Hair follicle testing is a manner of drug testing wherein strands of hair are searched for traces of drugs. The drugs that can be detected through hair follicles include Phencyclidine (PCP), Methamphetamine (Methamphetamine/Amphetamine & Ecstasy), Cocaine (Cocaine & Benzoylecgonine), Marijuana and Opiates (Codeine, Morphine & 6-Monacteyl Morphine).
Compared to a urine test, hair drug analysis is a far more effective method of testing especially in identifying low-level drug use over an extended period of time. Hair follicle testing can trace a drug intake history of 90 days, depending on the person’s hair growth rate. After a drug is ingested whether smoked, snorted, ingested, or injected, metabolites which are intermediates of metabolism are produced as the drug is processed by the body. As these metabolites and drugs are circulated in the body, they nourish hair follicles which are consequently introduced into the hair strand.
A standard hair follicle test requires about 40 milligrams of hair, or approximately 50 to 70 strands of hair for proper results. Hair strands that are approximately 1.5 inches in length are used. If no head hair is available as a result of balding, body hair can be tested as a substitute. They can be collected and then combined to meet the required quantity of hair.
Hair follicle testing is easy and discreet. Parents who want to know whether or not their child is using drugs can benefit from its discretion by collecting hair strands. Easy-to-use hair follicle testing kits are available on the market, which are beneficial because of its confidentiality. By using hair drug testing at home, parents can take preventive measures or help with the child’s recovery, if he has been found already abusing drugs.