What about the hair follicle test?
Hair follicle tests are far more difficult to skew, and as a result, are often used in tests when the circumstances are far more at stake or when there is a reason to test for long-term drug use. This test is done by a technician or employer collecting about 50 hairs from the back of your head. These samples must be at least 1.5 inches long to qualify for testing, so if your hair is shorter than that, they may collect hair from the face or body.
Even though the test is different, they are typically testing for the same drugs as they would be with a urine test. Hair follicle tests are usually of the 5-panel variety and only testing for illegal substances. Of course, there’s always a chance that the test is more extensive than this, so it’s a good idea to look at the documentation and ask any questions if you are unsure of what is being tested for.
The same advice applies if you’re concerned about any prescription medications altering the test results: If you have any concerns about a prescription medicine that you are taking, bring a list of them to the drug testing facility. That way, if they do cause a false positive, you have documentation, and the lab will be aware of it, so you aren’t trying to cover your tracks after you get the result back. Your employer might even require further documentation in this scenario, so be prepared to provide any supporting evidence from a medical professional ahead of time.
In the case of hair follicle tests, the results are much more likely to reveal regular and long-term drug use than occasional recreational use. While there is a chance that you might test positive if you had a single pot brownie over the past four months, it’s much more likely to reveal daily and frequent use. Because of this, many agencies will require you to take a urine test along with the hair follicle test. It can take an entire week for drugs to test positive in a hair test so a urine test will balance out that missing time frame and provide results for both long-term drug use and recent use.
If you suspect you’ll be in a position to provide a hair follicle test, you can abstain from drug use and allow enough time to pass (usually 90 days) before taking the test. Because of the nature of hair follicle testing, it’s incredibly difficult to fake a favorable result. The hair is usually taken from your head directly by a technician so you can’t substitute it and there aren’t any substances you can use to mask the result. Since it’s so hard to fake, many employers with stringent requirements prefer to use this testing method.
It’s also advisable that you don’t use drugs until the successful result has been reported back to you. In some cases, there will be lab errors or inconclusive results, and your employer will request that you take the test over again. You don’t want all of your hard work to go to waste by celebrating with a dose of drugs that will only ruin the next test’s result.
If you really wish to celebrate by using drugs, wait until you have the official offer of employment so that you don’t ruin your chances at that new job.If you follow the advice of abstaining from drug use when you are in a position where you might be required to pass a drug screening, you won’t need to worry about trying tricks and tactics to produce a false negative on the screening.