A piece of your hair, please

A new approach to pre-employment screening


When a job applicant had to take a drug test as part of the pre-employment screening process, all they had to do was provide a urine sample.   Now, some may have to provide a hair sample.   C.R. England, a Salt Lake City-based global transportation provider, and Omega Laboratories, a state-of-the art drug testing facility, have formed a drug screening partnership that will test the hair samples of driver applicants.   According to officials at C.R. England, this program will enhance the company’s pre-employment drug screening process, with the end result of putting safer drivers on the road.   To be sure, that is a good thing.   Hair drug testing reviews a longer screening history.   Hair growth is fed by the bloodstream. Most drugs molecules are deposited permanently within the hair shaft in small but measurable amounts.   Hair drug testing measures those molecules from a hair sample that is cut as close to the scalp as possible.   With drug screening by testing urine samples, it is not possible to detect most drugs in urine after 48 to 72 hours. That’s because the majority of drugs are out of the body by then.   This makes it difficult to detect drug use by random testing.   Hair analysis provides a retrospective window of detection. It can show the trend of drug use over time and accurately determine what drugs were used.   Just as importantly, it will show definitively if someone has not been taking any illicit substances.   It will be interesting to see if other companies follow C.R. England’s lead.