I have been helping Ex-offenders and Felons gain employment for over ten years and I have helped thousands get jobs. One of the biggest stumbling blocks that people place in front of themselves is not being able to pass substance abuse tests.

Increasingly more employers test for illegal drugs. Subsequently, many of my students believe (often through misinformation from the rumor mill) that they can use illegal drugs and still pass drug tests. With my experience in human resources, management and employment training, I will attempt to expose the myths and give the facts on drug tests.

The typical methods for detecting illegal drugs are:

Urine Testing:

Urine testing is the most common of the screenings used for illegal substances. Drug users would sometimes use outlandish methods like using fake urine or using a sample taken from someone else in place of their own. To avoid the applicant using urine not his own, I would always have a sample given in the presence of a staff member. Others believe that drinking large amounts of water will dilute the sample and the drugs will not be detected. Water passes through the body much too quickly to be effective. I have even heard of using ridiculous home remedies to beat urine tests. These remedies include aspirin, visine, ammonia, vinegar, bleach even Drano! How insane is that?

Saliva Testing

This form of drug screening is the least popular because it can only detect toxins used three or four days prior. Saliva tests can detect fresh elements of alcohol and drugs in the mouth.

Hair follicle Testing

My experience is that hair follicle testing is the most effective method of screening. Drugs can be detected with accuracy for a six month period after use. Toxins from the drug are stored in the hair root where they are easily detected. I have had applicants shave their heads to avoid giving a sample of hair. I would try to get samples from other parts of the body such as under the arm, the chest or more "sensitive" areas. I once had applicant shave his entire body. He was temporarily rejected for not having sufficient hair for a sample.

There are hundreds of detoxifying products on the market that promise that with their use, drugs will not be able to be detected. There products that claim that they can wash toxins out of the hair. Most of these are absolute scams. The rest have a very low success rate.

The best and most effective method I know of is very simple - Don't use drugs!

For more Job Search tips for ex-offenders visit http://www.jailtojob.com

Author's Bio: 

Eric Mayo specializes in professional and personal development with special emphasis on life skills and job readiness training. Eric has over 20 years of corporate and educational experience which he uses to help people improve the quality of their lives.

Eric has been studying, learning, applying and executing the art of personal achievement and leadership throughout his career. It is truly his passion and his gift. He combines a straightforward approach and real-world perspective with a presentation style that is inspirational and motivational. His primary message is, “Independence through Self-Reliance."

You can ask Eric a question about getting a job with a criminal record at How felons can get Jobs