Urine Drug Testing Myths and Facts
We hear a lot of interesting things in this industry when it comes to how drug tests are conducted, what they can detect and how they can be beat. A good deal of the stuff we see and hear is less than accurate, though. So, we figured that now is as good a time as any to dispel some of the common drug testing myths by bringing you the facts.
Let the myth busting begin!
Drug Testing Myths and Facts
Myth #1: Drinking a ton of water, juice and/or sports drinks will help you
pass a test
Drinking a ton of fluids will certainly dilute your urine. It may make it harder to detect certain drugs in the specimen you provide, too. This doesn’t mean you’re in the safe zone, though. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! You see, the vast majority of drug tests monitor the amount of creatinine in urine. So, drinking a lot of fluids is going to throw off the natural creatinine levels, which is going to serve as a big fat red flag for the facility conducting the drug test in question. Testing centers are hip to every trick in the book and are likely to run the diluted specimen through even more rigorous testing to ensure the accuracy of the results. In other words… Step away from the fluids!
Myth #2: All drug tests use urine specimens
Fact: Au contraire, my friend! Drug testing doesn’t stop at having to drop your drawers and pee in a cup. It is still the most popular testing method due to its affordability and ease of use.
Don’t be too alarmed if the technician administering your drug test attempts to channel their inner Edward Scissorhands by collecting a sample of your hair. Hair follicle drug tests are the cream of the proverbial crop since they are nearly impossible to manipulate, extremely reliable and can give up the goods on your drug use up to 90 days with a 1.5 inch sample.
But wait, there’s more…Some drug tests use saliva or blood to determine if you’ve used drugs or alcohol.
The saliva test is quick and painless with a swipe of your inner cheek with a cotton swab. Unsurprisingly, drug tests using blood specimens will require you to become a human pin cushion, so hopefully you don’t have a phobia of either should you find yourself looking down the barrel of a Vacutainer.
Myth #3: You can cheat a drug test by using DIY methods or store bought products
Fact: There are tons of forums, websites and products dedicated to “helping” folks pass a drug test with flying colors even if they partook in a little recreational drug use recently. You’re likely to find all kinds of half-cocked and hair brained suggestions to cheat a drug test whether it’s in the form of chugging pickle juice, smuggling in someone’s clean urine hopping on one foot while singing your ABC’s backwards. Let us save you the trouble…Don’t waste your time and money, kids! These DIY methods and over-the-counter products aren’t reliable and will not guarantee that you pass a test.
Myth #4: All drugs stay in your system for the same amount of time
Fact: We’re going to have to give this myth a big fat NOPE! Each and every drug that is screened for during urine drug tests or hair follicle test is going to have its very own testing window. Various biological and physical factors pertaining to the individual being tested will impact when and how much of a given substance are detected in a specimen. The same can be said of each drug’s unique chemical composition as well as the amount and frequency it is ingested.
Myth #5: Hardcore exercise will help you pass a drug test
Fact: There’s still a good bit of debate buzzing around when it comes to using exercise as a means to detox before a drug test. Some evidence suggests that working up a sweat will indeed aid the body in efficiently processing a drug’s metabolites faster than it may otherwise.
However, newer studies suggest that intense workout sessions actually increase your odds of failing a drug test depending on the ways in which the metabolites bind to fat cells. This is likely an area that you’ll want to play it safe if you’re riding the drug testing line since there doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer one way or another. Don’t harness your inner Richard Simmons on our account, though. Just don’t but all your sparkly sweat bands in one basket if you’re facing a test.
Talk to Us!
That’s enough drug test myth busting for now, guys and gals! Now it’s your turn to tell us about some of the craziest and more interesting drug testing myths you’ve heard. Don’t be shy! Sound off in the comments section below or keep the conversation going on Health Street’s social media pages: