Drug Test Diary: My Buddy, Liebowitz
By Mike Finn
Monday the 1st
My buddy Liebowitz had to take a drug test and he’s freaking out. He posted his panic on Facebook.
“So, I have a job offer one hour from New York for a position that pays $66,000. per year writing and editing arts coverage. I really want this job. I start in three weeks but I have to pass a drug test before that. I did not know the test was coming. Weed is all I am worried about. I am not up for sneaking in with a urine sample. Can I pass just by drinking tons of diet Pepsi and not smoking for a few days? They test for the things used to cheat the test. It is urine.”
I’ve known Liebowitz for years. Great writer, nice guy; but he’s kind of a wus and a worrier. I failed my first two drug tests before I passed my next eight. When I saw his post I gave him a call. We talked for about an hour while I tried to calm him down, but Liebowitz was bouncing off the inside of his head. I thought couldn’t get him to relax, but later that night around 2:00 a.m. I got a long text from Liebowitz.
1:58am from Liebowitz: “Thanks Mark! Even talking to you made me feel much better. The test I am taking: ‘UR drug screening 35105N SAP 550/NIT [Liebowitz]’ See, I am so stressed about this I can’t even spell my name right! Last night I thought I was having a heart attack…
Tuesday the 2nd
The next day after work, I went to see my friend and told him that his Diet Pepsi idea was an urban legend and wouldn’t work. Water could work – lots of water chugged in a very short time followed by frequent pissing to clean out your bladder is called a dilution – but I wouldn’t recommend it. They can check for dilutions just like they can check for the additives. “You never really know what they’re checking for,” I said.
Liebowitz, on the other hand, was looking for a guarantee – except when it comes to passing a drug test, there are no guarantees. It’s all about beating the odds. I told Liebowitz what I thought he should do, but he didn’t listen. “I’m not up for sneaking in a urine sample,” he repeated, and I wasn’t going to argue with him. It was his job on the line, not mine. He said he wanted to try one of those detox drinks that he read about online.
“Do they work?”
“Sometimes yes. Sometimes no,” I told him. “It depends on how much you smoke, the quality of your weed, how much you weigh, how long since you last got high and the kind of drug test you’re going to take.”
Liebowitz looked frightened. “It’s complicated,” I said. “There’s a lot of moving parts. When do you take the test?”
“They said they would give me a call, and I’d have twenty-four hours notice.”
“Okay. That’s good. You smoke a lot of weed, is that it?”
“Yeah. I’ve smoked every day for years. And I smoke good weed too.”
I glanced over at my friend and saw a short guy with glasses in his late twenties with a butterball body and a tight Jew fro. He was, perhaps, twenty pounds overweight.
“THC gets lodged in body’s fat cells,” I told him. “They’re looking for THC.”
“I knew that,” Liebowitz said.
“Yeah, but did you know that THC can stay in your fat cells for up to thirty days or more.”
“Looking at you now… with all that weed you smoke… You’re going to fall in the “or more” category, bro.
“Definitely. Sure you don’t want to just switch your piss?
“Yeah. I want to do the drink.”
“Okay. It’s your funeral. Well, if your gonna go with the drink the first thing you have to do – right now; this very minute – is stop smoking weed.” And I reached over and took the bong out of his hand.
“Hey, hey! Whoa! Whoa!” He scrambled to get it back, but I pulled it out of his reach.
“I’m serious, dude! If you want to use one of those detox drinks or even one of those additives, the first thing you have to do is stop getting high.”
“What?!!” He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, he knew he was going to have to stop smoking before his test, but he thought that was going to be sometime in the future if he thought about it at all.
“You didn’t think this was going to be easy, did you? If you want to use the drink, you have to put as much time as possible between getting high and unzipping your fly.”
Liebowitz was stunned as he watched me pluck a healthy pinch of Champagne Diesel out of his baggie and put it in the bowl.
“What are you doing?”
I pulled the bong up to my mouth, flicked the Bic and said, “I’m not taking a drug test.” I lit the bowl, took a long hit and exhaled a large cloud. “Damn! That is good pot.”
“Help me look for one of those detox drinks online,” Liebowitz asked.
“Okay, okay,” I agreed. “You know, they’re not really detox drinks. They don’t detoxify you. That’s why you’re dirty after five hours. Look at the instructions. After you drink the bottle you have to chase it with a boatload of water. It’s just a dilution. The bottle has some minerals and things in it that you would expect to find in piss and some Vitamin B to bring back the color; but basically it’s just a dilution. And, as I’ve said, they can check for dilutions. You don’t know what they’re going to check for.
“But people do get over using this stuff, right?”
“Sometimes yes and sometimes no. I passed my first test using a detox drink called Ready Clean Detoxify, and I failed my second test using the exact same thing. Positive test rates are deeply held company secrets. You just don’t know if what they claim is true so you need to find a company with reliable track record you can trust. After I failed, I found one.”
But I lost Liebowitz on the words “I passed.” He ran to his computer and bought a Ready Clean Detoxify for $25.00 plus shipping & handling. The last thing I said before I left him that night was “Remember. No more dabs until you pass your test.”
“No worries, man,” he said breezily,” I got this.” I think there’s half a chance he hit his rig right after I walked out the door.
Friday the 5th
The product arrived at his house within thirty hours. It came in a 16-oz plastic bottle and the instructions required you to drink the drink, refill with water, drink that water and then, according to the instructions, “Continue to drink plenty of water throughout the day to extend your cleansing program for hours” A dilution, by any other name. He put the bottle on his bathroom shelf, stopped smoking for real and waited for a call to action.
Tuesday the 9th
4:04pm from Liebowitz: “I have zero appetite since my sudden change of behavior. Should I make myself eat normal? Thanks again for your advice help and whatever diluting magic you can send.”
4:05pm from Mike Finn: “Yes. Eat normal.”
Wednesday the 10th
Twenty hours later I got another text.
12:07pm: from Liebowitz: Mike, I read online that I can drug test myself to see if I’m clean. Should I do that???
12:09pm: from Mike Finn: “Sure. Why not?” I texted back. “Knowledge is power.” But what I was thinking was, “It’s not the same test!”
Thursday the 11th
The next morning I received an early morning text:
7:07am from Liebowitz: “Hi Mike, I am up having many wonderful servings of water…”
Liebowitz went to an overnight drug store and bought a home test kit.
9:30am from Liebowitz: “Just took my first at home practice test and totally failed…More water!”
Monday the 22nd
The call came eleven days later. He hadn’t smoked for almost three weeks, and he had to take a drug test in the morning. Liebowitz spent the early morning hours before sunrise pacing, chugging and pissing. Just before he went to the test, I got a text:
Tuesday the 23rd – FIRST TEST DAY
“Hi Mike! I’m going in now! Thank you!!!! Wish me luck!”
I didn’t hear from him again for a few days until I got this text:
Thursday the 25th
4:49pm from Liebowitz: Hey Mike. I am too dirty. I did the test run with the detox drink which burned my stomach, made snot come from my nose, cleared my bowls, and I still flunked the home test. So, I called them and said if they want a drug test from me, I needed more time to study for it. They moved my hire date for another thirty days and they are going to send me back for the drug test as soon as I tell them I will pass. I checked again yesterday and failed again. My body must be entirely made of metabolites after all these years. But, hopefully, this time next week or the week after I will finally be clean enough to pass. Thanks for the help and the honest assessment of my chances. The good news is that they still want me, and assuming I eventually pass, I will soon be gainfully employed and once again gleefully stoned. Thanks for all your help.
5:05pm from Mike: Sorry, bro. We tried. So you’re going to try a natural detox. With enough time we can do anything. Let me know how long it takes you to get yourself clean. Otherwise, I love the part in the story where you admit that you will have to “study” more for your drug test. And they still want you! All’s well that ends well, my friend. Stay away from the weed and enjoy the vivid bizarre dreams that cannabis detoxification will produce.
5:15pm from Liebowitz: I am actually taking a test every day since they are only $12, and I am curious myself how long it will take. I haven’t smoked in over three weeks, and I failed my most recent test this morning. As soon as I pass, I plan to go back to failing!
And I thought, I wouldn’t trust a $12. test.
Sunday the 28th
11:40am from Liebowitz: Howdie, Mike, FYI I failed another practice test yesterday, but I feel like I am beginning to see the trace of the pass line if not the actual line.
Monday the 29th
12:24pm from Liebowitz: Today if you squint, you can almost see a line:
Wednesday the 31st
Then he sent me a text with a photo of the test line:
12:27pm from Liebowitz: I would almost call today a pass. What do you think?
12:29pm from Mike Finn: I think the picture is fuzzy.
Twenty-four minutes later…
12:51pm from Liebowitz: Hey Mike, I went on a drug test website and asked the helpline: “The Drug Line is lighter than the Control Line. Does this mean some drug is present?” The answer was, “No. Any line next to the word Drug or the drug abbreviation (depending on the test you have purchased), no matter how dark or light, is considered a Negative Result and no further testing is required.” It looks like I’ve been passing. I am thinking I would give it to Monday and go for the real thing. It all depends if the light lines really do pass. Advice?
12:53pm from Mike Finn: I’m not sure, but I think they use a different drug test platform. Drug test companies start with a cheap initial immunoassay to screen for the general presence of the drugs and only use the more expensive gas chronograph test to confirm a positive result. They’re supposed to do the second test but a lot of private companies don’t to save money. So, you’re looking at a $12. home drug test kit. Right? I ‘d wait. It’s like sex: longer is better
12:49pm from Liebowitz: So I should wait longer and not take Monday?
1:03pm from Mike Finn: How long have you been away from weed?
11:13pm from Liebowitz: 27 days
11:14pm from Mike Finn: And you’re going in without Detox, right?
11:14pm from Liebowitz: Right. I am passing the home test with just lots of water.
11:23pm from Mike Finn: You’re probably very close to acing the whiz quiz, bro, but it’s a judgment call. It’s gotta be your decision. I’m going to sleep.
11:24pm from Liebowitz: Sleep well and thanks!
Monday the 5th
Five days later I got a text in the middle of the afternoon.
2:41pm from Liebowitz: I failed! Damn! I think I must be made out of THC metabolites! Anyway, I told them I there must be some mistake and the supervisor laughed and said, “Looks like you didn’t study hard enough.” He marked down that I dispute the test and offered to let me take one more test in two weeks. It turns out the job wants me as much as I want the job, and I got one more chance to get it. Just one.
2:43 from Mike Finn: What do you want to do?
2:45 from Liebowitz: Let’s do synthetic urine!
“Good idea!” I answered without sarcasm. I went over to his house later that night, and he was already hitting the rig. “Yep,” he said bleary-eyed. “I see it now. It’s got to be a substitution.”
As with everything else, quality is the key. Quality synthetic urine will look like the real thing, smell like the real thing, froth like it and have all the components and minerals you would expect to find in real piss. The PH levels and the specific gravity will be correct. There’s a lot of options but after looking around with all this in mind, we decided to go with Monkey Whizz, and Liebowitz has never regretted that choice