5 mins read

Common Misconceptions About Drug Testing

DOT drug and alcohol testing is essential for all people who have safety-sensitive jobs like truck drivers, armed security, and flight crews. All employees must take these tests to ensure their safety and everyone around them. When it comes to drug testing, people have a lot of misconceptions, and some people believe in entirely wrong things. Here are some myths about drug testing:

Water Will Dilute Drugs in Your System

One common misconception is that water will help you get a negative drug test result. Yes, drugs can get slightly diluted when you consume water. However, this is not a sure way of passing your drug test. 

Most testing centers check the creatinine levels in your urine. If the sample you gave is too diluted and your creatinine levels are lower than normal, the testing center might conduct additional tests to ensure accurate results.

Exercise Will Help in Excreting Drugs in Your System Faster

Some people believe that when you exercise one or two days before getting tested, you can burn Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) stored in your fat cells. There is still no valid evidence that suggests working out can help you get a negative result.

Hair Testing Only Uses Head Hair

If a person can’t provide head hair for testing, the testing center will get hair from the other parts of your body. They can use the leg, arm, underarm, chest, or even pubic hair. Aside from this, removing your hair will not excuse you from drug testing because there are other types like urine, fingernail, and blood testing.

There Are Set Detection Times for Drugs

Many factors affect how long drugs stay in a person’s system. Every drug is different, and every person uses them differently. Some can be chronic users, while others might have used the substance only once. Other factors include the amount of fluid a person drinks, how long the drug disintegrates, and how the drug was used.

Your body breaks chemical components down differently for different substances, and some drugs stay in your body for a long time. THC can be detected in your system for a longer period with heavy use. This is because THC is fat-soluble, and your body takes its time to remove it from your system. Other drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine can be detected for several days, even if they are moderately used.

There Are Ways To Mask Drugs

Some people might drink certain liquids thinking they could mask dangerous substances in their system and avoid getting caught. An example of this is vinegar. Doing so will affect the pH level of your urine, and that will raise suspicion. You will be asked to undergo another test. 

Other people add “adulterants” like ammonia, Drano, bleach, and other kits to their urine samples to try and mask drug toxins. This is useless because when labs detect a strange substance in your sample, you will be asked to retake the test.

Drug Testing Only Uses Urine or Hair

The most common forms of drug tests are urine and hair follicle testing because they are the most accurate. Contrary to popular belief, there are other types of drug testing. 

One example is blood testing, but blood tests aren’t used much because they are more expensive than the other types. Another reason why blood testing isn’t used as often is that most drugs are out of your system after a day. There is only a short window for drug detection using blood testing, and the test must be conducted 2 to 12 hours from when the user ingested the substance.

There are more inexpensive drug testing types like an instant saliva test. This test is easy to use, so it’s gaining popularity. The person to conduct the test will swab the inside of a person’s cheek using a stick with an absorbent pad on end. The results can be ready within minutes if the test is done on-site. You can opt to bring the sample to a lab, but the results will be prepared in about 24 hours. 

One major downside of a mouth swab is that it is not as reliable and accurate as urine and hair follicle testing. The accuracy of the test depends on different factors. One is the skill of the person carrying out the test. Another is the drug under investigation, its quantity, and its detection window. Last is if the test is done on-site or in a lab.

Drug testing is required by law as part of your employment requirements. Many laboratories and facilities can help you with that. Get in touch with a drug testing center near you for DOT drug and alcohol testing today!