Last updated: September 25, 2023
There are lots of drug testing myths out there touting the “remedy” needed to achieve a negative drug test result. The reason for this is, of course, because the person looking for the remedy has drugs in their system. Spoiler alert! The only way to know that you know you can pass a drug test, folks, is not to use drugs.
Even so, it seems that some people think that asking employees to refrain from drug use in the workplace is an outrageous concept. The fact that it creates a safer and more productive work environment isn’t a viable reason in their minds. People who use drugs are in denial about a lot of things—one of them is that they function normally even when they’re high. So, even though they are totally aware that company policy states drug use is prohibited, it doesn’t apply to them personally. Therefore, there is no valid reason to refrain from using drugs long enough to pass a drug test for employment. It’s okay to cheat.
Talk about drug testing myths! Or, perhaps, living a life of delusion is a better reference here.
Falling on deaf ears
In reality, it’s likely that someone who is unwilling—or unable to refrain from drug use long enough to clear them out of their system has an addiction. Additionally, we know that the word addiction almost always falls on deaf ears and causes a hand thrown up to stop the conversation in its tracks. Arguing and insistence can do more harm than good until a person hits rock bottom.
Until that moment, they don’t believe abstinence from drugs should be an option that pertains to them for any reason. Ever. Instead, they choose to search for a quick-fix method to “pass” the drug test.
Best taken with a grain of salt
There are many methods of madness out there that are supposed to beat a positive drug test result. In reality, though, employers will be happy to note that none are very reliable in accomplishing the goal.
Potential cheaters need to measure the worth of drug testing myths with that proverbial grain of salt. Unfortunately, explaining this to a drug user can have as much effect as talking to a brick wall. When that’s the case, we just need to step back and let them live and learn. It’s called tough love.
Drug testing myths are a dime a dozen
Typing in a few “cheat the test” related keywords into the search bar yields a multitude of links. You can be sure that the automatically generated “drug testing near me” results will be totally avoided, by the way. Unless someone has decided to abstain from drug use, say, to apply for a dream job position. Then it wouldn’t be unheard of for them to spring for a drug test on themselves to make certain they were clean. And, we’ll add hopefully plan to stay that way!
Otherwise, a roll of the dice is as good a way as any for choosing which drug testing myths may actually work.
Here are some of the common choices.
Drink lots of water
In the early days of drug testing, this was a tried and true cheating method. The water would flush out the bladder and drug levels wouldn’t reach the positive level. However, laboratory equipment and the drug tests themselves have evolved over the years.
Today, drinking too much water… or any liquid for that matter… can cause an undetermined result. However, the result is accompanied by an explanation as to why the result was not determined. If the specimen provided is primarily water, the test will yield a positive or negative dilute drug test result.
That poses a problem either way. A positive dilute drug test means the person tested positive for drugs. In addition, the urine sample was diluted. These types of results are usually grounds for immediate dismissal. Moreover, a negative dilute result indicates that there were no drugs in the system, but the diluted specimen indicates someone was trying to mask drug use. Most companies treat this as a very serious matter. Some allow for a second test which is often stipulated that it be reserved, others fire the employee immediately.
Detox products to clear the system
It doesn’t matter what method of drug test an employer uses; there’s a detox product for it on the market. Shampoos for the hair follicle test, mouthwashes, mints, and the like for the mouth swab test, and detox drinks in various flavors to enable drug users to “pass” the urine test. These products proclaim to yield negative test results for predetermined amounts of time.
If a product claims to detox your body, but only for a specific window of time, they are not detoxifying at all. This false claim is cause for doubt regarding anything that the company says. It’s probably best to set it right back on the shelf… and stop using drugs instead.
They shouldn’t dare trust the product if they can’t believe the maker. Many manufacturers are just attempting to grab someone’s hard-earned and perhaps limited supply of money. But, actually, the same could be said of the test taker, right? They are attempting to keep grabbing their employer’s hard-earned money deceptively.
Secondhand smoke screen
Proclaiming one tested positive for marijuana because they’ve been around others who smoke pot isn’t even an option that should be tried. People that are around others who smoke, but don’t consume themselves are not testing positive. They can’t inhale enough of the smoke from the surrounding air to have that effect.
If someone insists otherwise, a red flag will certainly fly overhead waving wildly for employers to see.
Poppy seeds pop positive
There is some truth to this statement.
However, the Department of Health and Human Services updated its testing levels in the late 1990s. The old concentration of 300 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) can produce a positive test result after eating a poppy seed bagel or even a good dousing of dressing, but the new concentration level of 2,000 ng/mL will not produce a positive result.
If a test pops positive for opiates and the test taker cries poppy seeds, a quick check of the panel levels will tell if they are trying to pull a fast one of their own accord.
It’s said that the acidity levels in some liquids masks drug metabolites. Therefore, drinking cranberry juice, pickle juice, vinegar, and even lemon juice will supposedly cause a false negative on a urine test. It doesn’t. However, it can mess with the pH levels in the urine, and this denotes that someone tampered with the specimen.
Also, drinking enough vinegar to get the pH level off, is probably going to cause bouts of explosive diarrhea until it has passed through the system.
Good luck with that, folks.
It’s getting pretty hairy
Cleansing the hair before a hair follicle test doesn’t do any good. The metabolites grow out of the follicle directly into the center of the hair. There is no way to mask them.
These ideas are a bust too.
- Draw a bucket of water and let it sit overnight. Add a generous amount of lemon juice to it and wash your hair.
- Combine dried rosemary leaves with grapeseed oil. Heat the mixture on low for three hours, leave to cool overnight, and then apply to the hair. It is unclear if this is supposed to mask metabolites or rid the hair of them.
- Rinse hair with vinegar, salicylic acid, and, lastly, detergent to pass the hair follicle drug test.
- Bicarbonate of soda is a popular choice for producing fake negative results on hair tests. The recipes often include mixing baking soda with apple cider vinegar and applying it to the hair to soak. Another recipe calls for adding a cup of sea salt to the vinegar mix.
The only idea we have seen that would prevent someone from failing a hair drug test is to shave. It would certainly keep the test subject from submitting to the test, but it would also look more than a little bit suspicious if someone showed up with a clean-shaven body on the day of the test.
Desperate times provoke desperate measures.
Some methods can only get categorized as beyond desperate and instead considered insane.
Are you ready?
- Use dog urine in place of your own. How gross is that? And, how do you collect the sample? And, oh by the way, they will know the difference.
- Steal your specimen from the laboratory or testing site. The theory here is that the laboratory would never admit to having a sample stolen and will report the result as negative rather than admit what has happened. What?!
- Wash your mouth out or gargle with bleach to beat a mouth swab test. Can you even comprehend ignorance to that degree? Your horrified expression mirrors mine here, doesn’t it?
You know what they say about the best defense
It’s estimated that 77% of the drug users in our country are employed full or part-time. That equals 13.6 million people in the workforce that are using drugs. Educating employees about the dangers of drugs is a great offense. Rather than needing to fake a test to keep a job, employees should think about giving the real deal a try. A drug-free lifestyle is the most productive and rewarding way to live both at work and at play.
If you’re reading this and suffer from a drug problem, go on. Do it. Give living drug-free a try. If you find it’s not as easy to go without as you have always told yourself it would be, don’t use it as an excuse to give up. Instead, talk to someone you trust. It could even be someone at work. You will probably find that those you were willing to work so hard to fool will work harder to see you get help. We’ll be rooting for you, too.
If you’re an employer and an employee tests positive for drugs, remember that this may well be the rock bottom moment for them. Be kind. Even though you’re disappointed and more than likely going to fire the person, an encouraging word and expressed hope for them to seek help could be the catalyst to cause them to go into rehab. In the end, you might be saving their life.