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Hair drug and alcohol testing

Hair drug testing is the preferred drug test in UK courts for individuals to prove abstinence. The reason for this is the historical timeline it can provide to show drug use over many months. This is also the case for hair alcohol testing. All hair drug and alcohol tests are performed in a UKAS 17025 accredited laboratory facility. As a result, laboratory reports are accepted as evidence in court when called upon.

Hair drug and alcohol testing

How does hair drug testing work?

When an individual consumes a drug, it enters the bloodstream. When the body metabolises the drug, it transfers to a person’s hair follicles, and then into the hair strand (head). As a result, the drug becomes trapped in the hair strand. As hair grows, the drug will move further away from the scalp. Over time, it eventually gets washed away, is cut off or falls out.

Once the drug has moved from the blood into the hair strand, we can detect it using the hair drug test. We can also segment hair samples to provide a month-by-month view of potential drug use. This is useful as it can show if someone has recently stopped taking drugs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does hair alcohol testing work?

The main difference is that the hair alcohol test analyses biological markers that could be indicative of alcohol consumption over time. Whereas hair drug testing analyses and detects specific metabolites associated with the drug groups being tested. Also, rather than giving a month-by-month overview, it is only possible to analyse alcohol in hair samples of 3-month or 6-month time frames. Due to the science of hair alcohol testing, we will always recommend having a blood alcohol test or PEth blood test in conjunction with it. This is considered the gold standard for alcohol testing and will provide a good overall analysis of alcohol consumption.

If you have decided to proceed with a hair alcohol test or blood alcohol test with us, please see the latest important information regarding these tests here.

Can you test body hair instead of head hair?

Yes, we can. Although there are limitations for testing body hair. We are also unable to analyse certain types of body hair. The science can change quite rapidly for hair drug and alcohol testing, so please call 0800 988 7107 to speak to a Clinical Advisor for the latest advice and guidance.

What is the cost of hair drug testing?

The cost of hair drug testing depends on the number of drugs to be tested, the time-period required, and if month by month analysis with segmented hair drug testing is needed. Details for examples of the prices can be found on the drug and alcohol testing prices page. For example, the cost for testing 1 drug for a single 3-month period would be £255 incl. VAT. The same hair drug test, but reported on a month-by-month basis is £505 incl. VAT.

What are the time frames for hair drug testing?

The hair drug test can effectively detect drugs for a period of up to 6 months. But this depends on the length of head hair you have. To give you an idea, approximately 1 cm of head hair will allow us to analyse a 1-month timeframe. It is not recommended to undertake testing beyond 6 months due to the deterioration of hair. Please speak to a Clinical Advisor if more than 6 months analysis is required.

We also take into consideration the time it takes for a drug to move from the blood to the hair. On average, it takes a drug 7 to 10 days to break down in the body and move into the hair strand.

Body hair grows at different rates than head hair. As a result, there are limitations to the analysis. See below for further information.

What drugs do you test for in hair?

We can test individual drugs and we also have a standard panel of the most common recreational drugs. These are, Amphetamine and Methamphetamines which includes Ecstasy. Benzodiazepines, Cannabis, Cocaine, Methadone, Opiates and Ketamine. We can also test for steroids, sedatives and offer a spiking panel if required. Again, there are many options, so please call and speak to a Clinical Advisor for more information.

What is the cost of hair alcohol testing?

The cost of hair alcohol testing depends on what biological markers are required to be analysed. Month-by-month segmentation is not possible for hair alcohol testing, so the cost covers both a 3-month or 6-month period. Details for examples of the prices can be found on the drug and alcohol testing prices page. For example, the cost for of EtG analysis for 3 or 6 months is £350 incl. VAT. Whereas the cost for both EtG and FAEE analysis is £510 incl. VAT.

Local drug testing clinics, and mobile locations throughout the UK

For your convenience, we have a network of drug testing clinics throughout the UK. As a result, we can provide drug and alcohol test appointments for you in your local area. Or we can arrange for a certified sample collection officer to visit your home, workplace, or other location.