How to Effectively Drug Test Your Teenager at Home

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 creative ways to pass drug tests that parents or rehabs might ask them to take. It’s possible that your 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. As an informed parent, you can effectively drug test your teenager at home by recognizing when they are attempting to beat a drug test and stopping them from doing so.

The Need to Drug Test Your Teenager at Home

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 the teens surveyed were frequent enough users that they actually could be categorized as drug abusers.

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. 

Types of Drug Tests

Concerned parents can perform drug tests at home or have their child tested at a laboratory, it depends on their preference and availability. If you choose to drug test at home, the kit you purchase should come with detailed instructions—make sure to follow these very carefully. It’s also important to note that with drug tests, you often get what you pay for as a cheaply priced drug test kit will not be as accurate as a higher quality one. The following are typical types of drug tests;

Urine Test

A urine test is the most common type of drug test. Because the urine test is so popular, people have come up with a variety of ways to beat it. Urine tests can be done at home quite easily. Most kits will have you collect a sample of your teen’s urine and then dip a strip in the sample 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. It can tell if someone has been taking a variety of drugs including:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Opioids/narcotics
  • PCP
  • Barbiturates

Saliva Test

A saliva test can really only indicate if the test taker ingested drugs in the past 72 hours. However, this timeframe is impacted by the size and weight of the test taker, as well as how frequently they use drugs. A person who smokes marijuana less than once a month will only have THC in their system for around 12 hours.

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 allows you to 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 the liquid inside the test tube changes color, that means the result is positive. The saliva test in particular is easy to conduct and provides results extremely quickly. Saliva tests check for use of:

  • Marijuana
  • Amphetamines
  • Alcohol
  • Meth
  • Cocaine

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. During this type of test, a lab technician cuts 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. Though this test is not typically given at home, the hair can be cut at home and sent into a laboratory. A hair drug test can determine if someone has used:

  • Marijuana
  • Meth
  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine

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. However, they are very accurate. During this type of test, a blood sample is taken and tested in a laboratory setting. A blood test can detect:

  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Opiates
  • Marijuana
  • Amphetamines
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine

Ways a Teenager Might Try To Beat a Drug Test at Home

Though it might feel wrong to keep things from your child, your best bet on getting an accurate result when you drug test your teenager at home is to use the element of surprise. If they have no prior knowledge, then it will be practically impossible for them to prepare. However, teenagers should not be underestimated. Even if you do not tell them you are planning to drug test them, they might be able to figure it out. This is why it is important to understand what they might do in order to meddle with their results. 

Detox Method

One of the main ways to beat a drug test is for the user to cleanse their body of toxins and drug residues. This method works especially well on the saliva marijuana drug test and urine tests. 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, it will usually be performed in the days leading up to the test. If your child is all of a sudden drinking copious amounts of water or seems like they are training for the Olympics, they might be trying to pass a drug test.

The consumption of detox drinks is another common detox method. 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.

Additionally, if the drug user does not have enough time to prepare then they can opt for a short-term solution. If they are doing a saliva test, a drug user can possibly beat the test by cleansing their mouth with a mouthwash that is designed to clear out toxins quickly. To avoid this, it is best to remove these types of cleansers from their bathroom. 

Synthetic Urine

A common way to pass a drug test 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. Many times, an individual who is trying to cheat will strap a bag of fake urine around their upper thigh and remove it once they are inside a private bathroom. Something to look out for when taking a urine sample is temperature as a cold sample is usually a give away that it is a fake. 

Other ways your teenager might alter their urine is with eye drops that will change their urine’s pH level or adding bleach to their urine. 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. 

Given these savvy ways to cheat, it is important to closely monitor an individual when they give a urine sample. This includes checking that nothing is on them prior to going to the bathroom and making sure substances such as bleach and eye drops have been removed from the room.

Certo Method

The Certo method is a popular way to beat both a urine and blood test. Certo is the brand name of a fruit pectin that is commonly used to make foods like jellies and jams. Reasons that fruit pectin can help someone beat a drug test and how you can keep it from happening include:

  • 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. 
  • 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.

Macujo Method

The Macujo method is used to beat a hair follicle test.  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. This can be obvious as teenagers are not known for their hygiene. Typically, a sudden obsession with hair washing will stand out.

Additionally, an extreme way your teenager might try to beat a hair follicle test is to shave their head and all of the hair on their body. This is a less than subtle move, and you will soon be on to them.

Drug Abuse Treatment in Los Angeles 

If you are worried that your teenager is abusing drugs, then an at home 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. 

If your child needs help, detecting their drug problem is only the first step. At New Life House Recovery, we offer many options to get those battling substance use disorder on the track to recovery. Call us or visit our admissions page today to get started. 

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