Screening Hair For Alcohol And Drugs of Abuse
Hair provides a test sample that is simple to collect, moderately difficult to adulterate and easy to ship and store. A 1.5-inch sample of approximately 200 strands, collected from the scalp, can, for most drugs, provide up to a 3 month drug history. When scalp hair is not available, an equal volume of body hair may be collected for testing. Most drugs appear in scalp hair 1-7 days after ingestion, and peak concentrations occur about two weeks after. Urine, on the other hand, for a drug like cocaine, only yields about 2-3 days of prior drug exposure history.

Fingernail Testing:

Screening Fingernails & Toenails For Alcohol And Drugs of Abuse
Nail samples provide a wide window of detection and show no gender bias.

Window of Detection:
Fingernails – 3-6 Months
Toenails – Up to 12 months

Nails provide a test sample that is simple to collect, very difficult to adulterate and easy to ship and store. Drugs are incorporated into the nail from the blood stream and remain locked in the nail as it grows. Drugs can be identified in nail clippings 1-2 weeks following ingestion and the window of detection may extend from 3 months up to 6 months after the last usage. Environmental exposure is immediately detectable. Fingernails grow approximately 3 millimeters (mm) to 5 mm per month, and toenails grow at a much slower rate of 1 mm per month. Drugs can be detected in toenail clippings up to 1 year after ingestion. The optimum amount of nail clippings needed is 100 mg. If trimming all 10 fingernails, each clipping must be at least 2 mm to 3 mm long.

*Nails (fingers and toes) must be free of all acrylic, gel, and polish prior to collection.

*Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) can be added to any of the above panels.

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