If you are looking to enter the workforce, at some point you will be subjected to drug testing. The most common drug test is a urine sample for drugs, but there is a lot of misinformation and myths circulating about employment drug testing of all kinds. Is it true that shaving your head is the only way to make sure your system is clear of marijuana? Is urine sample testing the most common method because it’s the cheapest? This article will set these and many more facts straight.
Myth: Illegal drugs don’t affect work performance
Many credible studies have shown that alcohol and drug abuse directly contribute to one sixth of job fatalities and create and unsafe work environment. The vast majority of the time its innocent coworkers who are hurt or killed not the person under the influence. Studies also show a dramatic decrease in work accidents after a company implements drug screening.
Myth: Marijuana stays in the body for months or years for detection
Studies have shown that depending on the concentration of the marijuana, you can expect the drug to be detectable for up to seven days for average users. In the most extreme cases, you can expect the drug to be detectable for 10-21 days after your last use.
Myth: There is no way to beat a drug test
There are a few ways that urine samples can be compromised to possibly pass the test.
1. Drinking excessive fluids before a test or diluting the sample with water or some other fluid can lessen the concentration of the drug giving you a possible favorable result.
2. Substituting your sample with urine from another person or synthetic urine.
3. Using chemicals that oxidize the urine and destroy the detectable drug levels such as nitrites.
Myth: Drug test can produce false positives
It is true that certain prescription drugs or poppy seeds could produce an extremely rare positive result, but industry standards require any positive results be reviewed by a medical professional. You will be interviewed by the medical officer and if your explanation can be verified then a negative will be reported to the employer. Today, all accredited screening labs use the latest technology to eliminate the concern of false positives.
Myth: Urine test are used because they are cheap, not for accuracy
Urine test are both affordable and very accurate. Compared to saliva, drugs stay in urine longer and in stronger concentrations. Although hair samples can detect drugs over a longer period of time, urine test are faster and can detect prescription drugs and up to 10 drugs in a single sample.
Myth: All drugs stay in your body the same amount of time for everyone
This is extremely false. No one person is exactly the same and neither are different drugs. Your genetic and physical makeup will greatly affect how long a drug stays in your system. Things such as age, height, weight, gender and ethnic background can all be factors in drug testing. The drug itself will be a factor depending on the type drug, quantity and frequency.
Hopefully this article will clear up some of the confusion concerning employer drug test. Ultimately, if you want to pass a drug test, simply avoid illicit drugs.