How to Pass A Drug Test: Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
So you’ve got a drug test coming up, and you’re afraid you might fail.
Whether you risk losing your job, violating your parole, or are worried about your eligibility to compete in an upcoming sporting event — it’s critical you get a negative result on your upcoming drug test.
Passing a drug test comes down to a few important factors:
- How long you have to prepare for the test
- What drugs are likely to show up on the test
- What type of test is being done (hair, urine, or blood)
- How far you’re willing to go to get a passing score
In this article, we’re going to break it all down and explain step-by-step how you can pass a drug test using 5 different techniques. We’ll also explore how drug tests work, and what the different kinds of tests are.
Important Note: The only way to 100% secure a passing score is to stop taking drugs. If you need help battling your drug addiction, it’s wise to reach out to professional help.
What Drugs Do Drug Tests Look For?
The answer to this question depends on the type of test kit your employer, parole officer, or organization ordering the test is using. There are many test kits available that check for different kinds of drugs.
The standard 5-panel drug test will look for the following drug types:
- Amphetamines (speed, meth, ecstasy)
- Cannabinoids (marijuana, hash)
- Cocaine (coke, crack)
- Opiates (heroin, fentanyl, morphine, codeine)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
Other drug tests will cover a much wider range of drugs, such as performance-enhancing drugs, novel cognitive enhancement drugs, or prescription medications.
It’s safest to assume the test you’re about to take includes all illegal or banned substances.
The 5 Philosophies on Beating A Drug Test
Ever since the very first drug test, people have been finding ways to cheat them.
Here are the 5 best methods people use to beat drug tests.
1. Detox Kits
The Timeframe needed to pass a drug test: 5 – 14 days
Detox kits are widely available online, in head shops, and even at pharmacies. They involve some form of a detox supplement — such as a detox drink, powder, capsule, or enema kit — and instruction book with information on how to increase your chances of successfully beating that drug test.
Detox kits, in general, are one of the better methods of passing a test (safer, cleaner, cheaper) — however, some detox supplements contain dangerous ingredients that can damage the liver and kidneys.
They’re a good option if you have a couple of weeks’ notice before the test — usually around 14 days or more is best, but a lot of people are successfully using this method as little as 1 week before the test. Success, of course, depends on the type of drug you’re detoxing from the body (more on this later).
One thing to note about this method is that for it to work as advertised, it has to be fairly intensive. What you’re essentially trying to do is speed up the natural detoxification process. This involves drinking a ton of fluids, eliminating certain foods from your diet, exercising A LOT, and certainly avoiding any amount of the drug you’re trying to detox.
Detox kits will have some adverse side effects.
The most common side effects of detox kits include:
- Frequent urination
These side effects are all normal and to be expected. They’re a result of the detox compounds working to force the drugs out of the body — through the urine, feces, and sweat glands.
What Kind of Detox Kit Should I Buy?
There are many different detox kits available on the market — usually named according to the amount of time recommended for the kit to work. You can find 5-day kits, 7-day kits, or 10-day kits.
Some detox kits include ready-made drinks, others use capsules, and some have a powder that you can mix with water or juice.
The result of all these methods are the same. The end goal is to flood the body with water to filter the drugs out of the system, and stimulate the elimination of compounds through the kidneys (diuretics), and increase the rate of metabolism of the drug in the liver.
The best detox kits include a variety of active ingredients in the formula. These compounds target three main organ systems:
A) The Liver
The liver is where drugs metabolize. Most detox kits include some sort of liver support to speed up this process.
Common ingredients that support liver detoxification include:
- Milk thistle extract (silymarin)
- Dandelion extract
- Globe artichoke extract
- Cayenne pepper
- Guarana extract
- Green tea extract
- Turmeric extract (curcumin)
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin C
B) The Kidneys
Once metabolized, the kidneys remove the drug metabolites from the bloodstream. Most detox kits include a diuretic, which works by interacting with the kidney to speed up the production of urine and remove drug metabolites faster.
Common ingredients to support kidney function include:
- Couch Grass extract
- Horsetail extract (silica)
- Fruit and vegetable juices
- Celery seed extract
- Ginger extract
C) The Cardiovascular System
In order for drugs to be metabolized and eliminated, the blood needs to flow at a good pace, which is why most detox supplements include at least one component that affects the cardiovascular system. This often gives the supplement a stimulating effect and can even cause an increase in heart rate.
Boosting cardiovascular function also has the benefit of speeding up the metabolism — which helps burn through fat that may contain stores of the drug. This is especially important if detoxing marijuana, which tends to hide in the fat reserves.
By reducing fat content, THC releases into the system where it’s metabolized and removed from the body.
Common ingredients to support cardiovascular function include:
- Guarana extract
- Cayenne extract
- Garcinia cambogia
2. The Natural Method (Diet & Exercise)
The Timeframe Needed to Pass Drug Test: 2 – 4 weeks
Your body is already very capable of removing drugs and their metabolites — this method leverages that natural ability using specific diet and exercise techniques.
This method works great but generally needs at least two weeks to succeed — depending on the drug you’re detoxing from the body.
It also requires a fair bit of hard work and discipline, but it’s the healthiest way to eliminate drugs from the system.
How to use Diet & Exercise to Detox Drugs From the Body
You can find all kinds of diet and exercise programs available for free or for purchase online — which highlight specific workouts and meal plans. These are great resources if you’re not sure where to even begin.
Here are some general rules of thumb to follow:
- Eat foods high in fiber — these foods help move material through the gut faster and can bind to certain drug metabolites to carry them through the digestive tract safely.
- Eat nutritionally-dense meals — your body requires elements like magnesium, selenium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and various amino acids to metabolize drugs efficiently. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and veggies ensures you have enough of these compounds to metabolize drugs as fast as possible.
- Drink plenty of water — the key here is to flush all traces of the drug from the body. Therefore, we need a lot of water to keep a steady flow of drug metabolites moving through the kidneys and into the bladder.
- A lot. —Exercise frequently and hard enough to work up a sweat. One of the ways we remove drugs from the body is through sweat. Visit a steam room, sauna, and hit the treadmill at least a few times per week.
- Reduce your calorie intake — some drugs, such as THC from marijuana, store in fat, and gradually leach into the bloodstream for weeks or months, potentially landing you a failure on a drug test. By focusing on losing weight through caloric restriction before the test, you deplete the drugs stored in fat around the body.
- Get plenty of sleep — the liver is highly active at night, so it’s important to get plenty of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation increases cortisol levels, which dramatically interferes with weight loss and liver metabolism. Make sure you get a full 8 hours of sleep each night leading up to the drug test.
3. Synthetic Urine
The Timeframe Needed to Pass Drug Test: None
Synthetic urine is the only way to pass a drug test on short notice and can even while drugs are still in the system. It’s best for people who are chronic marijuana users who need to take a drug test that’s less than two weeks away as this isn’t enough time for the drug to clear from the system naturally.
Using synthetic urine is risky but is the only way to score a pass if you haven’t had time to detox before the test. Of course, you have to keep in mind how long it will take for you to acquire synthetic urine. You can order it online and have it ready within a few days, or pick it up at a local shop (head shops usually sell this stuff).
If you think you may need to take a drug test in the future, it’s a good idea to keep some of this on standby for when you need it in a pinch.
You can also use someone else’s urine who hasn’t used drugs in, at the very least, the last couple of months.
Not All Synthetic Urine is the Same
There’s good and bad synthetic urine, and it matters which one you buy.
Don’t cheap out on this part because some synthetic urines will result in obvious abnormal results on the test — causing you to fail or have to retake the test.
The fake urine must contain uric acid because many state-run tests now look for this naturally-occurring component in urine. Not all synthetic urine has uric acid in it. If no uric acid is detected, you risk having to retake the test with an even closer eye.
You can also buy powdered urine — real human urine freeze-dried into a powder for long-term storage. All you have to do is rehydrate and warm the urine to prepare it for the test.
How to Smuggle Fake Urine Into the Drug Test
The next part you have to consider once you have the fake urine ready is how you’re going to get it into the testing room. In many cases, there will be an official in the room with you to make sure there’s no funny business going on. In this scenario, you may need to take extra measures to get the fake urine into the cup without getting caught.
Most people will wear the fake urine in their underwear. You can even buy specialized apparatuses that store the urine before use and dispense it through a phallic-shaped device. This way, you can avoid detection from any wandering eyes.
It’s Important to Keep the Urine Warm Before the Test
Human urine should be between 92 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Many drug testers will take a temperature reading of the urine in the cup to catch people using borrowed or fake urine. For this reason, you should heat the urine to avoid getting caught.
You have a few different options for warming the urine:
- Use a microwave — One of the easiest ways to warm urine up is to pop it in the microwave. Make sure you don’t get it too hot, so start with small timer increments and keep checking the temperature as you go.
- Use hot water when mixing the urine powder — Powdered fake urine samples require water.. If you have the chance to prepare the urine right before the test, you can use water heated to the precise temperature when making the solution. Run the hot water from a tap and check it with the thermometer (included in most urine kits). Once it’s at the correct temperature, mix it with the urine as instructed.
You can keep the pee warm by wearing it close to warm areas of the body (like the armpits or groin) before the test. It’s best if you buy a pee kit that has a temperature strip on the outside so you can check the temperature leading up to the test. If it dips too low, you’ll need to find a way to heat the urine to testing temperature.
4. Tamper With Your Urine During the Test
Another option is to use your own urine (preferably with at least some level of detox done in the days leading up to the test) and adding an adulterant to confuse the urinalysis test.
Common adulterants include vinegar, Visine® eye drops, or bleach — but some tests will reject the sample if these compounds come up.
Instead, it’s better to use a premade urine adulterant tested against urinalysis.
Some of the best brands of urine adulterants are Klear® and Whizzies®.
Sprinkle the adulterant into the test cup as soon as you finish urinating. It’s best if you can give the cup a little shake before handing it off to the tester.
Caution: some testers are already familiar with the adulterants used in urine samples and will add extra screens to look for these compounds in the urine at the same time. If found, you’ll need to retake the test.
5. Find a Way to Get Out of the Test Altogether
This is the ideal method, but it’s not always possible. In many cases, trying to get out of the test will only make the person ordering the test more skeptical of you, so tread cautiously with this one.
There are a few ways you may get out of a drug test (your experience may vary):
- Exercise your rights — Sometimes, the tester won’t have the right to test you. Read up on your local state laws and employer’s testing policies. At the very least, you may be able to delay the test a few days, giving you valuable time to complete a detox. In many cases, employers must provide notice before administering the test, and the test may require a state-approved facility. These policies might help you get out of a test, in the very least, delay it.
- Call in sick on the day of the drug test — This can actually work. Employers may order drug tests for their employees simply to tick a box for insurance purposes or to follow corporate policies. Drug testing can be expensive, so in some cases, if you manage to miss the drug testing day at work, your employer will let it pass to avoid paying to bring the drug testing company back to the office for the people they missed. Again, this may only buy you a few extra days to complete your detox.
Preparing For the Test: What to do Before the Test
It’s the day of the drug test. You’ve detoxed and feel confident, but you’re not done yet. There are a few critical steps you need to take the day of the test to really seal the deal and secure a passing score.
1. Drink Plenty of Water Before the Test
Drinking lots of water is essential for the entire process leading up to the test, especially the day of. Try to drink at least 2 liters of water prior to taking the test.
Water dilutes the urine and makes it harder for the tests to pick up on the drugs. Of course, the exception to this rule is if you’re using synthetic urine. In this case, avoid drinking too much water because it can make you have to use the bathroom after the test — which is a little fishy if you supposedly just peed into a cup.
2. Take Creatinine & B Vitamins The Day of the Test
After you’ve diluted your urine with water, take a few supplements to make the urine seem less diluted than it is. This is because some testing facilities will reject samples that are too watery.
Supplements like creatine and B vitamins make the urine seem less diluted than it is by adding pigment and dissolved solid content to the urine.
Some people recommend taking Aspirin the day of the test to help hide other drugs in the urine as well.
3. Test Yourself At Home First
If it will give you peace of mind, take a test at home the day leading up to the big test to see if you require more drastic measures — like acquiring fake urine if yours doesn’t pass.
Some good testing kits are Liberty Research and Instant Diagnostics.
How Long Does It Take To Pass A Drug Test?
The amount of time needed to get a passing score after using drugs will vary according to a few key metrics:
1. The Type of Drug You Took
Each drug has a unique elimination time. Alcohol, for example, clears the body within just a day or two (sometimes up to 5 days), while marijuana can remain traceable in the system for up to 67 days.
Let’s cover each of the most common drugs people test for and their timelines for elimination from the body.
Marijuana remains in the body the longest because it’s stored in the fat cells of the body. Even a month after stopping marijuana can register traces of the active compound — THC — on a drug test because THC can leach out of the fat cells over time.
Marijuana can remain in the body for 7–67 days.
If you only had one or two joints, most of the THC will be eliminated within about 7 days. Chronic users need much longer to eliminate the THC stored in fat.
Opioids (Heroin, Prescription Pain Medications, Fentanyl, Morphine)
Opioids don’t stick around in the body very long and won’t store in fat cells like THC from marijuana. Therefore, opioids only require about three days to pass through the body.
People who use a lot of opioids may need more time to account for the high concentrations of the drug in the system. Frequent opioid users should detox for at least 7 days in order to pass a drug test.
Alcohol is one of the fastest drugs eliminated from the body and the easiest to detox. Most people who consume alcohol will have no traceable amounts of the drug in the urine or blood within two days after they stop drinking. For chronic users or people with liver damage, it can take up to five days after cessation of alcohol.
Amphetamines, like opioids, require about three days to be removed from the body. Methamphetamines, in particular, can remain traceable in the bloodstream and urine for about six days.
Cocaine & Crack
Cocaine and crack remain in the body for up to four days but can remain in hair samples for much longer. Hair analysis will find traces of cocaine up to one year after use. Frequent cocaine or crack use dramatically increases the chances of a hair analysis detecting these drugs.
2. Consumption Patterns
Chronic drug use tends to take longer to detox than occasional doses.
With repeated use, drugs will build up in the system and take longer for the body to eliminate.
Additionally, frequent drug use can damage the liver and kidneys — causing them to detox and eliminate compounds from the body. This further slows the detoxification process.
3. Weight & Size
Since some drugs, like THC, store in the body’s fat reserves. If you have more fat mass, it means there may be more THC stored in the body than someone with much lower fat content.
Larger individuals also have more blood volume which means more of the drug may remain in the bloodstream — requiring more time to eliminate the drugs and their metabolites from the body completely.
Gender can have an impact on this as well. Women tend to have more fat than men, which means some drugs will take more time to pass the body than men of the same weight and height.
What Happens if I Fail A Drug Test?
Even if you follow any of the methods above, it’s always possible to fail the test.
Some of the modern drug tests employers or governments use are exceptionally hard to beat and will detect even the tiniest amounts of a drug.
So what do you do if you fail?
You have a few options to choose from if you’ve failed a drug test:
- Ask for a retest — No drug test is 100 percent infallible, so many state laws allow people the opportunity to retest upon failing. For this reason, it’s wise to avoid celebrating finishing a drug test until you’ve gotten the results back. If you get the chance to take the test again but took a celebratory dose of drugs between the first test, you’re not going to stand a good chance of passing the second one either. You may apply for a retest if your employer didn’t give you adequate notice before the test (check your employer’s policies).
- Check to see if the test was done by a state-run facility — If not, you can easily challenge the results of the test.
- Try to have the test results voided — This may be possible if you were asked to take the test under unreasonable invasion of privacy, such as having to urinate in plain view of a test official.
The Different Types of Drug Tests (And How Difficult it is To Cheat Them)
Most drug tests use a combination of an immunoassay (EMIT® or RIA®) to detect trace amounts of a drug or a known metabolite of that drug. This is usually followed up with a mass spectronomy or gas chromatography test to confirm the results.
The combination of two or more methods like this significantly reduces the chances of a false-positive or false-negative. Most of the time, if there are drugs in the system, these methods will pick up on them.
1. Urine Testing
How difficult is it to cheat this test? Moderate difficulty
This is the most common form of testing done in the corporate setting, by athletic commissions, and by parole officers. It’s easy to collect samples (no blood needs to be drawn), relatively cheap to test, and fairly accurate.
There are a few different tests run on urine to find drugs, such as immunoassays, mass spectronomy, reagent testing, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
Fortunately, urine testing is one of the easiest tests to cheat. Using most of the methods listed above in this article will increase your chances of passing a urine drug test.
2. Blood Testing
How difficult is it to cheat this test? Very difficult
Blood testing is actually less common than you might expect. The reason is that not all drugs will show up on a blood test unless they were used within 24 hours. A good example of this is THC from marijuana. While this compound can be found in the urine for up to 67 days after you stop smoking weed, blood tests usually won’t detect any of the compound after about 24 hours.
Blood tests are less likely to detect some drugs, but it’s almost impossible to cheat. You can’t use decoy blood like you can with urine, you can’t dilute the blood before the test, and you can’t tamper with the sample after it’s collected. Whatever’s in the blood is going to be detected during the test.
3. Hair Analysis
How difficult is it to cheat this test? Moderately difficult
This test isn’t often used because the results aren’t as reliable as other forms of testing.
However, drugs can remain in the hair for up to a year even if you detoxed effectively — making this one of the most feared drug tests you can take.
There’s one simple way to pass a hair analysis test though — shave your hair off. This would need to include all hair on the head, face, under the armpits, and the groin. Tests can even be run on arm and leg hair as long as it’s about an inch long.
Shaving all your hair off may be a bit dramatic for people that don’t normally shave and cause the person ordering to test to become extra skeptical of you.
A reasonable excuse for shaving all your hair off is to improve performance with endurance swimming or are experiencing hair-thinning and wanted to remove the hair so it’s less noticeable. Don’t forget about shoulder, back, arm, and leg hair if you’re a particularly hairy person.
Cocaine and other stimulants are the most likely to show up on a hair test.
Some shampoos are suggested to reduce the chances of a positive result on a hair test — such as Head & Shoulders® — however, there’s no reliable research on how effective this is or if it’s effective at all.
Another downside of this test is the amount of time needed to come back with results. It can take up to two weeks for the test to come back with a positive or negative verdict, so you’ll likely need to remain off any drugs during this time until you’re certain you received a passing score.
4. Saliva Testing
How difficult is it to cheat this test? Moderately difficult
These tests are uncommon because they’re unreliable for detecting most drugs. They’ll usually only produce a positive result if the drugs were taken within a few hours or days of the test.
If possible, request a blood or saliva test instead of a urine sample because you’re more likely to pass.
Saliva tests are taken by swabbing the inside cheeks and lips. Some tests will require you to hold the swap in your mouth for about a minute. Although this is a long shot, some people report passing after holding the swab between their molars during the test instead of letting it touch their cheeks.
It helps if you haven’t used any drugs in a while before the test and eat just before the test to throw it off as much as possible.
Drug Testing Myths You Need to be Aware of
Myth #1: Aspirin, Advil, & Ibuprofen Can Interfere With Marijuana Drug Tests
This myth used to be a fact, but the problem has since been solved. Modern drug tests remain unaffected by these drugs and will still detect marijuana use no matter how much Aspirin, Advil, or Ibuprofen you take.
Myth #2: Vinegar Speeds Up Detoxification
Unfortunately, there’s no evidence to back this up. Save yourself the discomfort of drinking vinegar and just stick to water. Water is a diuretic on its own and remains the best natural detox agent available. Other weak diuretics like cranberry juice, tea, and coffee can also help a lot.
Myth #3: Drinking Bleach Will Cleanse the Urine
No — It won’t.
The most likely outcome is that bleach will kill you or cause irreversible organ damage instead — never do this. Even if the bleach doesn’t make you deathly ill or destroy the tissue lining your mouth and digestive tract — it won’t even eliminate drug metabolites from the urine.
This is probably the most dangerous myth currently going around on this topic.
Myth #4: Dog Urine Can Be Used to Substitute Your Own urine
It’s very easy to differentiate between human and dog urine. Most labs will quickly reject the sample if the urine doesn’t have key markers of human urine.
Is Cheating A Drug Test Worth It?
This is the biggest question you need to ask before attempting to cheat a drug test. This is especially the case with using synthetic urine, decoy urine, or tampering with the urine sample after its collected.
Failing drug tests can result in prison, job loss, and other consequences — but cheating usually results in even bigger consequences if caught.
The best solution is to follow the rules and stop using the drug that’s caused so many troubles for you already rather than relying on cheating to pass a drug test.
Even if you follow all the best guidelines for passing a drug test — you could still fail. Modern drug testing labs are getting better and better at detecting tampering every day. And upgrades to equipment allow labs to detect ever-smaller amounts of a drug in the urine or blood.
Getting the Help You Need To Quit Drugs For Good
The only way to 100% guarantee you won’t fail a drug test is to stop using drugs. This may sound obvious, but if you’re really in a situation where you either need to pass recurring drug tests or risk losing your job or going back to prison — it’s better to get the help you need to eliminate any chances of failing once and for all.
Using the methods above can be useful in getting through a drug test on the spot while you work on getting clean again — but isn’t a long-term solution.
If you’re having trouble quitting drugs and want help, it’s wise to reach out to a rehab center to give you a professional level of care to get you through the process.
Don’t let addiction ruin your life. Ask for help if it means staying out of prison, maintaining a steady job, and mending relationships with your friends and family.