One of the latest in CorpGovs thought control has been the implementation of drug tests. In Hoffman's day, primitive Drug Tests were just starting to come on the scene. The total outrage of it made him so concerned, he had to do a follow up book called 'Steal this Urine Test'. That book is long outdated now and BigMed and CorpGov have many, many more tools now. There is also quite alot of bullshit going on in the drug culture about what works, what does not, and when the man can legally test you even amongst veterans. Also, what may have helped a stoner pass a test in the 1990s, may not work today. And remember most of all a drug test is mostly a test for recent marijuana usage, some places never even bother testing for anything else since the reliability and lead time are so short and tests are expensive. Most investigators and employers correctly assume that most drug users also smoke pot.
Know that not passing a drug test or refusing a drug test, with the important exception of when on probation, does not result in jail time. However, if you have a professional license like a Nurse, Doctor, or Truck Driver, this can be reported to the respective board and may make you lose your profession.
As with all drugs and mentioned throughout the Free Dope sections: Do not take the word of friends, "someone who knows someone", or even free-to-edit wikis (you heard it!) Do your own research and believe real scientists, good academic papers, and known experts. Also, realize that the cat and mouse game between the user and the labs is constantly evolving. Information gets outdated quickly.
Places and Times to Expect a Drug Test
As part of the Employment Process. This is the most common time. Nowadays, even some of the most mundane jobs want a drug test before hiring someone. This is usually done by the cheap, mass produced 5- panel urine tests. However, there are some that want hair. Yes, you can refuse to take it, but the employer does not have to hire you.
Reasonable Suspicion at Work. If you are slurring, stumbling, smell like liquor, or seem high at work, your employer can ask you to take one. Best thing to do is do not show up to work drunk or high. Call in sick. If you are going to work high either you have a REALLY boring job or you have a problem. Asking for rehab when they catch you might save your job and get you a free stay at a rehab clinic for a week or two. But, more likely, they either outright fire you (most non skilled jobs) or have their employee assistance program refer you to an outpatient program where you will not be able to work until you complete it (of course, paid for out of YOUR pocket with no funds coming in) and may be subject to random tests for months. See Detox and Rehab Programs for information and insight.
Work Place Accident. If you are involved in an accident while on the job, you can be tested. Be aware that if you test positive, you will probably NOT be eligible for Workers Compensation if you are hurt. You will probably be fired as well. (depends on area) If you are about to be tested after an accident there is the possibility of admitting and asking for rehab right then, once you are tested you mostly loose this chance, it might save your job and keep you out of trouble for any damage you did plus a free few weeks vacation at a clinic. A quick call to a prepaid lawyer service or free lawyer is smart to do before admitting anything, since an admission will help the employers case suing you in civil court as will a positive drug test, so ask the lawyer about whether to take the drug test or walk away.
Random Testing. Some (depends on area) Cops, Firefighters, Heavy Machinery operators, Military, Offshore workers, and many more can be tested randomly at any time for no reason. Do not worry, this is fairly uncommon and regulated and more importantly,can get expensive. If you are in an industry that allows this, your employer will give you notice in the hiring paperwork.
Hospitalization. When admitted to a hospital, you usually sign a form letting them perform any test necessary for your care. Although it does not mention drug test, one could be ordered if the doctor feels a medical need. Be assured you WILL be tested if you are giving birth, saying you want to kill yourself, come in overdosed, come in acting bizarre or violent, or prescribed a drug with known bad interactions with street drugs. A positive drug test when having a baby can attract the attention of the hospital social worker depending on what drug came up positive.
Probation. If you have run afoul of CorpGov, they may want to drug test you for a period of time depending on how you pissed them off and where you are. Please note YOU CAN go to jail for refusing this test or testing positive! Sometimes they will watch you pee, too to make sure you are not trying to fake the test.
Applying for Life Insurance. Some Life Insurance Policy companies will test you for nicotine to make sure you did not lie to them about smoking.
Certain college programs. Usually programs like Nursing, Dental School, or Medical School. These are given right before clinical portion of the program.
When applying for some professional License or card like Off-shore TWIC cards or Nurse License.
A very few High School Programs in some places, with a parent's consent.
Selling Blood Plasma. However, they are only testing for Heroin due to IV drug users reputation for sharing needles and spreading blood-borne diseases.
High level professional competitions and sports. Most sports from Olympics to the major and even minor leagues to high level amateur competitions get tested for steroids as well as other drugs. Usually, this is right before the start of a professional season for team sports or right before major competition event for individual sports.
What Drugs Are Tested For?
The most common drug tests check for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines (like meth or speed), opiates like heroin, and PCP. This is what the common 5 panel drug screen looks for and are the five drugs approved to look for by the feds.
Sometimes, the lab can offer extended tests that can detect for prescription drugs or Alcohol.
Many big time sports venues test for steroids and other performance enhancing substances. Usually this is concentrated around individual sports that have cash payouts if you win, but team sports can get tested, too. You will have notice of this if your activity does.
Extremely rarely, they will they check for LSD, Mushrooms, Peyote, or inhalants. But, this is so rare enough not to even worry about. Only one company out of around twenty even offers this service and charge hefty for it.
Kinds of Drug Tests
Now that you know when to be ready, lets talk about what weapons BigMed and CorpGov have available to pry into your private life.
SAMHSA 5 Panel Urine Test. The most common and least expensive test. Usually, they are going to make you go to an off site lab. Some places have the tests there, however. What they do is make you pee into a clear cup. They tell you not to wash your hands or flush when doing this to prevent you from adulterating the sample. Indeed, sometimes they will color the water of the toilet so you can not adulterate it with toilet water. They will then take the temperature to make sure it is fresh and not brought in and check to make sure it is not too clear. The cup will then be sealed in front of you with your initial to certify the collector has not tampered with it then sent off to a lab. It usually takes 24 to 48 hours to get results back.
Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) Urine Test. All professional lab urine tests are divided into two aliquots. If the 5 panel urine screen appears faked, adulterated, inconclusive, or reads positive (and sometimes at an employer with a bit of extra cash's request) with no valid medical reason - the bladder police can bring out the big guns with the second portion of your pee to get verification. The GC-MS machine is a slightly more expensive test only found in drug test labs that can literally find a needle in a haystack. Computers hooked up to this machine have recorded in it's programming the spectrograph of all known drug metabolites and every researched adulteration product on the market. This is the reason in beating urine tests, we suggest against detox products. They may help with cheap home tests or on-sites, but the back-up GC- MS machine will see right through this.
On Site Urine test. These are use by rehab facilities and some other employers and give results immediately. The same routine applies as the 5 Panel, but does not need to be sent off to a lab and can be read on spot. Drug stores also sell cheaper home versions of this test on the store shelves for concerned parents or folks worried sick if they are "clean" enough to pass a drug test.
Hair Drug Test. This is a very expensive test and not used very much except by very nosy employers. It is also one of the most accurate and very hard to fool with the longest detection rate. What they do is take a plug of your hair and take it to the lab. This test can tell what you have done for up to 90 days or longer!
Breathalizer. This is the machine pigs keep in the squad car to test for people driving drunk. The cop places a disposable mouthpiece in the machine and makes you breath into it. It only detects alcohol. There is no known way way to defeat it. Most of the common myths do not work. In fact, mouthwash can make it read higher!
Blood Test. Blood Tests have the least window of detectability. These are used mostly by medical staff or very limited legal situations where it must be known if a certain drug is in the system at that time. They are the most accurate, but very expensive. As such, beating this test will not be discussed.
Sweat, Saliva, and other tests. These are in their infancy and are not approved for use by the Department of Transportation or the Feds. They typically are limited into the drugs they can detect. The only advantage is the ability to give direct results. Tamper resistant sweat patch tests have found use on a limited basis by child welfare social workers and in some prison systems in a very few areas in cases where drug use must be monitored in an ongoing and recent fashion. The wide majority of folks will never encounter these tests, so we will not go in depth about them.
Length of Time Drugs Stay in System
One of the sad facts and greatest atrocity of these tests is that it detects pot for long periods of time while serious mind-fuck and body-fuck drugs like crack and heroin are gone fairly quickly. Below, is a list of the most common drugs and how long it takes to get out compiled from multiple sources. Only the most commonly tested of drugs are covered.
Be aware, length of time staying in also depends on metabolism, body weight, and many other factors.
With pot, body fat comes into play. Higher body fat means THC stays a bit longer.
Approximate values for detection periods (from wikipedia)
|Drug Name||Urine Test||Hair Test||Blood Test|
|Alcohol||6-24 hours||up to 90 days||12-24 hours|
|Amphetamines (except meth)||1 to 3 days||up to 90 days||12 hours|
|Methamphetamine||3 to 5 days||up to 90 days||1-3 days|
|MDMA (Ecstasy)||24 hrs||up to 90 days||25 hours|
|Barbiturates (except phenobarbital)||1 day||up to 90 days||1 to 2 days|
|Phenobarbital||2 to 3 weeks||up to 90 days||4 to 7 days|
|Benzodiazepines||Therapeutic use: up to 7 days. Chronic use (over one year): 4 to 6 weeks||up to 90 days||6 to 48 hours|
|Cannabis||3 to 7 days, up to >30 days after heavy use and/or in users with high body fat||up to 90 days||12-24 hours generally, up to 2 weeks in heavy users|
|Cocaine||2 to 5 days with exceptions for certain kidney disorders||up to 90 days||2 to 5 days|
|Codeine||2 to 3 days|
|Cotinine (a break-down product of nicotine)||2 to 4 days||up to 90 days||2 to 4 days|
|Morphine||2 to 4 days||up to||1 - 3 days|
|Heroin||3 to 4 days||up to 90 days||1-2 days|
|LSD||Tests for LSD are extremely rare.|
|Methadone||3 days||up to 97 days||24 hours|
|PCP||3 to 7 days for single use; up to 30 days in chronic users||up to 90 days||1 to 3 days|
Beating Urine Drug Tests
Avoid Drug Tests. There are some refuges from drug tests. For what it is worth, elected officials (!), corporate officers (!), actors, freelance writers, musicians, academic professors, lawyers, clergy, the selfemployed, folks working for some smaller employers, and some contractors are hardly ever tested. If you are in one of these fields, you could in theory never have to pee in a cup as long as legal troubles are avoided. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, Drug Free Workplace discounts to corporations or government guidelines mean a drug test is faced at least at some point.
Go Drug-Free. This is a perfectly viable way to pass a drug test. They cannot detect what is not there. (with the exception of a few rare things that generate false positives) Barring that, you probably should at least lay off the stuff if you are unemployed or expecting one. If you lack the willpower or are so addicted to not be able to do that, you may have more serious problems than passing a drug test.
Get Synthetic urine or urine of a non-drug user. This actually CAN WORK. Synthetic urine is based off the same stuff the lab techs need to calibrate the machines. The only thing is, you will have to watch the temperature and make sure you can get this in the facility without it being discovered. They do sell belts with bladders and temperature monitors for this purpose. You will also find at some head shops a system including a fake penis so the tester can actually watch you whip it out and pee in the cup. (The fake penis system - whizzinator being the most popular, unfortunately has stopped manufacture due to federal lawsuit. The feds discovered that Department of Transportation employees and Department of Corrections convicts were using this to get past testing. That particular system may be harder to find.) We wont go into the catheterization and filling your bladder with substituted urine, yuck!
Trusted DeTox Product. This is IFFY. BigMed makes a fortune out of testing and researches anti-test products on the market. What worked last year may not work this year. There are also so many out there, that one cannot be recommended. Use at your own research and mind. Some may offer money-back guarantees with a documented failure, but this is a ruse. They know the documented results are going to the employer and not you. Be cautious. Even then, be aware all of these products only keep you clean for a "window" of around 4 hours. No product can flush completely.
Asprin, four regular asprin tabs a few hours before the test has worked in the past to skew the results favorably. As always there are countermeasures that may currently be employed, but as cheap and safe as asprin is why not give it a try? Be sure to keep your ears open for asprin test being part of newer drug screens and always write the aspirin as a med you had taken that day.
Help your own body clean out faster. This is IFFY, but becomes HIGHLY POSSIBLE with more time. You can, if you have plenty of notice (week or preferably more)get stuff out of your system much quicker. Start drinking lots of water. Not all at once, though, but through the day and evening you should be peeing constantly. Start exercising aerobically. Get out and sweat! Avoid alcohol and fatty foods that THC tends to cling to. A cleansing fast will help, water, vitamins, exercise, avoid sugars, starchy snacks, and fats, you can have eggs or lean meat like chicken breast or pork chop in small amounts if you feel weak the idea is to force your body to burn fat by not eating any fats or carbos just vitamins and protein. And by all means do not take any more of the drug until after this is over with! This will increase your chances of passing greatly. Do not, under any circumstances, give them the first pee when you wake up. This contains the most drug.
Beating Hair Tests
With hair tests, you are in the realm of anti-drug test products. There are many companies that claim that their shampoo will let you pass. Use at your own risk. Do you still want to work for someone willing to spend that kind of money to be that intrusive? You can always go the route of the razor but be aware it often takes over a week for the new hair to advance past the surface, so this stubble will still have drug signs in it. Also be aware that if the lab techs can not get enough sample from your head, they will go for other areas such as underarm or pubic. Full body waxing might be your next idea, just realize that this might be a bit suspicious and if they really want to give you the test so badly your eyebrows are still hair, and if you have to try this hard and experience this much pain, you should probably think very hard about the job or your drug use.
Let's talk about some of the outdated or outrageous bullshit that is out there.
If you shave your head, they cannot give you a hair test! They will just take hair from underarms or other places. The place they take from can be much older hair and a better sample at that!
If you bleach/dye your hair, this will throw off a hair test! No, this does not work.
If you put ammonia/visine/bleach/whatever in the test it will throw off the test! No. That may have worked when testing was a new thing in Hoffman's day, but they can detect that now and it will automatically fail.
If you put X product from the head shop in your sample, it will throw off the test. Back in the 80s, these were the rage. They check for these now and will fail your test. Most adulterants do not work. The labs make lots of money weeding out folks and have teams of researchers analyzing the latest adulterants.
Goldenseal! No. But it probably did a long time ago. It was so in demand as a masking agent in the 90s that nutrition stores had to keep it locked in a case. They are wise to that now. Most pills/herbs that are offered to mask your urine do not work and are tested for. However, goldenseal does have medicinal properties that herbalists claim can remove toxins from your body and make you healthier and may be worth taking. If you do take it, lay off before a drug test to avoid the test automatically failing.
You can dilute it from the toilet/ sink. No. They will not let you flush and will not let you use sink. Sometimes they even put blue color in the toilet. Plus, you can dilute it too much. They check the color, creatinine levels, and temp of the sample and will throw it out as fake.
You can get a non-using buddy to take the test for you. No. They always want to see a picture ID. It may be possible if you know someone who is clean that looks just like you and give them your ID. Possible, but does not apply to almost all folks in this situation.
There are some common things that can create a false positive result. Avoid these several days before a drug test.
Codeine cough syrup or Tylenol-3
Some over-the-counter cold medicines.
Goldenseal. Not actually a false positive because it is now in the tested substances, but sometimes causes the initial test to be inconclusive. A follow up spectrometry test reveals the presence of goldenseal which has an urban reputation for cleansing drug traces and the lab flunks the test because they suspect you are trying to cover up pot use. Still can pass some on-site tests that do not use back-up gas spectrometry tests or test for the actual legal herbal supplement.
It is best to write on the questionnaire that you are taking any of the above, as well as any other legal herbal supplements. It will look suspicious if you are only taking goldenseal, you might memorize a cocktail of other herbs that some people take daily with their vitamins so you don't look like a bong-head trying to clean out.
Again most places will just fire you or not hire based on detecting goldenseal alone unless you are in a state or federal professional position. The tests are mostly just looking for easy to detect pot or goldenseal so you should be fine if you stick to the body fuck hard drugs which don't detect after a day or two and stay away from safe herbs and legal cleansers.
http://www.erowid.org/ Drug information resource. If at all possible, check Erowid on any drug you plan to take, be it illicit, otc, or prescription.
http://www.norml.org/ Pot advocacy group.