With only 8% of Australian workplaces regularly tested (transport, mining and construction the most common sectors in which it occurs) chances are relatively low that you will have to head off to the loo as part of your pre-employment or ongoing workplace health and safety programs. But if you are asked to take a test and are a bit worried about just exactly what will be detectable in your body, then here is some info you should know.
Basically, there is no simple answer to how long cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines are detectable in your body. The exact time to return a negative test will depend upon a variety of different factors such as your health, the type of test conducted and the strength and history of previous consumption of the drug.
The factors that will impact upon the length of time it will take to return a negative result for a urine drug screen include:
- Characteristics of the drug:
- how you use it
- how often you use it
- what other drugs you use (including alcohol)
- and the person involved:
- your sex and age
- overall health and wellbeing
- mood and the environment you are in.
Having noted these variables, a rough guideline for urine testing for the following drugs is:
- 1-2 days
- 0.5-3 days
- MDMA (ecstasy)
- 1-2 days
Although it is not a very common method, hair drug testing is considered the gold standard of testing accuracy and it can detect as far back as far as 90 days.
Oral fluid testing should also be preferable as it is more likely to detect drug use in the last few hours that may impair work performance rather than drug use in the previous few days.
Cheating the test?
There are many ways that people have claimed to cheat and successfully pass a urine test. Typical ‘masking’ occurs by diluting the urine, either by adding water to your specimen or by drinking large amounts of water to over-hydrate yourself so that the concentration of the drug becomes less. (It is important to note that standard urine drug screening may detect overdilution and while you may not provide a positive response to the urine drug screen it will be apparent that you have been trying to flush your system).
Other tactics that we have heard of include adding other substances to the urine sample (such as soap, bleach, aspirin, vinegar, zinc or cranberry juice), substituting urine from an animal or another person, intense exercise leading up to the test, or even using a particular ‘weeing technique’ (not using the urine at the beginning or end of your stream as this is the most dirty and might contain more of the drug molecules than the rest) …plus many more elaborate schemes and products.