It sucks to fail a drug test, but what comes next tends to suck even more. Even beyond a single angry boss or lost job, those who fail these tests often become ineligible for future government funding and can even get thrown in the slammer.

So, how exactly do drug tests work? Is a drug test completely fool proof, or are there ways to pass them?

There are basically 4 types of drug tests.

  1. Drug test with urine sample

This is the most common form of drug test available. It is known for its simplicity, convenience of administration and relative accuracy. Also, this is the easiest kind of drug test to get through. Use a pharmacy-bought detoxifier (we recommend Golden Seal) to cleanse your body (or borrow a friend’s urine).

  1. Drug test with hair sample

It may feel weird to know that your sobriety can be detected by testing a hair sample. The scariest thing is it doesn’t have to be hair from your head: hair growing anywhere on your body can be used for this test. Because hair retains trace amounts of drug metabolites, these tests aren’t necessarily reliable and can be difficult to trick. In fact, African American and Latino hair types are particularly susceptible to false positives, making these tests not only unreliable but often discriminatory.

  1. Drug test with saliva sample

A saliva test is quite hard to beat given their short detection time. Though many head shops sell detoxifying mouthwashes, we haven’t heard many reports of their efficacy. Since saliva cannot detect historical use of marijuana, THC, heroin, cocaine or amphetamines, even if these tests aren’t easy to beat, at least they only require 12-24 hours of abstinence to pass legitimately.

  1. Drug test with blood sample

These are always administered by healthcare professionals and are therefore almost impossible to fool. This kind of drug test is most often required by insurance companies or special law enforcement.