A hair follicle drug test may determine certain patterns of illegal drug abuse or prescription drug use over an extended period. These tests may be used by law enforcement authorities to detect drug use, particularly if an individual has a history of drug use. Hair follicle testing can also be used by health care professionals to detect drug abuse, especially if a person has a history of taking medications for conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis. Drug tests can also be used by drug counselors or therapists to detect substance abuse or addiction.
A hair follicle drug test may reveal that a person is abusing prescription drugs such as painkillers or mood altering medications by showing evidence of increased urination, depression, irritability, anxiety, muscle tension, and changes in the color and texture of the urine or saliva. Hair follicle urine tests are also commonly used to detect amounts of cocaine in hair and clothing. Although most people who take prescription medications for conditions other than addiction will not be tested for drugs, it is important for anyone who is concerned about their drug usage to consult a health care professional. Under the right circumstances, the hair follicle urine tests may be able to confirm drug abuse.
The most common hair follicle drug test is a hair follicle panel. In a hair follicle panel, a technician analyzes the urine or blood of a person for various drugs. These kits are available at local drug stores or can be ordered from manufacturers on the Internet. Kits are available to test for most prescription and nonprescription medications. Most hair follicle drug test kits require a minimum of three months of fasting before analyzing. The results can be mailed to you or may be submitted to the doctor for his or her private medical evaluation.