Hair drug testing is not a common occupational test in Canada, but it is often used in the court system, including child custody cases and for private individuals. It is ideal for any situation that would require knowledge of historical use due to it long detection time frames.
Point of Care (POCT) / Express Testing
POCT testing is not available for hair drug testing.
A standard hair sample requires about 100 hairs (the thickness of a pencil) collected from the crown of the head. Ideally the sample should be a minimum 1.5″ (3.2cm) in length, although in some cases shorter samples or other body hair samples can be used.
Once the sample is collected, a chain of custody is complete and the sample is sent directly to the laboratory for initial screening. Health Conservation Consultants utilizes the services of Dynacare Medical Laboratories which has a full lab in London, Ontario.
If the worker has a negative drug screen, results are typically available within 24-48 hours of collection.
If the worker has a non-negative initial drug screen, a confirmation screen will be completed and an MRO review will occur prior to releasing the final result as either Positive or Negative. This process typically takes between 48 and 72 hours from the time of testing.
- Confirmation testing and MRO review will determine if there is any legitimate reason the donor may have a non-negative or positive drug screen (ex. prescription medication)
- MRO review will ensure that drug levels are within prescription limits in the case of prescription drugs
This table should be used as a general guideline only. Many variables may affect the amount of time that a drug remains detectable in the hair, including a drug’s half-life, the donor’s state of hydration and fluid balance, frequency of use, route of administration, or other variables.