Better Detection with a Hair Follicle Drug Test?

Q: I suspect that an employee is abusing drugs. I am going to have him submit to a drug test. However, I want to make sure that I use a test that will give me reliable results. Is a hair follicle drug test more accurate than a urine drug test?

W. Elmer

Salt Lake City, Utah

A: Hair follicle testing and urine testing are both reliable, but one may be better than the other for a particular situation. Urine screening is by far the most common form of testing, and it can detect recent use of drugs. Unfortunately, the window of detection with urine is limited from days to weeks and may not detect past usage.

The hair follicle test can provide up to 90 days of detection; however, it is not ideal for detecting light or recent usage. Many drugs require a specific test panel to be detected. If you have any specific concerns, or if you have questions, please feel free to contact our office for more information.