In 2012, a survey of 10,123 teens between the ages of 13 and 18 was conducted to gather data on drug abuse. Of those surveyed, 42.5 percent claimed to have tried an illegal substance, while a whopping 81 percent of participants said that, at some point, they were presented with the opportunity to do drugs. 16 percent of those teens surveyed were frequent enough users that they actually could be categorized as drug abusers.
Teen drug abusers can often be forced into rehabilitation by their parents without really wanting to get sober. Thanks to the internet, teens are now able to learn new and creative ways to pass drug tests that parents or rehabs might ask them to take. It’s possible that your drug abusing child has learned a way to trick you into believing they’re sober, when in reality they need immediate help for their addiction.
As parents, we need to remain vigilant and understand what these methods are and how they work. An informed parent can recognize someone who is attempting to beat a drug test and stop them from doing so.
If you are interested in giving your child a drug test, read on. Let’s dive into some of the most common ways your child might try to pass their test while continuing to use drugs.
1. Detox & Saliva Test
One of the main ways to beat a drug test is for the user to cleanse their body of the toxins and drug residues. This method works especially well on the saliva marijuana drug test. The saliva test is easy to conduct and provides results extremely quickly. Saliva tests check for use of:
What Is It?
The test is conducted by swabbing between the person’s lower cheek and gums. The swab is moved over the gums as well as under the tongue for several minutes. This is so that the administrator can collect a sample of saliva from all of the areas within the mouth. The swab is then put into a test tube for several minutes. If this liquid inside the test tube changes color, that means the result is positive.
This test can really only indicate if the test taker ingested drugs in the past 72 hours. Although, this timeframe is actually impacted by the size and weight of the test taker, as well as how frequently they use. A person who smokes marijuana less than once a month will only have THC in their system for around 12 hours.
What to Look For?
There are two basic detox methods here:
- A drug user who abstains for several days can likely beat the saliva test. Combining drug abstention with a lot of hydration and exercise will help metabolize the THC toxins quickly and get them out of the system. When it comes to exercise though, it would only be performed in the days leading up to the test. Because THC metabolites are excreted during exercise, exercising right before a drug test will produce more THC residue and can produce a positive result. If the drug user does not have enough time to prepare then they can opt for a short-term solution. This simply involves cleansing the mouth with a mouthwash that is designed to clear out toxins quickly. By doing this just before a saliva test, a drug user can possibly beat the test.
- There are also many “detox drinks” on the market today. The aim of these drinks is to dilute the user’s urine so that they can beat a urinalysis. These drinks typically contain both vitamin B and creatine as a way to mask the fact that the urine is diluted. Vitamin B is able to make pee look more yellow, as diluted urine by itself is very clear. Creatine is produced by muscle metabolism and is a chemical waste product. It’s naturally occurring within the human body and, in fact, is one of the methods that labs use to see if a test taker’s urine is too diluted. Creatine gets broken down after entering your body and is then flushed away in urine. A diluted sample with creatinine in it will seem less diluted than it really is.
2. Synthetic Urine
What Is It?
A creative yet common way to pass is to use synthetic urine. Although synthetic urine is illegal in states like Indiana and New Hampshire, it is still legal in many other areas. The liquid is made up of a mix of chemicals and sometimes includes uric acid – a compound found in human urine.
A urine test is the most common type of drug test. It can tell if someone has been taking a variety of drugs including:
Because the urine test is so popular, people have come up with a variety of ways to beat it.
What to Look For?
- Because it is legal in most parts of the US, synthetic urine can be purchased online from marketplaces such as Amazon. There are brands that specifically advertise to people who are trying to beat drug tests. Some brands can also be purchased in stores like head shops.
- Temperature is important when using fake urine as a cold sample is usually a give away that it is a fake. The most difficult part about using this product is actually getting it inside the test clinic. Many times, a cheater will strap a bag of fake urine around their upper thigh and remove it once they are inside a private bathroom.
- Because home drug test kits are less accurate than laboratory ones, it is even easier to cheat a home urine test. People can alter their sample by using eye drops to alter the pH levels of their urine.
- Another adulterant for a urine test is bleach. Bleach essentially cleans whatever it touches and that applies to urine as well. By adding some bleach to a drug test, a test taker may be able to pass the test or at least make the results inaccurate.
3. Certo Method
The Certo method is a popular way to beat both a urine and blood test. Blood tests themselves are not as common as other drug testing methods because they are expensive, invasive, and must be conducted by a licensed medical expert. The blood test can detect:
What Is It?
Certo is the brand name of a fruit pectin that is commonly used to make foods like jellies and jams. The manufacturer of Certo also makes Sure-Jell, which can also be used for this method.
So how can fruit pectin help someone beat a drug test?
What to Look For?
- Fruit pectin contains significant amounts of fiber. This fiber binds to bile inside the intestines. Bile is made in the body in order to bind to ingested fat and make it dissolve in water. And ingested THC becomes part of that fat.
- Certo also makes the drinker have to use the bathroom more often. This means that when a person urinates, they are urinating out the Certo as well as the THC that the Certo has become bound to. It also helps detoxify the body by increasing bowel movements, which is how THC is mainly released. Essentially, Certo is a quick way to flush THC out of the blood.
- This method is meant to significantly dilute one’s urine. If the results determine the sample of urine is too diluted, then the test can be deemed inconclusive and another test rescheduled. Parents should look out for boxes of Certo around the house as well B-vitamins and large bottles of Gatorade.
4. Macujo Method
What Is It?
The Macujo method is used to beat a hair follicle test. While a urine test may be able to tell if someone has used drugs over the past several days, a hair follicle test can determine if someone has used in the past 90 days.
A hair follicle test is effective because THC metabolites are stored in your hair after they have traveled through the bloodstream. A lab technician will cut between 100 and 120 strands of hair that are collected at the root and at least 1.5 inches long. If the hair is too short, body hair is used. A hair drug test can determine if someone has used:
What to Look For?
- One extreme way to beat a hair follicle test is to shave your head and all of the hair on your body, but this can be a less than subtle move.
- The other way to beat a hair follicle test is the Macujo method. Sometimes referred to as the Mac method, this is a 7-step hair cleansing process that is known to be very effective. The goal of this method is to open up the hair cuticles so that it is easier to access the cortex, the hard part in the middle. The user will then attempt to wash out all of the metabolites in their hair.
For this method to be effective, it needs to be done at least three times, although many test takers claim that seven times is the magic number for beating a hair follicle test. In fact, the writers at Macujo.com claim that this method has a 98% success rate. However, it’s easy to tell if your child is trying to outsmart their test with this method at home.
Performing Drug Tests At Home
Concerned parents can perform drug tests at home if they so choose. Urine tests as well as oral fluid/saliva tests can be done at home quite easily. All a parent needs to do is purchase a home drug test kit.
These are available as over-the-counter strips. All you have to do is collect a sample of your teen’s saliva or urine and then dip the strip in the saliva/urine for a certain amount of time. If the strip changes color, then the test results are positive.
These test kits are relatively easy to use and can be purchased at your local pharmacy, as well as online.
What To Look For in a At-Home Drug Test Kit
- They should come with detailed instructions. Drug test kits can be accurate but do not match the effectiveness of a professionally performed drug test. Parents should make sure to follow the instructions very carefully.
- It’s also important to note with drug tests, you often get what you pay for. A cheaply priced drug test kit will not be as accurate as a higher quality one.
What Else Can Affect the Results of an At-Home Kit?
There are a number of external factors that can also affect the results of a drug test at home:
- Some parents choose to perform at home drug tests simply as a precautionary measure. The assumption is that if a teenager undergoes regular drug tests, or is threated with drug tests in the future, they will be less likely to do drugs. Unfortunately, the science backing this belief does not really exist.
- Also, due to home drug test kits being less accurate than laboratory versions, it is easier to cheat on them. For example, an at home kit would not be able to test how diluted urine is.
If you believe your child is abusing illicit substances, it is important to note that having them undergo a drug test is intended to give you answers, not cure their abuse. They may need early intervention and professional treatment following results.
If you are a concerned parent worried your teenager is abusing drugs, then a drug test may be able to help you determine if they are indeed using. Because of the internet, it is now easier than ever to get information on ways to pass a drug test. But that ease of access to information luckily works both ways: now, we too can be more prepared than ever and look for signs that our children may be trying to beat a drug test.
After reviewing the methods above, parents can be on the lookout for a variety of chemicals, substances, materials, and other common household goods that people often use to cheat on drug tests.
“Survey reveals shocking levels of teen drinking, drug abuse” (2012) https://www.cbsnews.com/news/survey-reveals-shocking-levels-of-teen-drinking-drug-abuse/
“States move to ban fake urine, a new challenge for drug testing amid an abuse epidemic” (2018)
Macujo.com (2019) https://www.macujo.com/