Only in America! Last week a life-like prosthetic penis called the Whizzinator and other products promising to help illegal drug users pass urine tests provoked US lawmakers to take legal action with subpoenas of manufacturers.

Lawmakers objected to attempts to circumvent drug tests with products such as the Whizzinator, a fake penis that can provide a flow of clean urine again and again, any time, anywhere you need it! according to the website

Each year I get many calls from people inquiring just how long certain substances stay in the body. Usually these callers are going for a job where a drug test is compulsory.

Railway employees are one group who have recently joined a range of other occupations where testing has become mandatory.

An individual’s exposure to drugs can be measured in a number of ways (e.g. blood, hair, urine and breath analysis).

Breath testing is usually used to assess alcohol use. Urine testing is the more common test for other drugs and the reason why the Whizzinator has obviously been created.

In some cases the tester will actually watch the urine flow to ensure that the sample given has not been tampered with or has been sourced from somewhere else.

The rationale for workplace drug testing is that drug use impairs work performance (e.g. lowers productivity; increases accident risk) and the proper concern of employers, unions and employees is to reduce such risk.

Drug testing is proposed as a way of preventing use and detecting impairment.

However, there is now the belief that urine testing merely detects whether a person has been exposed to a drug in the recent past. It does not detect impairment.

Usually urine tests measure the presence of drug metabolites, not the actual drugs themselves.

Metabolites of some drugs can be detected several days after exposure. For example, amphetamines may be detected one or two days after exposure, while cannabis may be detected weeks after exposure.

MDMA or ecstasy can be detected in urine tests for two to five days after use. This depends mainly on the size of the last dose taken, as every six hours the amount in your body is halved.

So a 120mg dose taken at midnight would reduce to 60mg by 6am; 30mg by midday and so on down to 1mg in less than 48 hours. However, if more than one tablet is taken, it is possible that some may be stored in body fat and will be released gradually.

Here are some estimated times it would take for a clean urine result:

— amphetamines 2-4 days
— cannabis 3-30 days
— cocaine 2-4 days
— ecstasy 1-3 days
— LSD 1-4 days

This is a guide only. Drugs affect people in different ways and the time it takes an individual to excrete drug metabolites can depend on a number of factors.

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