Notice: This information is not to be used for any illegal purposes and is provided as informational/entertainment only.

If you decide to serve your country and join the military, there are a few thing you should know. Included in the usual array of testing performed at the Military Entrance Processing Station, MEPS, is drug screening.

What to Expect

Heads Up: MEPS is the lab – You are tested on the spot

If you are familiar with urine drug screening procedure this may be very similar., The MEPS Drug test is performed almost identical to the standard UA (Urine Analysis). Once in the processing, you are asked a few standard questions by the technician then given a collection cup to fill with urine for testing.

Here’s the difference, unlike employment UA, where the specimen is sent off for testing. The MEPS facility is the lab.

Once you hand over your specimen, the screening begins. The technician will have made a handful of checks before they have even put the cup down. For example, the temperature strip is check as soon as you hand it off. A pH dipstick is dunked in, Creatine levels are tested then the sample is sealed and sent for GC/MS.

For employment the GC/MS is normally done if initial screening shows traces of drug metabolites. MEPS UA drug tests are performed fully, no matter what. Every urine sample collected at MEPS and screened thoroughly.

meps stationWhat does MEPS check for?

Just as any UA, the MEPS UA checks for the 5 mainly abused drugs: Cocaine, Marijuana, Amphetamines and Barbiturates, Opiates and PCP. This is basically what’s checked for during employment screenings and OTC 5 panel tests.

But, Keep this in mind. They are usually capable of testing for other substances and can at random include additional screening. This includes ecstasy, LSD, steroids and more commonly now, spice.

Cut off levels

The cut-off levels vary depending on the substance. This is due tot the fact that some drugs tend to linger in your system longer than others. This means that there is no standard cut off level for all drugs. Let’s look at a list of cut off levels for different drugs.

  • THC – 50 ng/ml
  • Cocaine – 150 ng/ml
  • Opiates – 2000 ng/ml ( 300 ng/ml Heroin)
  • Amphetamines – 500 ng/ml
  • Barbiturates – 200 ng/ml
  • LSD – .5 ng/ml
  • PCP – 25 ng/ml

Detection Windows

All drugs produce metabolites when ingested. Every associated metabolite stay in your system for an average amount of time. Some more than others depending on how they are stored in your body. Another major factor to think about is how often and how much was used.

Heads Up: The following times examples are “one time” use. Regular or chronic users can expect longer detox times.

Drug Detection Time Line:

  • Cocaine – 3 to 5 days
  • Marijuana – 1 to 3 weeks
  • Amphetamines – 2 to 4 days
  • Barbiturates / Opiates – 1 to 2 days
  • LSD – 1 to 2 days
  • PCP – 1 to 2 weeks

False Positives

Even though drug testing procedures and techniques are very advanced, False-Positives do happen. Also, false positives are way more common than you may think. If you believe that your results are inaccurate, demand a re-screening, It’s perfectly normal and acceptable.

How to Avoid False Positives

You can avoid any headaches by keeping your system totally clean of any drugs or medications. This includes everything from cough syrup to penicillin, even an OTC dietary supplement may cause issues. If you are taking medication prescribed by your doctor, let the technician know.

If for example, you have taken penicillin for any reason, in the past month. Bring in the script and show the technician. They may or may not make note of it. At times, the technician may take note and decide to go a different route when testing the UA.

recruiter military

Your Recruiter is There to Help

It’s important to understand the role of the recruiter. Their main purpose is to bring in recruits, it is even measured as a metric of performance. Use this information to your advantage, the recruiter’s job is to get sign-up, the more new recruits that enter, the better they do.

They not only want you to sign up, they want you to be successful at all the MEPS. This includes your drug screening.

Heads Up: Be honest and upfront from the start with your recruiter

Two Terms That You Must Understand

  1. Experimental Use
  2. PDQ – Permanently Disqualified

First, what is “ Experimental Use” ? As defined by the military, “Experimentally use” means that y have dabbled with any drug less than 3 times.

PDQ, is a term used for an individual that has been marked as un-recruit-able. Basically, blacklisted for whatever reason.

WARNING! : This is a fine line that must be respected during any communication with your recruiter, no matter how good of a relationship you have developed. If at any point you make a comment, even in confidence with your recruiter that deems you PDQ, the recruiters hands are tied!. The recruiter cannot knowingly allow a possible PDQ recruited advance!

So, what makes you a PDQ? There are many things that can deem you PDQ. In this context anyone that has used drugs more than what’s defined as “Experimental Use”. Basically, if you believe that you may possibly fail the UA test, its OK to ask for advice if you have only experimented.

If you have a history of use, example more than 3x, it should not be mentioned unless specifically asked. Even then, less is more. The recruiter may decide you need time to detox and ask you to come back at a later time or decide to test you. At that point they may even support you through detoxing. Helping you make the right decision.

The “Honest” relationship you develop with your recruiter is not possible with any other MEPS officials.

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