Illegal drug abuse in the military is severe misconduct. All branches of defense have a zero-tolerance approach to drug use and involvement in a drug offense.
Any form of participation in a drug-related offense attracts severe punishment, including prosecution in a court-martial and even tossed out of the army.
To a service member, this means one thing; whatever you do, NEVER FAIL A URINALYSIS.
Below I will describe how to pass a military drug test with flying colors.
Types of drug tests done in the military
There are several types of drug tests that the military uses to monitor and test its members for illegal drug use. The kind of method determines how the results can be used after that.
A random urine drug test is just how it sounds random. This means that it can be done at any time and on anyone.
The commander may choose to have the test done company-wide or on a selected sample. Refusal to provide a urinalysis sample can land you in problems in the military.
However, the commander is under obligation to ensure that the ‘sample’ was selected in a truly random manner, that is, without targeting specific individuals.
Random testing is regularly done in the army, and up to 60,000 random tests can be done in a single month. This is often enough to ensure that practically all the service members will have been tested at least once every year.
The results of random testing can be used in Article 15s and court-martials. They can also be used to determine the type of discharge that the members receive and later listed in their DD-214 Military Discharge Paperwork, including general, honorable, and other-than-honorable.
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This is a medical test that a member undertakes regarding complying with the stipulated medical requirements and may include a urine analysis for illegal and controlled drugs.
These tests are also mandatory for recruits, and they determine whether or not they are eligible for enlistment in the military.
Similar to random testing, a service member cannot refuse medical testing. Also, the results can be used in a court-martial, Article 15s, and for involuntary discharges.
Probable cause testing
A likely cause testing can be accomplished when a military commander suspects that military personnel is under the influence of drugs.
In that case, however, the commander first requests the installation commander to grant him/her a search authorization.
With a search warrant, the suspect cannot refuse to give a urine sample, and again, the results can be used in Article 15s, involuntary discharges, as well as in a court-martial.
Military personnel may be asked to grant consent to search even if the commander does not have probable cause. This is a warrantless search that the service member can either accept or refuse. If you grant consent to search, the results can be used in a court-martial, Article 15s, and involuntary discharges.
In case the commander lacks enough evidence to necessitate a search authorization, and the service member won’t grant consent to search, he/she can still go ahead and command the member to give a urine sample for urinalysis.
However, unlike other tests, the results from a commander-directed test cannot be used to prosecute the member in a court-martial. Neither can it be used for non-judicial punishment purposes (Article 15s).
Also, while the results can be used to warrant an involuntary discharge, the urinalysis results cannot be used to determine the type of discharge.
Types of drugs used and tested in the military and their cutoff levels
The drugs and substances abused in the military can be classified into 2; illegal and controlled. Illegal drugs refer to drugs whose use, manufacture, or possession is prohibited.
On the other hand, a controlled substance, for instance, Marijuana, refers to drugs whose use, manufacture, and distribution is regulated by the Drug Enhancement Administration.
Controlled substances are not practically illegal, but they become so if not used without a prescription.
Drug testing in the military is a 3-level process:
- Immunoassay screening using the Olympus AU-800 Automated Chemistry Analyzer. You are considered clean if the results are negative at this point.
- Second screening - if you test positive with the initial testing, you are tested once again using the same screen.
- Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry test- If you test positive once again with the second screening, you are put through the thorough GCMS test to eliminate any chances of false positive.
To that end, here are the drugs that DoD labs are equipped to test and their cutoff levels;
|Drug||1st and 2nd Screening Level
|GC/MS Confirmatory Test
How to Pass
Generally speaking, the odds of cheating a test are incredibly higher for a civilian than for military personnel. The principal- drug abuse is incompatible with military service- makes the process of drug testing a very serious, well-documented affair with very accurate results and dire consequences in case you piss hot.
But there’s nothing new under the sun, and passing a urinalysis in the military isn’t new. Here are the commonly used methods of beating military drug tests and their strengths and drawbacks.
Using synthetic urine
The use of synthetic urine to cheat a test has become increasingly popular in the recent past. This method's key advantage is that the fake pee is doctored to look like real pee in all the aspects that matter to the lab guys, including color, smell, and other critical components such as pH, creatinine level, and specific gravity.
The only thing that you are left to deal with is the temperature.
Is this method as simple as it seems? No! This method turns out to be the hardest. DoD labs now use advanced technologies that can easily detect fake pee.
Getting the synthetic urine into the collection point is a real pain in the ass in the first place, more so in the military. And even if you managed to, there’s usually an observer to witness as you urinate into the collection bottle. Moreover, it’s usually tough to keep the temperature within the required range.
How to use synthetic urine
Cheating a urine test using this method begins with getting fake pee from a trustworthy dealer. You need to ensure that the synthetic urine imitates real pee in all aspects.
You need a plastic bottle, temperature test strips, and a heating pad in addition to the synthetic urine. You might also want a prosthetic penis or a urine belt with a storage tube to help you get the urine inside the collection facility.
- Heat the synthetic urine in a microwave for around 10 seconds.
- Immediately wrap the bottle in a heating pad to prevent it from losing a lot of heat as you head to the collection point (you want it to be within 90F-100F range)
- Take the shortest time possible to pour the urine into the collection cup and hand it over.
The dilution method is another popular way of cheating the test. This method is a lot cheaper than trying to smuggle some synthetic urine into the collection facility. It is also practically ‘legal’ since it involves drinking a lot of liquid (mostly water) to lower the concentration of drug metabolites in the urine below the cutoff level.
It’s also not the easiest, though. Although it works, successful urine dilution requires thorough preparation, and the method is insanely complicated.
This is because taking a large amount of water lowers the concentration of the drug metabolites and interferes with other vital components of urine, including the color, specific gravity, and creatinine level.
If you are ready to go this route, this is how to dilute your urine successfully for a drug test.
What you’ll need
- THC test strips
- Electrolyte powder
- Creatinine supplement
- Creatinine test strips
- Vitamin B2 pill
- Time- at least 6 hours
- Determine your lean body mass (LBM). Your LBM dictates the amount of water that you’ll need to take
- Mix the electrolyte supplement with water to make a solution. Drink this solution at the rate of 4ml for every pound of your LBM every hour for 3 hours
- Analyze the results by testing a sample of the urine for THC metabolites, creatinine level, and specific gravity
- Take the necessary step.
If the THC metabolites are below 50ng/ml and the creatinine level is above 20ng/ml, use the same regimen in the hours leading to the test.
If THC metabolites' level is higher than 50ng/ml, and the creatinine level is above 20ng/ml, increase the intake of water to lower the concentration of THC. Ensure that you don’t lower the creatinine level to undesired levels though
If THC metabolites' level is higher than 50ng/ml and that of creatinine is below 20ng/ml, this is bad news as there’s no way you can take more water to lower the concentration of the metabolites without diluting creatinine even further. In that case, you might want to think of a way to reschedule the test to another date as you fix your low creatinine level issues. Possible remedies include taking creatinine supplements, jogging, and cycling.
- Once you’ve figured out the rate that works for you, use it 3 hours to the test
- Piss as many times as possible
- 1 hour to the test, take a Vitamin B2 pill to give your urine its normal color
The easiest way to pass a urine drug test is not to use the drugs in the first place. If you already have the drugs that you are being tested for in your body, though, flushing them by detoxing naturally might be a great solution.
THC is highly lipophilic and, therefore, most of it is stored in your fat reserves. This explains why THC is still detectable in a urine sample days after the individual toked. However, this depends on the amount of fat in your body, followed by your toking behavior.
All other factors held constant; it takes a long time for fat guys to flush out THC from their system completely compared to thin people.
This method involves burning the fat cells holding THC molecules and creating favorable conditions for your body’s detoxification system (liver) to get rid of the THC. This method works but requires some time and discipline regarding diet and exercising.
Tips on how to naturally detox THC
- Abstain from THC- throw away any remaining weed and any other component that comes into play to help you get high, including your grinder and lighter.
- Mind your diet - you are on a mission to burn the fat cells holding the THC. You can’t do this by adding more layers to the existing ones. Say no to fatty junk and add more fruits and veggies and water into your regimen.
- No! Don’t skip breakfast or any other meal. This will only make you feel hungry and heighten your craving for junk.
A detox kit is a combination of ingredients that help you achieve a quick negative urine test result without the risk of detection.
A lot of research studies include this one, which proves that activated charcoal does help in the removal of THC from the body. How it works is interesting.
When you activate and consume cannabis, for instance, through smoking, THC penetrates your blood system in seconds. With every pump of your heart, some amount of THC is pumped into the liver, where metabolism takes place.
THC is converted into 11-OH-THC and then to THC-COO-glucuronide in the liver, which makes it ready for elimination.
Not all THC-COO-glucuronide metabolites are sent to the kidneys for removal through urine, though. Some of these metabolites are also sent into your GI tract through bile. In the GI tract, these metabolites are considerably large and polar and, therefore, perfect for removal through feces since they can’t be reabsorbed through the stomach walls.
Unfortunately, certain enzymes produced by some bacteria in your gut strip the TH-COO-glucuronide metabolites of their glucuronide molecules, thereby converting them back into THC-COOH, which is small enough to penetrate the walls of the GI tract into the blood system again, where the entire process repeats itself. This process is known as Enterohepatic Recirculation.
So, where does Activated charcoal come in?
When you ingest Activated charcoal, it binds with most THC metabolites in the GI tract for removal through feces.
The only drawback to this method is that it takes some time (up to a week or even 2).
How to use Activated Charcoal to pass a test
- You’ll need
- Activated Charcoal pills
- Urine test strips
- Abstain from drugs
- Take 10g of activated charcoal 1-2 hours before each meal.
- Repeat this for two days. Take foods rich in fiber for the rest of the week.
- Keep testing the THC metabolites in urine to determine whether you are on track.
- On the day of the test, continue with the activated charcoal regimen to trap as many metabolites in the stomach as possible.