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Hair Testing

What Is Hair Testing?

Cordant Health Solutions™ is among a select few toxicology labs in the nation with the expertise and technology to offer hair testing.

Several drug-testing methods can detect recent drug use. But what if the objective is to see use further in the past? Hair testing is a valuable tool that can be used in substance use treatment, criminal justice and chronic pain management to identify substance use or medication compliance over a long period.

Advantages of Hair Testing

Hair analysis provides a continuous look at drug use over the past 90 days as drug analytes are incorporated into hair as the body metabolizes drugs. Hair is a “diary” of drug use that provides no gap in the record and assesses drug use over the past three months. Hair testing is an ideal risk assessment tool for clinicians to use with new patients to look for a history of drug use.

One of the greatest strengths of hair drug testing is its long detection window that spans from seven days after drug use to up to three months reliably. In some instances, a substance can be spotted up to a year after ingestion. This knowledge is valuable in several areas of toxicology testing, including these:

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Treatment Center and Addiction Testing

Hair drug testing can be useful in measuring long-term compliance for those recovering from substance use and addiction. Substance-use treatment centers, in-patient, and out-patient facilities, drug counselors, methadone clinics, private-practice physicians, and agents of the court can benefit from hair drug testing.

Medication Adherence Monitoring

The brief detection window associated with urine, blood and oral fluid makes it impossible to infer prolonged drug exposure from a single test. Hair testing can be part of an initial patient evaluation to gather a baseline history and determine risk. Self-reported risk assessments have a place in patient evaluation but are unreliable. Hair testing is a way to get truly objective data on the previous behavior of a patient.

Criminal
Justice

There are multiple agents with a legal interest in their clients’ sobriety, including judges, probation officers and attorneys, as the stakes are higher with individuals who are court-ordered into treatment. Hair drug testing can verify abstinence from specific drugs of interest over a three-month timeframe.

The Cordant Difference: Going Above and Beyond What Other Toxicology Companies Offer

In this short video, Richard Stripp, Ph.D., Cordant’s chief scientific and technical officer, explains the different toxicology testing options available such as urine, saliva, hair and blood testing. At Cordant Health Solutions, we offer all four testing options.

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Matrix

Detection
Window

Clinical
Use

Up to 6 Days

  • Detects drug metabolites and parent drugs
  • Provides a relatively long window of detection
  • Most widely used but easiest to adulterate
  • Point-of-care testing options available

Up to 3 Days

  • Parent compounds, few metabolites
  • Non-invasive; ideal for routine medication monitoring
  • Useful in high-risk patients when adulteration or substitution of urine samples may be suspected
  • Easy to collect, no bathroom or other facilities needed

7 Days to
3 Months

  • Parent compounds and metabolites
  • Provides the longest window of detection
  • A valuable tool when onboarding new patients
  • Provides an accurate record of drug use in the last 90 days

Up to 2 Days

  • Parent compounds, few metabolites
  • Measurement of pharmacologically active drugs
  • Determination of steady-state medication concentration
  • Determination of impairment

Certifications

Please complete this form to request more information on our hair testing program.