Nail testing FAQs
What drugs can be detected in a nail drug test?
Nail testing can be used to test for the following drugs:
How long does it take to get the results from my nail drug test?
The standard turnaround time is 3–5 working days.
Does it matter which nail is used for the test?
Either fingernails or toenails can be used for the test, but not a mixture. Approximately 10 mg of nail is required in total.
How are the samples collected?
Nail clippings are collected as close to the nail bed as possible. The sample would need to be collected under chain of custody conditions to support legally defensible results. This would require either an appointment with one of our trained sample collectors at a place convenient to the donor or at one of our nationwide Walk in Centres.
Will false nails affect the result?
As well as being in the nail itself, drugs are incorporated in the nail bed which is underneath the nail so the results would not be affected by false nails.
Will nail varnish, Shellac and acrylic nails need to be removed?
Acrylic nails, Shellac and other forms of nail varnish will need to be removed. As this may damage the surface of the nail it could impact on the drug results.
What is the window of detection for drugs in nails?
Drugs can be detected for 3–6 months after ingestion.
What will the results of the nail drug testing tell me?
We can test for up to 11 drugs. The test results will tell you which of the following drugs has been ingested and over how many months: methamphetamine, amphetamine, mephedrone, benzodiazepines, opiates, methadone, cannabis, zolpidem, ketamine, cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA).
How long will the drug stay in the nail?
Drugs and their biomarkers become locked in keratin fibres along the entire length of the nail, and can be detected up to 3–6 months after drug abuse.