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Why Businesses Carry Out Hair Follicle Drug Testing on Employees

by Sarah Syakira
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Although it is considered illegal to obtain a person’s hair sample without permission, the government doesn’t frown upon obtaining it for employment purposes, provided that you obtain it with the consent of the parties involved.  Over the years, many stakeholders including lawyers, securities bodies, and employers have embraced the efficiency of hair follicle drug testing and are implementing it for detecting whether or not an individual has been abusing a substance. Learn more about hair follicle testing for weed and other substances by reading this Weed News article.

Unlike urine testing, hair follicle drug testing provides a larger window for drug detection and a tight window for evasion. This is what I mean, the reason why many individuals successfully avoid being caught under the radar of drug testing is that most of the tests are structured to discover whether the individual has abused the substance over a short period. Say, for example, the test can cover three weeks. Therefore, if an individual had consumed a substance three weeks earlier, the test indicates a result.

However, many people have gotten smart with this process, and instead of completely discontinuing their drug use, they only refrain from it for a few days. This way, they scale through the test undetected

Hair follicle testing, on the other hand, is capable of detecting drug consumed up to three months before the test. As a result, you can use it to spot a pattern of drug consumption. Also, these days, companies’ policies on urine drug testing have become nothing short of a formality that many people simply go through to get a good placement after their interview. However, to prevent drug violators from going Scott-free, businesses now adopt a hair follicle drug test procedure.

Besides all of these, drug misuse or abuse in an otherwise healthy work environment puts businesses at risk of incurring more cost with little productivity. For example, the cost of absenteeism, accidents, and insurance may increase when an employee or a group of employees are guilty of drug abuse. In the same way, the overall productivity will be affected and would lead to a situation that is not good for business.

What do businesses need for a hair follicle test?

Businesses Carry Out Hair Follicle Drug Testing on Employees

The process is a relatively simple one, however, it is flexible enough to accommodate differences in business policy regarding employee drug test. One of the ways to carry out the test is to perform the test within the business premises with a test kit and mail it to a laboratory for analysis. Another method is to carry out the test in a hospital or a laboratory. Whichever method a company chooses to implement, all that is needed is adequate supervision of the sample collection process.

Hair follicle testing only requires a small sample of an employee or potential employee’s hair, say between 90-110 strands of hair. The collection site should be close to the scalp as it prevents you from harvesting actual hair follicles. After this, the obtained sample are documented and sent for laboratory analysis. It is necessary to reiterate the fact that the hair sample should be collected with the due consent of the parties involved and should not warrant an invasion of privacy. No employer has no right to take samples from your hair without you consent.

The entire process of hair follicle drug testing is transparent and the chances of adulteration or substitution are not easy. That is because the process is heavily supervised by the collector and appointed business personnel. The results are released based on the nature of the result. For a positive result, it takes about 24-72 hours to release it because it has to be subjected to confirmatory testing. A negative result, on the other hand, is usually released within a day. Click here to learn more about how the process works and its degree of accuracy.

Reasons why businesses prefer hair follicle testing for drugs

 

Businesses Carry Out Hair Follicle Drug Testing on Employees

Since it is obvious that many companies need to conduct drug follicle testing for potential and employees, below are other reasons why most businesses choose to carry out hair follicle testing on their worker:

  1. Return on investment: one of the main objectives of conducting a drug follicle test is to reduce risks and other associated costs. These risks include the risk that drug abuser poses to the business, to other employees, and to themselves. Therefore, by identifying such employees, businesses can eliminate related costs and ensure productivity.
  2. Little chance of evading detection: Notice I said little, nonetheless, hair follicle testing still remains one of the best ways of detecting abuse. Examine this breakdown: Blood and saliva testing detects drug consumed 1 day prior to the test. Urine testing, on the other hand, detects drug consumed three days prior to the test. However, hair follicle testing detects drug consumed 90-days prior to the test. As a result, it provides a wider frame for detection. Also, as the body is covered with hair, it gives little chance of escaping detection, unless employees would scrap every hair on their body. An action that warrants enough suspicion if carried out.
  3. No result contention: it would be unwise for an accused employee to attempt to contend the test result. This is because the result was obtained after comparing samples over a period usually three months. This then provides a window for comparing the result of the samples on different time frames, say one month, two months, and three months. This, therefore, validates whatever result obtained.
  4. No privacy invasion: unlike urine or blood testing, hair testing is quick, painless, drama-free, and non-invasive. You don’t need to provide a separate private facility unlike urine testing to obtain results.
  5. Identify the pattern of drug use: the test results show a chronological pattern of drug use and the exact quantity consumed over time. This way, you can identify and distinguish habitual drug users from first-time users. This then helps you to take the necessary action. You may read more on hair follicle testing detection times here: https://psychologenie.com/hair-follicle-drug-test-detection-times
  6. Cost-effective: this type of test saves companies costs that would have been otherwise incurred in the traditional testing procedures that guarantee little chances of success. It also prevents litigation costs and costs associated with hiring a delinquent employee.

Conclusion

In all, abstaining from drug consumption for a few days, adulterating samples, diluting urine with too much water, or substitution sample becomes a thing of the past with hair follicle drug testing. Drug users who aim to evade hair follicle testing will have to consider abstinence for longer periods among other uncertain evasion techniques.

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