A drug test is one thing that many employees dread, especially those who consume marijuana or weed for recreational purposes. Although about eighteen states in the U.S have legalized the possession and use of weed for recreational purposes, most employers remain against their employees consuming it.
Drugs tests are not uncommon but why they are a thorn in the flesh is because most employers request them unexpectedly. Some may even give as little as a day’s notice which sends employees into a panic. It is possible to lose your job if you fail a drug test and this also is not uncommon.
But what do you do when you are faced with an impromptu test? Well, depending on how much time you have before you can take the test, there are a few ways to go about getting rid of traces left in your body or cheating the test, so to say. That said, while there are a few detox kits that you could use if you have only a day before you get tested, you should bear in mind that the results will not be as effective as having a few days for detoxification.
Types of Drug Tests
Before we go into how to pass a drug test, we must go over the types of drugs tests that actually exist. There are a few of them and they include urine, hair, blood, and saliva tests.
You will find that this is the most popular type of drug testing. It involves the use of a fresh urine sample to be examined by a lab; most times the employer dictates which labs employees are tested in. In the lab, relevant medication indicators are examined, as well as pH, color, creatinine, and temperature.
Usually, these urine samples are taken there in the lab and not brought or sent from home. There are two main reasons why this is so. One is to be sure the urine being examined does not belong to someone else and two, because urine samples taken hours ago are no longer at the proper temperature for testing.
The urine test is very effective in detecting substances like marijuana, opiates, methamphetamines, alcohol, urinary tract infections or opioids. This method is popular especially for marijuana because it can detect it even after 30 days of use. We should also point out that some employers insist that the urine sample be taken under supervision as people often swap out samples. In such cases, there is not so much that can be done to salvage the situation.
Even better than urine, hair tests can detect drug use from as far back as 90 days which can be a big problem for occasional, light users. The concept behind it is that substance metabolites enter the blood vessels of the scalp and are stored by the hair as a permanent record of a person’s usage.
As we mentioned earlier, this method of testing detects usage from way back. Because of this, many people contest the results as some people who may have last consumed any substance months ago still test positive. Hair tests can detect cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamines, opioids, and PCP. They are more time-consuming than other options.
Blood testing is the most invasive of all, however, it is the most effective at detecting specific concentration levels of alcohol. Some can even show very precisely, the levels of intoxication 24 hours after drinking. Because the traditional method of drawing blood is quite invasive, having a needle poked in the arm, many labs now offer a less invasive method of collecting blood samples.
Very popular these days is the use of the Volumetric absorptive microsampling (VAMS®) technology. With this technology, analysis can be done using small blood samples. The Mitra device is a portable device that was developed to aid simple VAMS blood collection. With this device, the fingertip is pricked to collect a drop or two of blood. This method is a lot quicker and much less invasive than regular blood sample collection techniques.
Blood tests have been found to be more detailed than urine and tend to reveal more than just the presence of drugs. Scientists have found that a direct biomarker of alcohol known as PEth can be detected in very small blood samples while still revealing a lot of information. Done right, these analyses not only detect drug metabolites in the sample but also the precise amount in the sample. Click here to learn more about PEth.
This method is primarily used to detect recent usage. Saliva testing can detect consumption of methamphetamines, opiates, and cocaine within the last few days. For marijuana, it can only detect usage within the last few hours.
Ways People Try to Pass Drug Tests
There are a few methods people employ to pass or cheat these examinations. Let us look at a few of them:
Diluting Urine Samples
People who suspect that the results will come out positive try to dilute the urine sample with water. This is usually done by drinking lots of water before the sample is taken or by directly putting water in the sample if possible. With a diluted sample, employees stand a better chance of getting a drug-negative result. That said, we should mention that some advanced labs and facilities can detect diluted or adulterated urine samples.
Providing Someone Else’s Urine Sample
This is actually quite common, especially if employees are allowed to provide the samples unsupervised. So, rather than providing your own sample, you get a sample from someone you are a hundred percent sure has nothing to do with drugs.
There are even labs produced urine samples that can be bought and submitted for analysis. Several companies make these synthetic urine samples, but their quality varies between manufacturers. You can check out Cochrane Handbook to learn more.
Other methods people employ to pass these examinations include delaying them for as long as possible to buy enough time for detoxification. Detoxification appears to be effective in getting rid of metabolites before a blood drug test. There are a ton of detox kits and products in the market and finding those that work could be challenging.