Advantages of Drug Testing By Hair Sample

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on October 17, 2012

There are many different illegal drugs available in the black market. Different drugs produce different results in individuals. Many people use drugs for recreational purposes. Others may be addicted to drugs and require the drugs in their system in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms which can be devastating. In most countries, the use, possession or sale of drugs is considered to be illegal. Some countries do have leniency towards less potent drugs, but, at the same time, are stricter with potent drugs that are potentially life threatening for users. Excessive use of drugs results in an overdose which can be potentially fatal. For many drugs, the legislation is absolute meaning that any amount of consumption, however little, is treated as illegal.

A drug test is conducted on a sample collected from a suspected user. This sample could be in the form of body fluids such as blood, saliva and urine. A problem with using such tests is the limited detection window. Many of the drugs consumed may pass out of these fluids within a few hours of consumption. Some drugs last up to 4 or 5 days but beyond that, detection through body fluids is virtually impossible. However, drug testing by hair sample is possible in such cases. When drugs are consumed they tend to pass across the body. Some trace amounts of the drug can be found in the cells that produce the hair follicles. This means that the trace elements can be found in the hair of an individual as well. A hair sample may contain traces of the drug for months after consumption, depending on the quality of hair growth. The advantage of this test is that even if a suspect has shaved off his or her hair, testing is possible through hair found elsewhere on the body such as the eyebrows, underarms, arms and legs.

Drug testing by hair sample may require more than just one strand of hair and often, to avoid errors, a clump of hair is sought for drug testing. Drug testing by hair sample can be conducted using a laboratory or can be conducted anonymously. An anonymous test involves the dispatch of the sample by mail to a testing laboratory that will be able to post results on their website. These results are accessible by the individual using a password. Anonymous testing is helpful to those who want to catch someone for drug use without alerting the authorities involved.

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