Part Two – Hair Follicle Drug Testing

When a hair follicle drug test procedure is performed, it begins like any other drug test. The Collector will verify the donor ID, reason for testing, and other pertinent data. The Collector will then begin filling out the chain-of-custody form (CCF).

Unlike a urine drug test where the donor steps into a restroom to provide a specimen, in a hair follicle drug test the Collector procures the specimen directly by snipping some hair from the donor. The donor will neither handle the hair specimen nor be out of site of the Collector, so there is no opportunity for specimen substitution.

The Collector will cut approximately 60 milligrams, or approximately 90-120 strands of hair. The recommendation is to collect roughly 1.5 inches of hair from the crown of the head if possible. Hair is a virtual time capsule of drug use history. A sample of 1.5 inches of hair will yield roughly a 90-day history of drug use when analyzed by the lab.

Hair sample in foil
Hair sample in foil

The Collector will attempt to collect the hair using several small cuts so that there isn’t a chunk of missing hair in one spot. The hair specimen is wrapped in a piece of foil, then inserted into an envelope. The Collector will seal the specimen envelope with a tamper evident seal in the same way that urine specimens are sealed. The donor will be asked to initial and date the seal.

Donor initials and dates seal
Donor initials and dates seal

Once the tamper evident seal has been initialed and dated, the Collector and donor will complete the CCF. A copy of the CCF will then be packaged along with the hair specimen and sent to the lab for analysis.

In part three, we will discuss the lab analysis process of the hair follicle drug test.

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About Alan Osborne

Alan Osborne is a Managing Partner at Gold Medal Screening Solutions. Alan manages all aspects of business development in all business sectors.
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