Right, first things first – drugs are stupid. This is our disclaimer. We are not supporting the use of any drugs. That being said, sometimes you dabble and need to pass a drug test. It’s one of those things you just have to deal with. Be it for a job interview or for a sports tournament, you will at some point have to face a drug test and prove there are no substances in your system. There is a slight issue, however. Marijuana, one of the most commonly used drugs, generally stays in your system longer than any other substance, and can be detected, even after 30 days of use (60 if you’re an especially heavy user). This is because THC, the substance in weed that gets you high, is stored in your body’s fat cells.
There are a few critical things you should know about drug tests before we get into how we can beat a drug test: what do drug tests test for exactly, and how are they administered?
The five drugs are most commonly tested for are:
- Amphetamines (speed, meth)
- THC (marijuana, cannabis, weed)
- Opiates (heroin, opium, morphine)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
Some drug testers require testing for an even wider array of substances, including alcohol, ecstasy and any other drug they want, really.
Now comes an even more important question: how are these drug tests administered? This information is essential for you to know if you plan on passing your drug test. There are 5 main types of drug tests you need to be aware of.
- Urine Drug Tests (UDTs) are the most common form of drug test, usually. Let’s take weed as an example. Urinalysis doesn’t test for THC, but for THC-COOH, a byproduct produced after weed is broken. Of course, THC-COOH is conclusive evidence that you have dabbled with weed in the last month (at least). Once THC-COOH is found in your screening test, a confirmatory test is undertaken, just to -you guessed it- confirm whether THC-COOH was found to be positive in your urine.
- Saliva Drug Tests are sometimes used as they are much less intrusive than urine drug tests. However, they have a very notable disadvantage. They only detect very recent drug use, which means, unless the person being tested has used a substance in the last 12 hours, their use will go undetected.
- Blood Drug Tests are by far the most invasive and accurate of all drug testing methods. However, it is also very expensive, which means it is very rarely used after job interviews.
- Hair Drug Tests work because drug metabolites (the product produced after the drug is metabolised) get into the blood vessels in your scalp. Hair cells filter and store these drug metabolites, which is why hair can be used to detect and record different drug use of a person. Around 100 hairs are cut from the back of the head, usually at the length of 1-1.5 inches. If no hair is available on the head, then beard, arm or chest hair can be used. However, many people object to hair testing as it has the exact opposite problem of saliva drug testing – drugs take about a week to 10 days to enter into the scalp and hair cells, which means that this type of drug test does not detect any recent drug use. Conversely, drug metabolites stay in hair for up to 90 days, which means it can detect very old drug use. The good news is since that hair drug tests are expensive and take a long time, they are often not used by employers or testers.
- Perspiration/Sweat Drug Tests are one of the more recent forms of drug testing. Akin to a nicotine patch, a small cover is fixed to your skin for about two weeks. This patch detects any drug metabolites which your body is getting rid of through sweat. While this a generally accurate method, it is often used for monitoring people on probation or during trials and such.
Okay, now that we have identified all the different drug tests that you might come to face, here comes the good part. How do you pass a drug test?
- We’ll start with the most obvious solution: Wait it out. If you know you have an interview or a situation where you can reasonably expect to undertake a drug test, don’t consume any drugs beforehand. Stopping the drug use, coupled by a lot of exercise and water (to flush out the drug metabolites), is undoubtedly the most effective method to pass a drug test. One handy tip is to pee beforehand. Your first pee of the day is one with the highest concentration of metabolites, meaning, for example, it has the highest concentration of THC-COOH if you smoke weed. So by peeing beforehand, you are excreting a sizeable amount of drug metabolites from your body.
- Another option is to, use a weed cleansing drink. These drinks contain substances that disguise and dilute the presence THC metabolites. They also contain high amounts of fibre, which help flush out these metabolic byproducts. A word of caution, however- these drinks can cause some powerful diarrhea. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
- DISCLAIMER: THIS IS HIGHLY UNRECOMMENDED. However, it can be a solution if you know beforehand that you will undergo a urine test. Use synthetic urine instead. Nowadays, synthetic urine technology has come a long way, producing fake urine with dozens of compounds found in actual pee. However, there are a couple of problems with this seemingly brilliant solution. Number one is that if you get caught, you could get into a load of trouble, which everyone could really do without. The second problem is that if your test is being supervised, it can be difficult to administer the fake urine.
There are a bunch of other ways that supposedly help you pass a drug test, but they’re almost surely full of it. Evidence using these methods will be anecdotal at best, which is not nearly good enough for you to try out in what could be an important interview or event.
Here is a good video resource that explains methods of detoxing from weed:
To summarise, stop doing drugs before your drug test by some time (about 3 months if weed, less than that depending on the drug), stay very well-hydrated and exercise to help flush out the metabolites. Find out the type of drug test beforehand if you can, because that’ll give you a better chance of beating it.