THE URINE TEST

Urine testing is often referred to as the gold standard of the drug-test industry, and, all bad puns aside, they're not just talking about the color of your piss. Most of the 50 million drug tests performed in this country last year were urine tests-the least expensive and most common form of testing, at once highly invasive and, by now, fully integrated into American life.

When it comes to passing a urine test, you must put time on your side, specifically by allowing for time between your drug use and your drug test. Most banned substances pass through the body quickly (cocaine, for example, will disappear after a few days), but pesky THC abides in fat cells like a moocher crashing on your couch, remaining detectable in urine for as long as four weeks. So while a single smoke on Friday night will probably disappear by Monday, anything beyond the most casual toke needs more time.

Fortunately, as the urine-test industry has matured, so has the urine-test-solutions industry, which now offers a variety of approaches to beating the tests. A daily detox drink will lessen the amount of THC stored in your body and thus cut the time needed to cleanse. A quick flush will greatly increase the chances of passing the test, but it's imperative that at least 48 to 72 hours pass from toxin to test. That means not smoking for several days before the big day, or the quick flush won't work. If that's not an option, then a substitution or spike is needed. A substitution is just what the name implies: clean urine substituted for its tainted counterpart. A spike, on the other hand, is a small vial of chemicals covertly added to your specimen that adulterates the results. Spikes are available from several drug-detox companies.



Privacy is required to put a spike in play, so if someone will be hovering over the process while you pee, and you've gotten high in the last 72 hours, then your best bet is the infamous Whizzinator-a faux phallus that gives new meaning to the term "tool." It may take a steady hand and nerves of steel to whip out a prosthetic pecker as the tester observes from over your shoulder, but as Congress learned last spring, thousands have aced the Whiz Quiz with the help of this ingenious device.