Getting the Green Out: How Drug Users Circumvent Drug Screenings

The process of background checks for most entry-level positions has become a familiar two-step for anyone entering the job market for the first time: criminal background check and drug screening.

These checks help to ensure a holistically safe working environment and eliminate any holes in the screening process. However, while felonious job applicants have a much more difficult time breaking into public databases to eradicate a criminal record, drug users don’t seem to have as daunting of a task in passing requisite drug screenings.

According to a study, more than half of companies test potential employees for illegal drugs, and anyone who fails these tests, particularly cocaine users, would have to be entirely unintelligent. Unless someone is a heavy cocaine user, he or she could pass a drug test a mere 24 hours after using the illegal substance, and even chronic users only need a few days to test clean. Because random drug testing is more uncommon than notifying employees of an upcoming drug screening, all cocaine users have to do is go a day or two without a fix to maintain their clean status in the workplace. A similar time frame holds true for heroin and PCP users.

Marijuana, a much softer drug, requires a longer detoxification period, and as with any drug, evidence will remain in a habitual user’s system the longest, anywhere from three to twelve weeks. Most of these users prefer alternative methods to withdrawing from the substance itself.

As the most common form of drug screening requires a urine sample from potential employees, drug users, particularly marijuana users, either have to alter their own sample or utilize a synthetic one. Those users who elect to pass a drug test with their own urine often try adding agents like dish soap or bleach, a technique that labs can detect quite easily. More effective, though still suspicious, is flushing a drug user’s system to break down traces of illegal substances. Drug users can find legal substances at the local GNC to help flush their systems, though many labs will red flag an ultra-clear urine sample as a potential drug user and subject the sample (and its originator) to further testing.

Rather than go off the green, habitual drug users go as far as creating their own synthetic urine or borrowing urine from a clean person to pass off as their own. As long as these individuals don’t have someone watching them pee or become subject to a pat down during a urinary drug screening, they are the most likely to pass (other than “clean” job applicants).

Because drug testing is expensive and time-intensive, and because companies want to get their employees on board, chances are that most drug users are going to find their way around screenings, whether they choose to detox or cheat the system. Therefore, as methods for beating drug screenings are growing, the need for firms, like Victig, that provide holistic options to job candidate dishonesty becomes crucial.