It can be a pretty standard part of hiring.
Interview. Paperwork. Background check. Drug test.
But how easy is it to cheat on a drug test?
Here’s the short answer. Candidates determined to cheat on their drug test might be able to do it. But with advancements in technology, it’s getting harder and harder.
Why is drug testing so important? Stats from a 2015 study done by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration say that 1 in 10 workers struggle with substance abuse. Drug use is estimated to impact 24.6 million Americans. Plus, drug use on the job hurts more than just productivity. It’s a safety concern for the entire company. This makes drug testing critical.
So, how can cheating happen on a drug test? Here are some of the most popular picks—and their flaws.
Haul in a substitute. This can include smuggling in a substitute sample (either snagging a synthetic product or getting the real deal from someone else) or just finding someone else to take the drug test for them. But this isn’t as easy as it used to be. And if the cheating gets uncovered? It means felony charges and a hefty fine.
Do some addition. This takes plenty of forms. Some say drinking extra water or even vinegar will alter drug tests. Other specific cleanses may help, some say, or adding household cleaners to a sample may help alter it. Here’s the trouble: most of these masking substances are detectable in the lab.
Timing matters. The only way to truly win is with timing. It takes days (or even weeks) for drugs to leave a person’s system. Here’s the stickler: most drug testing is random and unannounced.