Summary

Hair drug test in workplace drug testing offers a harmonizing analytical technology to employers and programs that want to identify drug use, which contributes to loss in productivity, accidents, and a socially intolerable work environment. Hair testing may lend itself to pre-employment, random, return-to-duty, and follow-up testing, rather than post-accident and realistic suspicion or cause testing that requires proof of acute drug use. To pass hair drug test, one area which is advantageous is for the recognition of individuals at risk. This makes it chiefly attractive for identifying individuals who may need counseling or drug treatment interference. This would be particularly appropriate for minors and adults that are members of at-risk populations. A program of this type would be most useful if it were non-punishing and the suitable support services were available for those identified to have been in contact with drugs.

Hair’s main advantage is that it can detect drug use for a time period, generally ranging from weeks to months to years, depending on the extent of the hair tested. However, for workplace applications a hair drug test representing a Month interval is standard. Since the primary purpose of workplace drug testing is one of avoidance to promote a drug-free workplace, hair testing acts as a greater deterrence because of its ability to document drug use for a longer period of time. Its disadvantage is that it may not detect recent or infrequent use. Detection limits in the pico-gram range and the need to maintain an individual’s civil liberties challenge hair-testing laboratories to improve their analytical techniques and standard protocols to reduce or eliminate current issues for workplace drug testing. Techniques of how to pass a hair drug test are combated so that employees do not attempt to beat any test. A thoroughness and continued research is needed to elucidate outstanding issues and in technology and policy updates is critical for the evolution of hair testing to continue and for it to receive widespread acceptance in the scientific and workplace populations.

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