11 Familiar Myths About Drug Testing: DEBUNKED AND DISPROVED

Have you ever heard a rumor about drug testing and wondered whether it was true? You’re not the only one. Every month, thousands of Americans undertake drug testing for pre-employment, regular testing required by their employers, for DOT and NON DOT testing, and many more reasons. As drug tests have gradually become more common, a lot of misconceptions about how drug tests function and a person’s legal rights regarding drug tests have spread.

Here are a few of the most popular myths about drug testing, and how they have been DEBUNKED AND DISPROVED!

All drug tests are urine tests– While urine tests are popular among companies because they’re inexpensive and easy to perform; they’re not the only option available by any means. Hair follicle tests are also common and are becoming more popular because they’re tougher to beat than urine tests. Saliva tests are another option, but these tests can only reveal drug use within the past few days. Blood tests are more expensive and invasive but can give an deeper look into the individual’s substance use over a longer period of time.

Drinking lots of water will allow me to beat a drug test– Drinking gallons and gallons of water prior to a drug test can help flush THC from your system (it’s also good for your overall health) but, in many cases, it can’t do it fast enough to beat a pending drug test. Also, if the drug test is sophisticated, it may determine that you drank lots of water beforehand by detecting high levels of creatinine, a byproduct of the digestion process that shows up in high levels when lots of water is consumed. If a high level of creatinine shows up in your urine, the entity that mandated your drug test may grow suspicious and order another test. There is also your health to consider, since over-hydration is a possibility. You can cause harm to your body by drinking a large amount in a short time frame.

Saliva drug tests will not detect the presence of marijuana Do not allow this myth to trip you up. Marijuana can and will definitely be found by a spit drug or mouth swab test. Saliva tests are becoming more popular among employers since they are easy to administer, cheap, and give immediate results.

I won’t be fired because pot is legal where I live– California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska have all legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. However, in many of those states, employers can still test for marijuana use and fire employees based on positive test results. For individuals who use recreational marijuana in states where it is legal, a discreet inquiry into their companies’ drug policies may be a good idea.

You can hide drugs in a urinalysis test by drinking vinegar- This one should logically be obvious as a myth, but many people try (and fail) to mask drug use by drinking vinegar before a drug test. It will certainly not work at all, and it will probably make you sick to your stomach.

You can fail a drug test from secondhand smoke– This one is somewhat true but, in order to possibly fail a drug test from only secondhand smoke, you would have to spend many hours in a very confined environment with marijuana smokers. For the majority of people exposed to only the occasional instance of secondhand marijuana smoke, this exposure will not negatively affect a drug test.

All types of marijuana linger within your system for an equal amount of time– In fact; some strains of marijuana stay in your system longer than others. Each strain has differing quantities of THC, and some of the higher-quality marijuana products can stay in your system for quite some time. Some of the “best” marijuana products have THC content of around 30 percent– much higher than the 1 percent that was commonplace in the ’60s. How frequently you use marijuana is also an important factor, having to do with how long it will be detectable. In general, drug tests will be able to find marijuana in a casual smoker’s system two to five days after usage. For a heavier and more regular smoker, drug tests are more likely to detect marijuana in their systems one to fifteen days after use. Smokers with high body fat will find that a test may find THC even 30 days after consumption.

Homemade remedies can help you pass a drug test– We’ve all seen articles online about how homemade concoctions that include vitamins, cranberry juice, Jell-O, etc. can help you defeat a drug test. These claims are entirely bogus. Scientists with expert knowledge of the human body develop these tests.

Over-the-counter cold medicine can result in false positives for methamphetamine– On drug tests, meth will register as D-methamphetamines, while regular cold medication will register as L-methamphetamines. A professional testing company technician will be able to tell the difference between the two easily.

I can beat a hair test if I shave my head– Your head isn’t the only place where hair grows. Drug testers can take body hair to perform a test, even if you shave your entire head including your eyebrows. If you shave everything head to toe, testers won’t be able to perform a hair test at all, but it will likely trigger a red flag and they may ask you to take a blood, urine, or saliva test.

Strenuous exercise before a drug test will help me pass— Exercise can help occasional users of marijuana and drugs sufficiently detox their bodies to pass a drug test that’s a while away but, if your use is regular, it will not work. Also, if you’re up for a surprise drug test, it doesn’t matter how many push-ups or laps around the track you do beforehand.

Now that you know some of the most common myths have been DEBUNKED AND DISPROVED, be sure to share your newfound knowledge with your friends!

Dr. Michael Givens DC, CME
Drug & Alcohol On-Site Testing
This works best for multiple employee testing and reduces time spent off the job, liability in sending personnel off site, and is convenient for employer and employees.  Call today to discuss the benefits of on-site testing and scheduling.

Our Services include:  DOT and Non-DOT Testing, Social & Family, Judicial (Court Ordered), Random Drug Testing, Post Accident Testing, Pre-Employment Functional Testing, Reasonable Suspicion, On-Site Employee Testing, Paternity Testing

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