
In case you want to do the test at home, it is better to search and compare a minimum of three to five laboratories before choosing one.