It’s easy to find a lot of information about drug testing online, but unfortunately a lot of that information isn’t always the most accurate or reliable. We get clients coming to us all the time with some of these common drug testing myths and half-truths. Let us help you sort out the fact from the fiction.
1. Online ‘Fact’: Drinking a lot of water will help you pass a drug test.
Truth: This is partially true. Lots of water will dilute your urine, but it will also alter urine creatinine levels. Drug testers are on alert for this and will often give a dilute negative and consult the employer. Employers may call for a retest if they are unsatisfied with the result.
2. Online ‘Fact’: Drug test results are available immediately.
Truth: Many people picture drug testing being similar to a pregnancy test—where you urinate on a stick and are able to get results instantly. While there certainly are drug tests that do this, more often when you go in for a drug test, results will take a bit longer. Your urine sample will likely be sent a lab where more accurate results are available to you days to weeks later.
3. Online ‘Fact’: Drug tests detect diseases.
Truth: Some diseases can be detected through urine. However, employment drug tests are only used to detect the presence of select drugs.
4. Online ‘Fact’: Positive marijuana tests wont affect you where it’s legal.
Truth: This depends on your employer and specific state laws. (For example, those working in DOT regulated safety-sensitive positions are required to be drug free) Many states still allow employers the right to set their own drug policies. Because marijuana can alter mental status and ability to perform on the job, many employers may reconsider employment with positive marijuana test results.
5. Online ‘Fact’: Working out will help eliminate drugs from your body.
Truth: Some articles online claim that increased perspiration will help detox drugs from your body. This method isn’t likely to work as the amount of sweat that must be produced to make a difference is an extremely large amount that would take weeks to produce. Making this method not very effective, especially in random drug test cases.
6. Online ‘Fact’: Urine tests are not very accurate and shouldn’t be trusted.
Truth: In the past this may have been true, but today’s urine drug tests are nearly 100% accurate despite their low cost.
7. Online ‘Fact’: Urine tests are the only method used to test for drugs.
Truth: You can also test saliva, hair follicles, and blood for select drugs. Urine tests are just one of the most simple and efficient ways, so they’re the most commonly used.
8. Online ‘Fact’: You can fail a drug test from secondhand smoke.
Truth: In order to have enough drugs in your system to show up on a test you’d have to intentionally try to inhale secondhand smoke—staying in a confined space with smokers for hours. Occasional secondhand smoke will not affect a drug test result.