People are required to take drug tests for a variety of reasons. Most job seekers are required to seek drug testing as a preliminary condition to getting hired. If you’re in an accident, your insurance may require that you are tested for the presence of drugs as well as alcohol. Many employers require randomized drug testing on the job. The way you prepare for your drug testing will differ based on the amount of time you have to prepare, and the type of drug user you are.
- Abstain from drugs. This might seem like the most obvious way to prepare for drug testing, but it can also be the most difficult. Whether you’re a long-time user of drugs or someone who’s just tried them for the first time, a drug test will pick up on these chemicals in your body. Legally, a drug test does not differentiate between someone who’s just tried a drug once and someone who’s a daily user.
- Because tests can detect drug residue in your system, it will help to stop using drugs immediately if you’re using this method to prepare for your drug test.
- As drug tests have increased in accuracy, it’s less and less likely that you’ll have a false positive on your results. For example, ibuprofin used to create a false positive for marijuana. With improvements in testing, this is no longer the case.
Test yourself. Using a home detection kit won’t be as accurate as the tests available by larger drug testing companies, but they can provide a baseline from which to find out the level of detectable drugs in your system. If you have a week or more before your drug test, invest in some home tests.
- Take a urine sample first thing in the morning, when your urine is most concentrated. If this sample comes back drug-free, you can feel more relaxed about your pending drug test. It’s still advisable to refrain from taking drugs until the test date, however.
- If this sample comes back positive, you’ll be able to practice diluting your urine, or any of the other strategies mentioned below.
Give yourself as much time as possible. While there are ways to Pass a Drug Test on Short Notice, ideally you’ll have time to research the type of drug test you’ll be given, and ensure that your chances of passing the drug test are high.
- You’ll want to refrain from any drug use during the time you’re preparing for your drug test. If you’re more likely to use drugs when you’re drinking, you may also want to avoid alcohol during this time, even though drug tests will not generally be designed to detect the presence of alcohol.
- Ideally, you’ll have a couple of weeks from the last time you used drugs until the date of the drug test. This time period won’t eliminate all traces of drugs from your system, but it provides time to help you prepare for your test.
Choose the test you’re likely to pass. You may not be given a choice about which drug test you’ll receive, but if you do have a choice, you can better your chances of passing the test. A blood test is designed to measure current level of impairment, but is less likely to pick up on residual drug measurements. Blood tests are generally most reliable for drug use in the previous 4 hours, though chronic heavy smokers may have positive results for several days.
- If you’re a regular smoker, you might want to take a urine test instead.
- If you’ve just begun to use drugs and are brought in for a drug test, you might want to choose a hair follicle test.
Learn about urine tests. To provide a urine test, you’ll have to prepare to remove your outer clothing and everything in your pockets. You’ll leave your clothes outside the testing room. The testing company will secure all your personal possessions, so it’s best to bring as little as possible to the drug test.
- You’ll enter a testing room, which contains a toilet. The door to this toilet is monitored, but the toilet room itself allows you privacy.
- You’ll be expected to provide a urine sample into a small plastic cup.
- Each urine sample will be examined for: temperature; color; odor; presence of foreign objects or material; tampering, adulteration, or substitution.
- If you’ve smoked recently, you may do better with a urine test than a blood test.
Learn about blood tests. A blood test, or “tox screen,” can detect present illicit drugs, though not residual drugs in your system. A blood test is commonly used at the scene of an accident in order to assess current level of impairment. This is unlikely to be the type of drug test offered in random drug screening or as a condition for a job applicant.
- Make sure you have an updated list of all medications you’re taking, whether prescription, over-the-counter (such as aspirin or ibuprofin), supplements and vitamins. The blood test will detect all current medications.
- This may be offered to a victim of rape in order to learn whether they were given a date rape drug that affected their ability to consent.
- Professional athletes are required to consent to blood tests in order to determine whether they’re taking performance enhancement drugs.
Learn about hair follicle drug testing. Hair testing uses a person’s hair to detect trace amounts of illicit drugs present in the person’s system. They are reported to be 5 times more effective than urine tests at detecting illicit drug use.
- The typical hair sample is taken from 1 1/2 inches from the person’s scalp. As hair grows at roughly 1/2 inch per month, this would mean that the hair tests for the presence of drugs in the person’s system for the previous 90 days.
- It takes 5-10 days for drugs to become detectable though this method. If you’ve only just started to use drugs and are brought in for a drug test, this might be the best method to choose.
- Hair colors and dyes are unlikely to affect any change in the hair follicle drug test. However, some shampoos or hair conditioners may alter the hair follicle test.
Don’t count on excuses. For example, stating that your roommate likes to get high, and so your positive test comes from her drug use rather than your own is unlikely to help you. The standard cut-off rate of detection of THC as detected in urine samples is 50 nanograms/milliliter (ng/ml). To achieve a rate of this level through second-hand, “passive” smoking, a person would literally have to be shut up for hours in a closet full of other people smoking marijuana.
- Your best way to avoid getting caught by a drug test is to be proactive in evaluating your own situation.
- A potential employer is unlikely to provide the results to your drug test, and you won’t be offered the opportunity to tell your side of the case. If your drug test comes back as failed, you won’t be hired.
Beware of trusting out-of-date tips. As drug tests have become more sophisticated, strategies that might once have worked – such as sprinkling salt in a urine test, or substituting fake urine for your own sample – are likely to be detected. The punishment for tampering with a drug sample may be worse than failing a drug test, even resulting in criminal charges in some states.
- Poppy-seed bagels don’t actually cause false positives.
- Don’t waste your money on miracle-cleanses, or counting on adding an adulterant to your drug test to game the results. Given the pressure companies face to comply with federal drug laws, these are unlikely to work.