Submit your own Busted Letter
This is a cautionary tale for all you closet tokers out there...
I've got to submit myself for a drug screening test every three years due to the nature of my job. We're told the date of the test at least a month in advance. I have (actually, I had) a Â£45k (US$68k) a year job on an oil rig. It took me 4 years of study at university, plus another 12 years of professional experience to get me to where I am today. I'm in my mid 30's with a wife and kids -- what you'd call a respectable guy! However, I love to toke.
No problems, you might be thinking to yourself. Well, I hope you learn from what I'm about to tell you........
I smoke quite a lot of hash when I'm at home on my shore leave (I work for 2 weeks and then have 2 free weeks at home), but I never smoke while I'm out at work. When I'm home, however, I smoke 8-10 joints of that shitty soapy hash that most of Britain smokes -- nothing to write home about. The last time I smoked some really good weed was in Amsterdam at the Cannabis Cup last November (2002). My test date was mid January 2003.
I was feeling pretty confident about passing my test, as it was due on the day I was coming home off the rig. I knew that a full 2 weeks without smoking anything wasn't going to clean my body out completely, so I drank 6 litres of water daily & had a sauna every day for those 2 weeks. A 3-day herbal detox system completed the cleansing regime.
With 2 days to go before the actual test, I checked myself with one of the home test kits I had brought with me and I tested clean. Yep, the two blue lines were DEFINITELY there. I tested myself again and was also clean the second time. I had to chuckle to myself...it looked like I'd beaten the system yet again (this was the 3rd time I've been tested in recent years).
The morning of the test, I drank 2 litres of water and had pee'd it all out by 8am, in preparation for a 2-hour helicopter flight back to shore. I didn't drink anything for the entire flight, as there are no toilets on them. We arrived on shore at 10 a.m. and my test was scheduled for 11 a.m. After another quick litre of water and a few vitamin B6 (for that added yellowness look), I was ready to go. I took a quick stop on the way to the test centre for one final pee, before arriving at 10:55 a.m.
At 11:05 a.m., could you imagine my horror when I tested positive for cannabis!?!? Yes, I failed the test. My samples were packaged up to be sent off for GC/MS analysis, but I knew that the game was up. Job gone, my career hanging by a thread. All because I smoke some weed.
My employers were actually really cool about it all. I had to be dismissed, but they gave me the option to resign by myself. Apparently, I had tested at 57ng/ml THC, whereas the cutoff level is 50ng/ml. I had JUST failed and that's all. A miss is as good as a mile, I know, but I really think that my boss felt for me. Maybe he's a closet toker himself? Perish the thought!
So now I'm unemployed. I've gone from earning Â£3700 a month down to Â£200 a month on unemployment benefits. I've got a few good job interviews coming up later this month, and there's enough money in the bank to last me at least 6 months, but I still wish that I hadn't lost my job. How do I explain to my next employer why I left my last job?
The moral of my story is: don't get slack, and always give yourself at least a month to get clean.