Time is running out – you know you have to prepare for your test, but this one is a difficult one. A fail could mean getting kicked out of school, not getting the job of your dreams, or losing your job altogether. There are some pretty serious consequences to failing a drug test.
But the consequences are not what this post is all about. Rather, we are going to deal with how you can avoid those consequences and how to beat a drug test. To do this, we need to understand a little about how drug analysis works, the different types of tests and which drugs you might be tested for.
We will then go through the factors that impact results, when you might expect to be screened, and how to best prepare yourself. We look at the drug test cleanse procedure that you should consider follow. We stick to methods that are safe and that have the best chance of success.
Hair Follicle Analysis
This works by measuring the metabolites that your body breaks the drugs down into. In this case, the metabolites work their way through your bloodstream and into the blood vessels on your head. The growing hair draws in the nutrients and metabolites at the same time.
As the hair grows, the metabolites remain in the shaft, giving a pretty good indication of your past usage. The test requires between fifty and one hundred and twenty strands of hair. This is cut as close to your crown as possible, at the rear of the head.
The testers need an inch and a half of hair to perform the test. As a result, people think that they can cheat a hair drug test if they shave their heads. That doesn’t work – the hair can be taken from anywhere on your body.
Urinalysis (Urine Drug Screen)
This is the type that you are most likely to encounter because it is relatively accurate and inexpensive. There are two different forms that this test can take – a screening test or a confirmatory test. Most tests will go through screening first and then on to the confirmatory one if metabolites are found.
During screening, you will either get a positive or a negative result. The sample will then undergo further testing to confirm the outcome.
Many people believe that they know how to pass a urinalysis easily. The truth is that it is more complicated than you might think. You can drink a lot of water to dilute your pee and that will skew results. However, the technician will often spot this and flag you.
Short of having all the blood in your body replaced, the only way you are going to pass this one is if the drugs and metabolites are completely out of your system when they take blood. This test is the most accurate narcotic and marijuana drug test and also impossible to fool.
On the upside, it is also the one that is most expensive to perform and so is not usually trotted out unless something serious has happened. Don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security, though, this one is what will put you behind bars if you are driving high.
This can be applied for various substances, it just depends on what the actual tester is looking for.
Mouth Swab (Saliva, Oral Fluid) Check
This form of oral fluid drug testing works by checking the levels of cannabinoids in your saliva. There is a lot of speculation about how effective these tests are. Some researchers say that it only a good drug test for THC if the person smoked at least four to ten hours before the sample was taken.
Some researchers say that it is able to pick up cannabinoids a full four days after usage. The jury, though, is still out on this one.
On the upside, this is a relatively non-invasive process. A swab of the inside of your mouth is taken. It is a little more expensive than urinalysis but not as bad as blood testing. It is more accurate at establishing immediate usage than determining a pattern of abuse, though.
Fingernail (Nail) Analysis
Nail testing works in a similar way to hair testing in that it can establish whether there is long-term use or not. The technician will need to take off about one to two millilitres from each nail. They test the nail for metabolites as they would your hair.
This is not a particularly well-used method, but may be employed if the hair is not long enough for a good sample. If they cannot get the sample from the nails of your finger, they can always use the toenails instead.
You could cut all the nails short as a way to for a passing drug test, but don’t rely solely on this method. If you do, they will likely resort to a different testing procedure.
Sweat (Perspiration) Patch Test
Any liquid in your body can be tested for narcotic residue. Perspiration testing is a newer type of screening. It does, however, require that you wear a patch for two weeks. If you use during that time, the patch will pick it up.
This is not the most convenient type, though, because it requires a longer term. Most companies would opt for a simple cheek swab or urinalysis instead.
This method is more common in the law enforcement sphere or with child protective services. It is a test that has limited value in that it will not be able to tell you whether or not the person was using before, but it is useful in determining if they are currently using.
Common Types of Drugs You Can Get Tested For
THC (Cannabis, Hash, Marijuana, Cannabinoids)
THC detection time depends on a lot of factors – how you ingested it – smoked or eaten, for example, how much you used, your body chemistry, and your overall tolerance level. It also depends on the type of test that is administered.
It will stay in your urine anywhere from seven to thirty days. It will stay in your blood for up to fourteen days in total. In your hair and nails, it is there for good and is only removed when the hair or nails are.
A marijuana cleanse and complete abstinence from pot for at least a month is the best recommended way of beating a drug test for the substance. That said, if you have been smoking chronic for a long time, or in large amounts, it could still show up in the urine up to three months after the last use.
Cocaine (Crack, Coke)
Cocaine stays in the urine for up to three or four days and in the blood for between one to two days. It is a substance that is quite quickly passed out of the system. If you are able to keep yourself clean for a week or so, after chronic use, you should be okay to pass a blood or urine screening.
It should be remembered, however, that traces will be present in the hair and nails, so it will be possible to pick up drug use that way instead.
Opiates (Opium, Heroin, Morphine, Codeine)
The amount of time that opiates stay in the blood depends on the type of opiate. For example, codeine can be detected for a day in your urine and up to 12 hours with a blood test. Morphine, on the other hand, has a window of two to three days in the urine. Oddly enough, it is only detectable in the blood for six to eight hours.
You may be able to pass a drug screen for opiates if they have passed out of your system by the time the testing is done. Otherwise, it is tough to avoid getting a positive one.
Amphetamines (Speed, Meth, Crank)
Amphetamines will show up in the urine for about one to three days and in your blood for up to twelve hours. The amount of time that it takes for your body to process them will depend on a range of things like whether or not you are a habitual user, if you have developed a tolerance, etc.
The best ways to beat a drug test for these substances is to do a complete cleanse and wait for around about a week so that the basic traces are gone. They will still, however show up in your hair and nails.
Phencyclidine (PCP, Angel Dust)
PCP can be detected in your urine up to seven days after you have taken it. Increase that to four weeks if you are a heavy user. It will be detectable in the blood for up to twenty-four hours.
If you do a serious detox program, and are a casual user, you should get a pass with urinalysis after a week. Bear in mind, though, that it will be present in your hair for much longer than that.
Alcohol will stay in your urine between three and five days. It will stay in your bloodstream for around twelve hours in total. It should be noted that the test will pick up even small traces of metabolites so your best way to pass is to avoid drinking altogether.
You can try to drink as much water as possible to flush it out of your system faster but, if they use hair screening, they will be able to see that you drink, and how heavily you drink.
Where Can I Be Tested?
If you want to be screened for drugs, you could approach a local hospital. If you want help from the hospital, and nothing else is wrong, you might have to book in. This can be a little more of an expensive option for you and, if you have medical cover, it might not be covered.
If you have an emergency and need urgent medical care, the doctors in the ER might test your automatically if you seem to be acting in a manner that suggests that you may be high.
If your goal is more to check that the drugs have left your system completely, you are better off approaching a pathology lab and finding out what testing they will do.
Over The Counter Kits
There are two basic types of over the counter kits. The first type is a qualitative test. It can tell you whether or not the drug is present, but it cannot give an indication of the levels of the drug in the system. These tests may have several different sections testing for different drugs.
The second type is a quantitative test. This type is able to measure the levels of the drug present, but will need to be sent off to a lab for testing.
How To Prepare For Beating A Drug Test
When it comes to preparing for any test, the more time you have, the better your chances of passing. It is the same with a drug testing. It is basic, “How to Pass a Drug Test for Pot 101.” The more time you have to prepare, the more likely you are to beat it.
- Rule One: Stop smoking weed/ using drugs No, not even a quick pull of someone else’s doobie. In fact, if possible, avoid being around people who are using completely.
- Rule Two: Detox as much as possible. There are various herbal formulas on the market that help clean out toxins in the body. You will want to use these. How often, depends on when the test is going to be. The idea is to speed up the excretion of metabolites in your system.
- Rule Three: Drink as much water as possible, and pee as often as possible. This will give your body every chance of flushing out the metabolites.
- Rule Four: Get sweaty. Exercising is another way to boost the detoxification process. If you have a sauna, or access to one, use that as well.
- Rule Five: If you only have twenty-four hours to prepare, the above-mentioned methods will not do a lot of good so further research is required.
Factors Affecting Drug Detection Time
Quantity and Frequency of Use
If you only have the odd bit of weed as an exceptional indulgence, you probably won’t have enough of the TCH in your system for it to move into your hair follicles. Here, when we are saying exceptional indulgence, we mean once a month or less.
The more often you use, or are around those that do, the more residue is going to build up in your system. Take marijuana, for example. Maybe you don’t smoke it, but your best friend does. If you are around him when he smokes, you are ingesting some of the smoke and it may even getting into your hair.
A higher-speed metabolism is your friend when it comes to getting all traces of drugs out of your system. It is not so great because it means that you won’t feel high as long, but it will come in handy if you are going to be tested.
If, on the other hand, you have a more efficient metabolic rate, the traces will stay in your system for longer. Exercise helps boost metabolism and so will help increase the excretion of incriminatory substances.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
The bigger you are, the more alcohol or drugs you can handle. It is also useful when being tested. Most tests check how many metabolites are present in relation to the sample size. A larger body size means that there is more liquid in your body and so the metabolites are literally less concentrated.
Someone who is smaller, has the opposite problem. They might use the same amount of product but because of the lower liquid volume, the concentration appears higher.
Body Fat Content
Bigger is not always better, though. If you have a high body fat content, you could have a problem with drugs like THC. These are fat soluble and so get stored in the fatty tissues in the body. In addition, fatty tissue does not use as much energy as muscle tissue does so your metabolism may be lower.
Because of these factors, the traces of drugs might be picked up even if you have been clean for months. Start working on that weight loss plan now.
The Process of Aging
As you get older, your body can become less proficient at processing and eliminating drug residue. Your metabolism naturally slows as you age, and you are more likely to put on weight as you start nearing middle age.
Basically, as you start to hit 35 onwards, you are not a kid anymore and, while your tolerance might be higher, it might take longer for your body to get rid of the TCH. So, you end up needing to ingest more, to start getting the same effect. It sucks, but that’s the way it is.
Health In General
The healthier you are, the better the different systems within your body work and the more efficient they are. This includes your waste excretion system. So, it makes sense to keep yourself as healthy as possible to stand the best chance of outsmarting drug testers.
When your body is not getting the right nutrition or the right amount of exercise, it is forced to focus on the more essential bodily functions. While waste disposal is essential, it does not rate quite as highly as nutrient extraction, for example.
Institutions and Organizations That Test for Drug Use
Doping in sports is usually a big scandal if it comes out. This is especially true in the NFL where testing positive for performance enhancing drugs could lead to serious fines and end an athlete’s career. Drug testing is done as a matter of course for steroids and the like.
Many teams also have clauses in their contracts regarding the use of illicit drugs as well and insist on random screening of their players at different intervals. If a player is not clean, they may be booted out.
It seems like a long time ago that the movie Soul Plane starring Snoop Dogg came out. Now, while Captain Mack was ultra-cool in the movie, how comfortable would you be with a pilot lighting up in real life?
The airlines certainly aren’t cool with their pilots or crews being high or drunk on duty. Random testing is done as a matter of course here as well. Failing any of these tests would, at the very best, mean getting grounded and, at the worst, being fired outright.
Okay, so dealing with the IRS is never fun – those guys could certainly use some serious chill pills or to mellow out a little. But, in all seriousness, the government has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to narcotics.
Testing positive will effectively bar you from getting a job in any branch of the government. Government employees might be subjected to random screening and may be ordered to undergo treatment for abuse and/ or lose their jobs completely.
Schools often have policies in place that allow them to conduct random testing of all employees, from janitorial staff through to teachers, and students. The consequences of testing positive depend on the school itself, but students are often expelled for infractions.
In some cases, offenders are given a suspension and another chance, but repeat offenders will face expulsion. If the offender is on the staff, they are likely to be fired on the spot. The moral – don’t deal drugs, or do drugs in school.
Hospital staff are expected to be alert and on point at all times. Sometimes this is difficult, because of long hours and multiple, stacked shifts. Considering the potential access to narcotics, hospitals will insist on complete drug screening before they hire anyone.
Most will also make it a condition of employment that you submit to testing whenever required to do so. A positive result will invariably end up in the person losing their job or being ordered to undergo a treatment program.
Difference Between Drug Screens and Tests?
Drug testing and drug screening, it sounds like exactly the same thing, doesn’t it? If you have been reading this article, you know that it is not. Let us recap what the differences are for the record.
Drug screening is the test most likely to be performed. It is not as expensive and is usually used to eliminate those who have no traces of MJ or any other narcotic in their system. If the result of this test is negative, there is no need to do further testing.
Companies may stop at this stage in order to save money, but it is better to move on to drug testing when a sample proves positive to find out the extent of the problem. Screening can only give a positive or negative result.
To find out the levels of the drug and to establish whether or not the person is a chronic user, you need to take thinks a step further with drug testing.
Natural Methods to Beat Any Drug Test
Wait It Out
The easiest way to beat any of the standard tests every time is simple – don’t do drugs at all. While it is an effective method, it is no fun. It can also take between thirty days and three months for it to completely leave your system.
Waiting it out is the safest option. If you don’t have the time to do this, do drink a fair amount of water on the day of the test and be sure to urinate before going in. When actually providing your sample, pee for a couple of seconds before you fill the cup.
That way, you should have the lowest concentration of metabolites.
Cleanse and Detox
The cleanse and detox program is a way to get rid of trace elements of the drug in your system. It’s a fairly simple program, but might not always have the most pleasant side effects.
The exact method you would use would depend on how much time you have. If you have under twenty-four hours, your best bet will be drinking a lot of water and then having a detox drink as well.
These are expensive, but they contain creatine and vitamins that help disguise the fact that you have a more diluted sample. Many contain pectin as well and this is thought to bind the THC. But do be warned, you could experience bouts of diarrhoea as well.
If you have a little more time on your hands, you can enhance the effects by drinking a large quantity of water with it. This helps to dilute the pee so that the sample is more likely to read negative. If you do these, you should supplement Vitamin B and creatine as well so it is less obvious that you have done it.
Don’t Do Drugs
Not to sound like an after-school special, but this is the surest way to get a negative result. While there are many methods used to try and disguise the fact that you have been using, there is always a risk of getting caught.
Testers know that there are people who are going to try and circumvent the testing protocols. If they know what they are doing, they will know all the same tricks that you do. Sometimes passing can come down to how experienced the tester is.
The only fool-proof way of testing clean is for there not to be any illicit substances in your system to start off with.
Employee Drug Testing Classification
Pre-Employment Drug Testing
It might seem like something of an invasion of privacy, but a lot of companies insist on pre-employment screening or testing. Unfortunately, they have you over a barrel. If you refuse to be tested, they just won’t hire you.
They do have to have your consent get you tested, but this is a moot point when it is a precondition of being hired. It is understandable – companies don’t want to take on employees who may not be as sharp as they should.
Random Drug Testing
Again, random drug testing is something that normally requires your consent. Technically, if you refuse there is nothing that they can do. Except fire you or expel you from school. That is why it is extremely important to read your employment contract or the school rules very carefully.
The chances are good that if the company insisted on pre-employment screening, there could be random testing in your future as well. Again, it is not something that you have much control over. If you don’t submit, that could be used as a reason for termination.
For Cause Drug Tests
“For cause” testing works somewhat differently. In this case, the person asking for the test to be done has to have a valid reason to think that you are under the influence at the time. The supervisor or someone who is in charge of that employee will need to see evidence that the employee is impaired.
It must be a reasonable suspicion as well. So, if the employee is slurring their words and acting strangely, it would be reasonable to suspect that they were impaired. If, on the other hand, they just seemed tired, that would not be considered cause.
Post-Accident Drug Test
If there is an accident at work, the issue of liability needs to be addressed. In other words, they need to find out what caused the accident to begin with. This will usually entail some form of drug testing to ensure that the worker was not under the influence at the time.
The company is required to inform employees about what their drug testing policy is in the event of an incident occurring. Normally this will be detailed in your employment contract.
Qualitative and Quantitative Drug Test Results
We have dealt with the difference between a qualitative and quantitative test briefly already. To remember the different, it is fairly easy.
A quantitative test will measure exactly how much of the drug is present in the sample. Remember quantity over quality to make it easier to recall. These tests are more expensive and must be run at a lab.
The company is more likely to use this if they want to check whether or not you are a habitual drug user and how much you use.
The qualitative test is the one that the company might administer using a test kit. This is much simpler and will just indicate if the drug is present or not. Companies may follow this up with a quantitative test to check levels if it comes back positive.
Now you know the basics. You know how drug testing works, what the different types are and how long they will be able to register the various substances for.
It is not an exact science – a lot depends on your own individual characteristics. If you are chunkier, pot residue may get stored in your fat cells, meaning that it stays in your system for longer. How often you use and how much you use also make a huge difference.
Different narcotics have different half-lives – the amount of time they stay in your system. You can try to speed up the excretion of these if you have a test coming up by using a detox liquid and drinking a lot of water.
At the end of the day, though, there is no absolutely guaranteed way to pass, if you have used, or have been using in the last three months or so. You might get lucky, you might not – the only way to be sure is not to get high at all.