Have you ever been asked to take a drug test for work? Unless you work with heavy machinery or really, really sensitive equipment, or do hard labor for a living, the odds are slim that your boss ever walked into your corner office and asked you to pee in a cup citing “company policy.” Every day, people undergo drug testing as part of their employment requirements. It’s part of the overall safety protocols put in place by many organizations, but it often doesn’t make its way to the cubicle industry. We wanted to put some common drug testing myths to the test, especially where corporate America is concerned because unless you wear a hard hat to work every day, this is probably not something you thought would happen to you.
Here are a number of myths about drug testing that you might want to consider.
Drug Testing is Mandatory for All Employment
False. It’s not mandatory unless your employer says it is mandatory. It’s a case-by-case basis kind of thing, but if your employer says yes, then you should be ready to pony up a urine sample anytime, anywhere.
You Can Fake a Drug Test
If you mean someone can give you a fake drug test, then sure. But you can’t “fake pass” a drug test. You can’t hydrate the hell out of your urine either. Drinking liters of water before a drug test is not going to help. Only time can reduce the presence of drugs in your system.
You Can’t Outrun a Drug Test
Some people think if they work up a big sweat before a drug test, they can rid their body of the chemicals they ingested over the weekend. In theory, this makes sense, but again, only time can cleanse your body of drugs you put into it, whether you smoked them, inhaled them, injected them, or ate them.
You Just Have to Pee in the Cup
Also false. Some drug tests can require you to give a saliva sample or even a blood test. In the construction industry, for example, if an accident occurs and someone is hurt, many organizations will require immediate drug testing and often blood work or saliva is used when urine samples cannot be obtained. If your cushy corner office company wants a drug test, they can send you for blood work too.
Smoothies are for Lunch, Not Passing Drug Tests
No, you can’t drink a giant green smoothie and pass your drug test. Try all you want – they are delicious, but it’s not going to save you come test time.
You’ll Fail Your Drug Test by Association
Many people think that second-hand smoke is going to cause them to fail a drug test. This is simply not true. Unless you are sharing a lung with the person smoking up in your car, it’s very unlikely that you’ll fail your drug test.
It Takes Three Days for Drugs to Get Out of Your System
This is a common misconception about drugs, especially cannabis. People tend to think that if they just wait 3, 4 or 5 days the traces of drugs will have left their system. With today’s robust and often contrived strains of THC or cannabis, there’s no telling how long the traces of drugs can stay in your system. It’s best not to chance it at all if you have a drug test coming up. If you are using a glass bubbler, bong, or otherwise, drugs can stay in your system for a long time.
You Can’t Smell it
While smell is not a reliable way to test someone for cannabis or drug use, don’t fool yourself into thinking people can’t smell the weed on your clothes. If you smoke drugs at home, it stays on your clothes and in cases where reasonable suspicion is considered good enough to trigger a drug test, you’ll want to ensure your clothes are cleaned and fresh when you arrive at your office.
You Can’t Lose Your Job for Doing Drugs
While this is true as the statement appears here, you can actually lose your job for being high or under the influence at work. So if you are a weekend user, keep it that way. If you light up during the week, consider how it might be impacting your work and be ready for a test at any time.
These are just some of the many common misconceptions about drug use and drug testing in corporate America. There is a lot more where these came from so if you aren’t sure what the drug testing policies are at your organization, it’s a good idea to find out so you know what you can expect. Of course, if you don’t do drugs, you might not care either way, but given the rising statistics related to the increased use of cannabis and THC products, many people will be interested in finding out when they are required to provide a sample for a drug test at work.