Workplace drug tests have long been commonplace in employment, and urine tests are the industry standard. Some of the leading employers trust urine tests for the most accurate results. Hair follicle testing is widespread as well, especially for long-term effects. What differs between a hair follicle drug test and a urine drug test?  

Urine Drug Test

Administering and taking a urine drug test is a relatively simple and pain-free process. They can detect drugs that stay in the system for a few days. Opioids remain detectable up to 3 days after use but often leave the system after just one day. Stimulants such as cocaine or ADHD medication remain traceable a little longer and can be detected from 2 to 3 days. Urine drug tests can also detect alcohol. To avoid falsified results, the person conducting the test will check the temperature of the sample before the sample is analyzed. 

Hair Follicle Drug Test

Performing hair follicle drug tests involves a person removing a small hair sample using scissors. This sample then can detect long-term drug use for up to ninety days. However, new drug users may be able to pass a hair follicle drug test since it takes time for hair to grow and become detectable. Employers should be mindful of this if they want to test for drug use within the past few days. Hair follicle drug tests may also show skewed results based on hair color. For example, dark hair may produce different results based on melanin and the concentration of the used drug. Hair follicle drug tests detect marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and PCP. 

Marijuana Drug Test

One of the most significant differences between hair follicle drug tests and urine is their ability to detect marijuana use. Urine can pick up marijuana use from 3-30 days after last use. Hair follicle drug tests can trace marijuana use from 3 months or 90 days prior. The other deciding factor determining how long it is traceable is how often the person uses the drug. For example, if a person only used marijuana once, it can be untraceable three days after a urine test. However, hair follicle tests are still more sensitive to detecting marijuana or cannabis use regardless of how many times a person has used it.

Hair Follicle vs. Urine Test

Hair follicle tests are far more receptive to picking up marijuana use. However, with marijuana becoming more accepted, laws and workplace policies have changed. Furthermore, hair follicle tests are more effective in detecting long-term use, and urine tests can see more recent use. Federally-mandated companies must use the most recent panel for the Department of Transportation urine test. Companies usually prefer urine tests for their cost efficiency, ability to detect various drugs, and accuracy in legal cases. 

Administering a Drug Test

Whether or not you are looking for hair follicle or urine drug tests, Soteria Screening can provide drug screen services that fit your or your company’s needs. Soteria Screening Laboratories offer a variety of drug tests, and they can help answer any drug testing questions. Soteria Screening has been assisting companies in maintaining a drug-free workplace for over twenty years. 

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