Hair follicle testing has gained popularity as a reliable method for detecting drug use over an extended period. It offers advantages over other screening methods, but many people are curious about the cost and the process. In this article, we’ll explore every aspect of hair follicle tests, ensuring you have a clear understanding of how they work and how much they cost.
How Much Is a Hair Follicle Test?
A hair follicle test cost can vary depending on several factors, including the location, the type of drugs being tested, and the testing facility. On average, you can expect to pay between $75 and $150 for a standard hair drug test. However, more extensive panels that test for a wide range of substances may cost up to $250 or more.
Factors Affecting Hair Follicle Test Cost
Several factors influence the cost of a hair follicle test:
1. Testing Facility
- Different testing facilities may charge varying fees for the same test. It’s essential to compare prices and choose a reputable facility.
2. Type of Drugs Tested
- The number of drugs being tested for can impact the cost. Standard tests often include common substances, while comprehensive panels cover a broader spectrum.
- The cost of living and regional differences can affect the price of the test. Urban areas tend to have higher prices than rural locations.
- If you require quick results, expedited testing may come at an additional cost.
The Hair Follicle Testing Process
Collection of Hair Sample
To conduct a hair follicle test, a small sample of hair is collected, typically from the back of the head. This sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Drug Detection Window
Hair follicle tests can detect drug use within a longer timeframe compared to urine or saliva tests. They can often detect drug use up to 90 days prior.
In the lab, the hair sample is processed, and any traces of drugs are analyzed. The results are usually available within a few days.
Once the analysis is complete, the testing facility will provide a detailed report of the findings to the requesting party.
FAQs About Hair Follicle Testing
How Accurate Are Hair Follicle Tests?
Hair follicle tests are highly accurate and are considered one of the most reliable methods for detecting drug use.
Can You Cheat a Hair Follicle Test?
It’s challenging to cheat a hair follicle test, as the sample is taken directly from the scalp. Attempts to tamper with the sample are usually detectable.
Are Prescription Medications Detected in Hair Follicle Tests?
Prescription medications are typically not detected in hair follicle tests. These tests are designed to identify illicit drug use.
Can Hair Products Affect the Test?
Standard hair products such as shampoos and conditioners do not affect the outcome of a hair follicle test.
Is a Hair Follicle Test Invasive?
While a hair follicle test involves collecting a hair sample, it is generally considered less invasive than other drug testing methods like blood tests.
How Long Does It Take to Get Hair Follicle Test Results?
Hair follicle test results are usually available within 2 to 3 days after the sample is collected.
Hair Follicle Test Cost
One of the primary concerns for individuals or organizations considering a hair follicle test is its cost.a standard hair follicle test can cost anywhere from $50 to $150. However, for more extensive tests that cover a wide range of substances, the cost can go up to $200 or more.
Factors Affecting the Cost
The cost of a hair follicle test can fluctuate based on various factors, including:
- Number of Substances: The more substances you want to test for, the higher the cost will be. Standard tests usually cover common drugs, but specialized tests for additional substances may incur extra charges.
- Testing Facility Location: The geographic location of the testing facility can impact the cost. Prices may be higher in metropolitan areas compared to rural regions.
- Test Depth: Deeper analysis, which can detect drug usage over a longer period, tends to be more expensive.
Hair Follicle Test Procedure
Understanding the procedure of a hair follicle test is essential for anyone undergoing this test. Here’s a step-by-step overview:
- Testing: In the laboratory, the hair sample undergoes a series of tests to detect the presence of drugs or their metabolites. The testing process can take a few days to a week.
Accuracy of Hair Follicle Tests
They can detect drug use within a window of approximately 90 days, depending on the length of the hair sample. This makes them superior to urine or saliva tests, which have shorter detection windows.
How long does it take for drugs to show up in a hair follicle test?
Drugs typically take 5-7 days to become detectable in a hair follicle test after use.
They target the drugs present inside the hair shaft, making it difficult to tamper with the results.
Are hair follicle tests suitable for one-time drug use detection?
Hair follicle tests are more effective in detecting regular and frequent drug use over an extended period. They may not be as sensitive to one-time or occasional drug use.
Can hair follicle tests distinguish between different drugs?
Hair follicle tests can identify a wide range of drugs and their metabolites. They can distinguish between different substances, providing detailed information about the type of drugs used.
Is it possible to test body hair instead of head hair?
However, body hair may have a different detection window.
How can I prepare for a hair follicle test?
To prepare for a hair follicle test, there’s generally no need for special measures. Simply maintain your regular hair hygiene routine.
Understanding how much a hair follicle test costs and the process involved can help individuals and employers make informed decisions when it comes to drug screening. While the expense may vary, the accuracy and reliability of these tests make them a valuable tool for detecting drug use.
In summary, a hair follicle test can cost between $75 and $250, depending on various factors. This investment in accurate drug screening can have significant benefits for maintaining a drug-free environment.