Employees are failing tests for illegal drugs at the highest rate in over a decade. Failing to pass a drug test can disrupt your entire life.
If you’re a drug user, the thought of facing a test can make you feel sick. Luckily, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of passing, even if you don’t have much notice.
Here’s what you need to know about the types of drug tests commonly used, how they work, and how to get through your test without getting fired.
Common Types of Drug Tests
The most common forms or drug tests use urine, saliva, blood, or hair.
Most employers use urine drug tests (UDT). These simple tests screen for illegal drugs and/or drug metabolites in your system. Saliva tests, which are gaining in popularity, tend to only show drug use that has occurred very recently.
Blood and hair tests, which are the most accurate, are rarely used for general employment screening because they are expensive and considered invasive.
Drug Testing Basics
Urine and saliva drug tests typically screen for five of the most common illegal drugs. These include:
- THC (marijuana, cannabinoids, hash)
- Cocaine (including crack)
- Opioids (heroin, opium, morphine, codeine)
- Amphetamines (speed, meth)
- Phencyclidine (angel dust, PCP)
Some tests also screen for substances like alcohol, ecstasy (MDMA), barbiturates, and other drugs.
Testing Positive After Stopping
Drug tests will let your employer know if you have used drugs, but they aren’t a good indicator of when you last used. This means you could be drug-free for some time and still test positive.
Unfortunately, marijuana stays in your system for far longer than other drugs. Casual users often show traces for up to 30 days. Heavy users could test positive for 60 days or more after the last use.
So, what do you do if you’re a smoker who’s suddenly faced with a drug test? These eight tips will help you get the results you need.
1. Use Your Time Wisely
In most cases, you’ll have at least a few days warning before your test is scheduled. If possible, try to push the test out even further. When faced with a drug test, every day counts, so make the most of it.
Stop all drug use immediately and don’t start again until your 100 percent sure you’re in the clear.
2. Flush Your System
Drinking plenty of water the day before your test and at least eight glasses the morning of your test. This can naturally dilute your urine sample, reducing the chances of drug detection. If you’re a heavy user it probably won’t make much of a difference, but it’s still worth a shot.
Be careful not to overdo it, though. Drinking too much water at once can lead to a dangerous condition called water intoxication.
3. Add Some Vitamin B
When urine is diluted, it gets lighter in color. Urine samples that are too clear are sometimes rejected on the spot. Taking a vitamin B supplement will give your urine a bright yellow color, possibly reducing suspicion.
If your sample is rejected after the fact, it will give you a few more days to clear drug residue out your system.
4. Urinate as Much as Possible
On the day of your test, urinate as much as possible before giving your sample. This allows you to flush out drug metabolites that may have built up overnight. Diuretic supplements or natural diuretics like coffee, cranberry juice, or tea can help you urinate more frequently the morning of your test.
During the test, try to wait until mid-stream before filling the sample container. This is the part of your urine that’s likely to have the lowest concentration of drug metabolites.
5. Confirm Whether You Can Pass a Drug Test
Ease your mind before your official test by taking an at-home drug test. You can easily purchase 12 panel drug tests online. These tests use the same methods your employer is likely to use, and some give you results within a few minutes.
Your results will let you know if you’re prepared to pass your test. If you’re still failing the day before your test, you may need to take more aggressive action.
6. Shave Your Head and Body
If you’re faced with a hair test, you can always resort to shaving your head and entire body. If you have no hair to submit, you can ask for a different type of test or at least buy yourself some time.
This one is a bit of a stretch but is worth a shot. Remember that it only takes an inch of hair to perform a test, so you’ll need to shave or wax all over to make this method work.
Your sudden change is also likely to arouse some suspicion, and you prepare yourself to deal with some blow-back.
7. Find Some Clean Urine
If it’s clear you’re not going to pass your test, clean or synthetic urine may be your last shot. Using someone else’s urine is a common thought when faced with how to pass a urine drug test in 24 hours.
The difficulty here lies in smuggling in the sample and keeping it at body temperature. If you try this method and are caught, you’ll likely face stiff penalties.
8. Avoid Dumb Mistakes
Drug testing technology has evolved, and many of the old tricks no longer work. Tampering with your urine sample by adding things like salt, bleach, or vinegar is sure to raise a red flag. Diluting it with water is also a good way to immediately fail.
Most over-the-counter products that claim to help you pass drug tests don’t really work. At best you’ll waste your money, and at worst you’ll fail your test. Most importantly, don’t ever do something dangerous, like drinking bleach, in an attempt to beat a drug test.
Now that you know how to pass a drug test, check out our latest article on “How to Choose the Best Top Shelf Weed.”