It used to be that urine testing was the gold standard of drug and alcohol screening.
Urine provides the middle ground in drug testing, showing a history of drug exposure shorter than hair, but longer than oral fluid.
Times have changed. Today’s laboratory LC and GC mass spec instruments are far more sensitive allowing for testing in alternative matrices.
Hair testing is emerging as a powerful tool for the detection of drug and alcohol abuse. Hair samples will indicate a long-term history of drug and alcohol abuse by trapping biomarkers in the fibers of the growing hair strand. When collected close to the scalp, hair can provide up to a 3-month history of alcohol and drug abuse. Drug and alcohol biomarkers can appear in scalp hair 1-7 days after the last use.
Fingernails provide a test sample that is at the cutting edge of drug and alcohol testing. Made up of keratin, fingernails contain the same material that a hair is made of. As the nail grows, substances can pass from the blood vessels below the nail into the keratin fibers where they become trapped. Fingernails are four times thicker than the typical strand of hair and often capture more of a substance than hair can. Biomarkers become locked in keratin fibers along the entire length of the nail, and can be detected up to 3-6 months after drug or alcohol abuse.
Different samples can have different detection time frames.
The result of any second collected specimen has no bearing on the validity of a first collected specimen. For example, a hair sample with a three-month window of detection might test positive for a particular substance, while a urine sample from the same donor, with a 2-3 day window of detection, might test negative. In this case, the donor has used that substance within the past three months, but may not have used it within the most recent three days.
How do you know what is the right type of drug test for your drug and alcohol testing needs? How do you know which are detectable substances and for how long? How do you know if you are in fact getting the right type of workplace drug and alcohol testing for your business? CALL US NOW at 508-762-1146 to learn the answers to these questions and much more regarding . . .