Ultimate Guide: Hair Follicle Drug Testing For Truckers

As part of its DOT compliant drug and alcohol testing services, Consortium Pool implements hair follicle drug testing to ensure your truck drivers and CDL licensed employees aren’t using drugs while on the job. But how can hair be tested for drugs? And are those drug tests actually effective?

Luckily, the experts at Consortium Pool are here to answer all your questions on hair follicle drug testing for truckers. Read on for our helpful guide on the ins-and-outs of hair drug testing.

How Does Hair Follicle Drug Testing Work?

Hair follicle drug testing is as simple as it sounds. Your drug testing lab will simply take a sample of your hair, and run it through its systems to determine if you have been using drugs. But how can drug be found in your hair?

Well, drugs effect you because the chemicals in their make-up are metabolized in your bloodstream. As those chemicals spread throughout your body, the drugs are incorporated into your hair matrix via the blood. A hair drug test detects drugs that might be embedded in your hair.

How Much Hair Is Needed For A Hair Drug Test?

Don’t worry, you won’t be bald after providing a sample for your hair follicle drug test. In face, barely any hair is needed for this type of drug test. A lab will only need about 100 milligrams of hair to complete the test, the equivalent of 90 to 120 strands of hair.

What Drugs Can Be Found In Your Hair?

Hair follicle drug tests are able to test for a number of common drugs and substances. Consortium Pool’s 5-panel drug tests screen for:

  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Amphetamines like methamphetamine and MDMA
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Opiates, including heroin, codeine, and morphine

How Do Hair Follicle Tests Compare To Others?

As you probably know, you can test for drugs using more than just hair follicles. However, hair drug tests are particularly effective. Generally speaking, hair tests are able to detect drugs much longer than common urine drug tests. A hair follicle drug test can detect drugs up to 90 days after they’ve been taken, while urine tests can find drugs usually up to a week after they’ve been taken.

To ensure comprehensive drug testing, Consortium Pool’s labs use hair follicle drug testing, urine drug testing, and breath alcohol testing in order to test for drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

What Happens If Drugs Are Found In Your Hair?

Positive results in your hair drug test can be a big problem for your career in the trucking industry. In accordance with DOT and FMCSA standards, you must be removed from safety-sensitive functions until successful completion of a return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional. That process will also include a return-to-duty drug test, which you must pass in order to return to work.

Required drug testing might seem like an annoyance, but remember, these tests are meant to help your workplace stay safe. Thankfully, the team at Consortium Pool is here to help. Our nationwide drug and alcohol testing consortium offers efficient DOT compliant services for trucking companies and owner-operators, using hair follicle tests and more to ensure the utmost safety at your job. From pre-employment drug screenings to standard drug and alcohol tests, we have you covered. Contact Consortium Pool today for more information on our services and enrollment.