Wednesday October 26, 2016View our Editorial Policy
Having to take a drug test is usually the result of something good, like a promotion or an exciting new job, or it can be due to wrongdoing, like probation or post-accident. Whatever the cause may be, we’re here to explain the most likely scenario and what our recommendations are for each situation.
Why You’re Getting Tested
So you’ve moved along in the hiring process and forgot to put down the bud – now you’re stuck trying to figure out your next step. Luckily for you, most employers chose a simple (and cheaper) urine test to drug test potential employees.
Pre-Access (Promotion or Classified)
Great job; you passed the initial drug screening and working your way up the corporate ladder. Now, you’ve been notified you’re up for a promotion (or have new responsibilities requiring security clearances for classified information). This means you’ll need to pass another drug test. Same deal – you’ll most likely face a urine test to ‘level up’.
Life certainly throws plenty of curveballs – in this scenario, you’ve either had an accident at work or in a car wreck. Depending upon how serious the accident is, you could be drug tested via blood test (especially if your accident was bad enough to land you in the hospital) or another urine test. This is to help clear your name for any wrongdoing or even to validate that you, as a victim, were not responsible for the accident.
Maybe you’ve been boasting about crazy weekend parties (not advisable). Perhaps you’ve had an off day and overly nosey employers with a strict substance-abuse policy have it out for you. Either way, if your place of work deems it necessary to drug test you, be ready. This could technically happen at any time with little chance for you to prepare.
Bad luck – your number was drawn for a random drug test (for your school, team, company, etc.), and not for the lottery. This means that you’ll most likely be facing a urine test, the cheapest way to screen an employee.
If you’re on probation for even a minor offense, you’re going to want to clear that drug test. This usually means a urine test or even hair follicle testing, which is almost impossible to fake. Fortunately, meetings with probation officers are usually scheduled in advance, so you have time for damage control. However, random calls and summons to take a drug test are becoming more and more popular across the nation, which makes preparation times harder to predict.
What to Do
Obviously, if you have any head’s up for your potential drug screening, such as beginning a job hunt or pursuing a promotion at work or participating in a group with a strict drug policy, the best thing to do is stay clean. However, that comes with additional risks (like being lame), and we totally understand when the time comes to fake it ‘til you make it.
Types of Drug Tests
Don’t worry – you don’t need to study up to pass a drug test. There are many different types of drug tests, but we’re here to explain what each is looking for and how they’re conducted. Urine drug tests are convenient because they don’t have to go back to a lab and have a long shelf life. There’s usually a 3-day window for some substances to become undetectable in the urine, including cocaine. However, heavy marijuana smokers on average test positive 30 days after their last toke.
Panel Drug Tests
Some of the most basic screenings are 4-panel and 5-panel drug tests. These are frequently conducted during pre-employment screening. As their name suggests, they test for four (most likely marijuana, cocaine, opiates or methamphetamines) or five (probably marijuana, cocaine, opiates, methamphetamines or PCP) of the most commonly used street drugs in the system. Most government and private institutions utilize this urine test. And as you can see from the reference links, they’re pretty easy to order.
Urine tests don’t stop there. A 7-panel test most likely tests for amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and PCP. Most 12-panels are checking for traces of amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, ecstasy/MDA, marijuana, methadone, opiates, Oxycodone/Percocet, PCP, propoxyphene, and Quaaludes.
It’s important to note that all “panel” drug tests, including 4-panel, 7-panel and 10-panel, describe the number of substances being tested. There’s no standard drug test, meaning that employers (or parole officers or law enforcement, etc.) can test a wide variety of things. A 4-panel test could test for amphetamines, cocaine, methadone and opiates; but it could just as easily be designed to test for THC, ecstasy, Oxycodone and Benzodiazepines.
Because there’s no strict definition of what substances will be tested, approach these screenings with caution.
Saliva Drug Tests
These tests are almost exclusively performed by probation officers. This involves a simple swab of saliva from the cheek and testing it for drugs. THC can stay present in saliva for 1–7 days at a time, depending on how often you consume.
What Can I Do?
To begin, we want to clarify that we are not scientists, nor are we legal counsel. There are certain ways to prepare for a urine drug test, especially if you have a significant notice before the test.
Several months’ notice – Light up!
One month’s notice – We’d recommend that you stop smoking around this time. Marijuana generally leaves the system around 30 days. Just drink plenty of water.
- Two weeks’ notice – Definitely stop the recreational activities. Start drinking plenty of water (but stop overdoing it on the water a few days before the test, it looks fishy to drug administrators if your urine isn’t the right temperature or if it’s too colorless from excessive water intake). Because THC is fat-soluble, you’ll want to avoid fatty foods, and you don’t want traces of pot stuck in your GI tract. Eat healthy, which includes plenty of veggies, fiber and fruit to clear out your system. Exercise and sweat it out, as well.
You’ll want to consider your detox and supplement options at this point. If you want a detox drink to beat that test, TestClear.com sells detox drinks and a variety of other highly rated products to pass your drug test.XXtra Clean Cleansing Drink is a great option for urine drug tests
A week’s notice – Follow the steps in the two weeks’ notice, and add some niacin (B3) supplements to your diet. Niacin boosts metabolism, and it’s widely believed that this vitamin can help flush THC from fat cells in your organs. If you’re a heavy smoker urine alternatives are your best bet.
If you want to be SURE you’ll pass, you can try taking an at-home test kit to rest easy.
A few days’ notice – Follow the above steps. Consider investing in synthetic or powdered urine, or a detox drink.
Synthetic or powdered urine can be used to pass a urine drug test. TestClear.com offers a powdered human urine option that features a heat activator so your sample tests at a temperature similar to real urine! Be wary of this method if you’re being observed while taking it.
A day’s notice – Fake it. You’ll want to opt for the synthetic urine route. Or get your straight-edge twin to take the test for you?
However, there’s probably no certain way to cheat a drug test other than staying clean.
There’s probably no certain way to cheat a drug test other than staying clean. What methods have you used to pass a drug test?
Photo Credit: DarkoStojanovic