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Drug Testing
by Erowid
Tested for in Standard Drug Tests?
Tested for in Extended Drug Tests?
Possible to Test for?
Detection Period in Urine
12-24 hrs

Urine Testing
The first thing to know about GHB and drug tests is that neither GHB nor its metabolites (the substances it is broken down into by the body) are tested for in the standard drug test. The basic drug test, currently used for nearly all testing programs (corporate, school, sports & judicial), checks for 5 types of substances

  1. Cannabinoids (marijuana, hash)
  2. Cocaine (cocaine, crack, benzoylecognine)
  3. Amphetamines (amphetamines, methamphetamines, speed)
  4. Opiates (heroin, opium, codeine, morphine)
  5. Phencyclidine (PCP)
Even the extended drug tests used by most companies do not test for the presence of GHB or its metabolites. We have heard from one individual who went in for a standard drug test while under the influence of GHB. He passed with no problem. For more information on the basic and extended drug tests...see the Drug Testing Vault.

Detection Period
It is, however, technically possible to detect GHB with a drug test, but only for a very short period after use. Nearly all of the metabolites are gone from the body within the first 24 hours. Because they are so uncommon, these tests are much more expensive to give than the basic test. We have never heard of an individual being tested for GHB without a very specific reason to think they have it in their system, as would be the case with someone who believes they were given GHB by someone else (some date rape cases) and in some autopsy).

Substances or Conditions which can cause false positives
Spontaneous Production of GHB by Urine: In 2007 LeBeau et al. reported the apparent spontaneous production of GHB by urine in refrigerated samples. They repeatedly tested GHB levels in urine stored at 5 degrees C, and "[s]ignificant elevations in GHB were observed in many of the urine samples as storage time increased". GHB drug tests performed on stored urine samples may therefore be unreliable. Samples increased by as much as 13 times the amount detected when the samples were first tested.

False Positives in Field Tests
Some field test for GHB give false positives in the presence of soaps. One man, musician JM Giorsetti, was arrested and jailed after the police tested his Dr Bronner's brand soap and their GHB field test (NarcoPouch 928 GHB field test made by ODV Inc) showed a positive result. He was later released and charges dropped. See: Police Arrest and Jail Man After False Positive Test for GHB on his Dr Bronner's Soap, Apr 2007, NBC4.TV.

DR Bronner's soaps published a brief article and video describing the problem, in May 2007. They state the "NarcoPouch 928 field drug tests... will always give a false-positive for the drug GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate) if used on any true natural soap.".

Erowid's drug testing information is a summary of data gathered from site visitors, journal articles, websites, and other resources. Detection periods depend on amount and frequency of use, metabolic rate, body mass, age, overall health, drug tolerance, and urine pH of each individual. Many substances that are not tested for in basic or extended urinalysis tests CAN be tested for by a laboratory willing to go to the trouble, although that is uncommon.