Drug Testing

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A staple in CorpGov's thought control has been the widespread 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 That book is long outdated now and BigMed and CorpGov have many, many more tools now.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 a lot of bullshit going on in the drug culture about what works, what does not, and when the man can legally test you even among 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", the head shop or web site selling a detox product, 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 Information gets outdated quickly.

NOT Taking Drug Tests[edit]

If everyone just refused to apply for jobs that do invasive drug tests, the employers would have no choice but to consider stopping this practice. The tests themselves are loaded with things that can give false positives. Having to pull down your pants to get hired smacks of indignity. A portion of the profits from drug test sales are used by the testing companies to pay lobbyists and campaign coffers of sympathetic politicians and judges throughout the empire. The DATIA, the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industries Association's ultimate goal is to implement mandatory drug testing on a mass scale to sell more product, damn any privacy.

Not to mention the ignorance and blind prejudice of it all. There is an irrational hatred and nosiness against those that imbibe in certain substances that has no basis in reality other than hatred, stereotypes, and misinformation. Of course they do get away with it because there are plenty of people that can pass the test that will not bitch because it is less they have to compete against for a job. And, they get to appear "responsible" and a "good citizen", damn if they blow out the liver on Budweiser. At least they are not one of "them damn lazy pot smokers".

What's really bad is that most of the employers that do this are really not getting what they want except maybe a candidate less to have to deal with. Just because someone "passes" does not mean they do not snort coke or other drugs that are out of the system quick. Just because someone tests positive for pot does not mean they will automatically miss days and steal the place blind.

If you need employment and do not want to stop doing drugs or try to fool a test, though, here is a short list of those industries known not to test, or test seldom. Keys are avoiding prejudicial and ignorant assholes and fields where drug testing is common. Find a gig that is into saving money or is too smart or has better things to do to care if someone hit a bong. Or an industry if the employers were stupid enough to drug test they would have no employees. Or field that you are considered "a figure" that is above the oppression the rest of the poor grunts face. Maybe even become your own boss.

-elected officials and judges(!)

-MOST public school teachers and administrators

-MANY police departments and fire departments (!)

-corporate officers (!)

-many tech firms like Google or Facebook

-actors, or most in film industry even riggers and camera crew

-sex industry workers

-freelance writers

-pet breeders, trainers, and groomers (except chains like PetSmart)

-real estate agents

-Massage therapists (except major hotels or cruise ships)

-personal trainers (except some chains and the YMCA)

-musicians

-academic professors

-Smaller to medium sized construction companies and crews

-lawyers and paralegals

-roadies and event crew

-private practice doctors and therapists

-clergy

-most call center agents and telemarketers (except major companies like AT&T, etc)

-the self-employed

-day labor like LaborReady

-most restaurants, food delivery, and fast food. (except major hotel chains like the Hilton, Marriot, etc.)

-folks working for some smaller employers or family

-contractors not on federal contracts.


If you are in one of these fields (and we are sure there are some we have missed), 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.

The Urine Drug Test Experience[edit]

You show up at either a lab, human resources office, parole building, or site of an accident.

They ask to see a valid picture ID to make sure it is you.

If you can not pee, there is usually a water available nearby.

You fill out paperwork and are given a cup with a lid to pee in. At a lab, they will ask you to write down any herbal supplements, OTC meds, and prescriptions you are taking.

They make you take off any excess clothing like jackets and empty any pockets and place the content of the pockets in a secure place.

They instruct you not to wash your hands or flush the toilet till after you give them your urine. This is to keep you from watering down your sample. Sometimes they even put chemicals in the toilet to make the water in the toilet blue.

If this is for parole or something criminal, they will many times send someone the same sex as you actually watch you pee. This is rare, though, outside the criminal justice system.

IT IS ILLEGAL (in most cases) TO MAKE YOU STRIP AND TAKE THIS UNLESS THE DRUG TEST IS A CRIMINAL MATTER -or- THEY HAVE STRONG SUSPICION OF YOU CHEATING THE TEST!! You can (as long as it is not parole or police personnel doing this) politely refuse and tell them you are happy to pee in a cup, but will be nervous and not able to pee standing buck naked and see if this gets you out of that if you REALLY want the job. If they insist, WALK OUT! Talk to a lawyer AND the national office of whatever organization if this is the case. Then again, who wants to work for an employer that wants to strip search it's people?

They then check the sample for creatine levels which gives urine a yellow color. (Clear urine is a sign of drinking tons of water to fool a urine test).

They also check for temperature to make sure you did not sneak in outside urine.

They will also make note of any strange behavior.

If the test is an on-site 5 panel urine test, they will have the results right there. You are done. If it reads false positive, you may be offered to take the sample immediately to a lab to get a more expensive test that can rule out false positives. Sometimes this is at YOUR cost, other times, the employer. You are considered guilty until proven innocent.

If the test is a lab test, they will divide it up into two aliquots. If the 5-panel test reads positive or inconclusive, they run the urine through another more thorough test. They will put a seal on the cup with your initials on it saying the person doing the test did not adulterate it to screw you over and send it off. The results can come back the next day or next week, but rarely longer than that.

Places and Times to Expect a Drug Test[edit]

  • 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, and they do not just fire you on spot your employer can ask you to take one. Best thing to do is NOT to show up to work drunk or high. Call in sick. Being absent without a doctor excuse is MUCH better than being most likely fired or put through drama showing up fucked up. 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, Off-shore 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 in allied health or medicine. These are given right before clinical portion of the program at the facility you are doing your clinicals at.
  • A 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.
  • Professional and amateur competitions and sports that have a cash payout. Most sports from Olympics down to the major and even minor competitions test for steroids as well as other drugs like weed if cash is involved. Never mind, weed is not really "performance boosting" when it comes to skiing or catching a ball. Usually, this is right before the start of a professional season for team sports or right before major competition event for individual sports. E-sports do not test.
  • Some government assistance programs like welfare or food stamps in a few states. Though, most states that do this eventually back down because of the costs.

What Drugs Are Tested For?[edit]

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[edit]

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. It's called the "5 panel" test because of a strip in it that can detect the metabolites of these five drugs : THC, opiates, amphetamine, PCP, and cocaine. These are mass produced and the easiest tests to use. No medical training is needed to administer the test, allowing human resource employees and safety officers to use them. But, they are prone to tons of false negatives and positives. This is given right there or, if part of a lab's service, used as a screen test which will be followed up with the more hardcore GC-MS test if positive or inconclusive.
  • Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) Urine Test. Often used in tandem with the 5 Panel Urine Test. Most 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.
  • 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. Tamper resistant sweat patch tests and mouth swabs 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[edit]

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 to 24 hours up to 90 days 12 to 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 to 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 90 days 1 to 3 days
Heroin 3 to 4 days up to 90 days 1 to 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[edit]

  • 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.
  • Only use CorpGov approved drugs and wait two days with hard body fuck drugs! Yes, you can chain smoke cigs until you cough up bits of your lungs as long as you do not apply for life insurance or apply for employment to a few medical facilities in Florida who are testing for nicotine. You can drink till your liver turns to mush as long as you do not drive drunk or get tipsy at work. If you can convince a doctor to write you a script, you can shop from the buffet of pills (some with horrid side effects) that BigMed offers. You are usually okay with X, LSD, and shrooms as tests for these are rare. You MIGHT be okay with these "fake pot" potpourri packets they sell at the quickie marts as long as the expensive gas spectrometry test is not used. Never mind no one knows what the hell is in the packs from month to month as the DEA makes each batch illegal every so often. And.. you can shoot all the heroin and smoke all the crack you would like as long as you lay off 2-3 days before a drug test. Good wage slave.
  • 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 will not go into the catheterization and filling your bladder with substituted urine, yuck! Not only are catheter kits only available with a prescription (usually to paraplegics who must cath themselves), you will probably end up messing yourself up with UTI or messing up your pee hole if you are untrained.
  • 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 and WILL NOT pass an expensive lab test like the gas spectrometry test.
  • Aspirin, four regular aspirin 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 aspirin is why not give it a try? Be sure to keep your ears open for aspirin 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 much 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. Take water, vitamins, and 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. 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 metabolites.

Beating Hair Tests[edit]

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.

Common Myths[edit]

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 in the more expensive tests. 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. It also flushes your system and may fool the cheaper tests if there is no follow up test.
  • 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.
  • If you rinse your mouth with mouthwash, you can pass a breathilizer! No. In fact, that's a stupid thing to do. Most commercial mouthwash is alcohol based. It can actually make the machine read higher!

False Positives[edit]

There are some common things that can create a false positive result, particularly on the cheaper tests. Avoid these several days before a drug test.

  • Poppy Seeds. Reads positive for opiates. The Mythbusters one time had an episode on this and it is a common false positive.
  • Codeine cough syrup or Tylenol-3
  • Some over-the-counter cold medicines like Alleve, sudafed, tylenol, and others. Do not show up to a drug test if you are sick as a dog and have a cold and take a bunch of OTC meds as many cough and OTC pain meds read positive on SAMSHA 5 panels as one thing or another.
  • 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 or they spend the money on an actual lab. 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.

More reading[edit]

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.

http://workrights.us/?products=public-employee-drug-testing-a-legal-guide Work Rights article going over court cases and laws concerning drug testing.