When you think of a failed drug test, the worst case scenario is usually just losing the position, right? Well, compared to how some drug tests end after “detoxification”, losing the job is preferable ten to nil.
Of all the bad advice on the internet on how to beat a drug test, using Niacin is by far the worst and most dangerous. If not for the lack of scientific evidence to support the anecdotal claims, it is for the inconsistency of information regarding its use.
A simple internet search of “recommended daily allowance of Niacin” delivers very conflicting results. Some sites claim 14 to 18 mg, others 250 mg, and others even have the audacity to claim up to 2000mg a day. Information on how to use, and the duration of use before the test also vary.
What these sites agree on, however, is the side effects. These are discussed further down this guide.
While it may be somewhat difficult to dispute claims of people using it to pass drug tests, there are usually some underlying conditions in these cases. Either they combined it with another method, or they quit smoking weeks to the test.
Nevertheless, most people don’t have this time. What is the tradeoff between the pros and cons of Niacin and will it help you pass your urine drug test? Read on to find out.
What is Niacin?
The first mention of the name Niacin was in 1937 when Conrad Elvehjem extracted it from the liver. It is a form of vitamin B3 which has been used for years to treat Niacin deficiency and hyperlipidemia.
This vitamin is biologically essential in that a deficiency can cause condition including diarrhea, pellagra, carcinoid syndrome and Hartnup disease. When taken in its natural form, it helps the body in more than 50 processes including converting carbohydrates to glue for energy and keeping our skin, eyes, and hair functioning properly.
It is only as a result of uncanny marketing that in the last couple of years, Niacin has gained a reputation as a detoxifier. Circumstantial claims portraying Niacin supplements “in the right dosage” could help beat a drug test. According to these claims, even if the drugs were recently ingested, the drug test will give negative results.
That said, however, there is no scientific and/or medical evidence to support these. On the contrary, most medical evidence seems to point away from the notion.
Why people think it will help them pass the test
For some reason, there is a typical tendency of people believing first-hand case examples as opposed to scientific facts. Whether it is because people don’t have enough access to scientific facts or they just feel more connected to a person who underwent the same condition as them, this has become the downfall of many.
The widely held belief by people who swear by Niacin is that during the flushing’ feeling, the body is getting rid of THC and all other toxins. Unbeknownst to them, however, is the cause of the feeling. It is caused by an increase in arachidonic acid, causing vasodilation in the skin.
Tests done to healthy people show that vasodilation does not happen everywhere in the body, so the fat tissue remains untouched. Even if it did, no evidence suggests it would lead to the elimination of THC as it is not really held by the fat; it can move freely between fat and blood.
Another prevalent belief is that since THC is found in stored fat, Niacin helps remove it by increasing the breakdown of fat. This, in turn, releases the metabolites and other toxins.
If that were true, wouldn’t Niacin be the number one weight loss product? Especially if you put into consideration the claims of working only in a matter of days?
To clear the air, reducing body fat is among the most effective ways of reducing metabolite levels, but it is only achievable through exercise and diet.
The internet is full of case examples of people who claim to have passed the test using Niacin. What most people fail to see, is that these cases have “desperate measures for desperate times” written all over them. A spontaneous drug test calls for desperate measures, understandably; but would you go over 150 times the recommended dosage and put your life/health in the line to keep it?
The other reason why people go for the drug despite the hundreds of informational pieces on the internet advising them otherwise is just that – the availability of the informational pieces. For every failed test, there is always someone who knows why you failed. Either you failed to take the right amount of water, or you did not take the right dosage, or you did not put the correct intervals…
But with all the inconsistencies in Niacin-related information, who is to say what is right and what is wrong?
What methods of use do websites recommend?
Though not entirely consistent, the information on how to use Niacin is something that most websites agree on. Although there are major variations on the amount you are supposed to ingest, at what intervals, and the length of time you should use to detoxify, generally, the concept is the same.
1. Discontinue drug use
All sources agree on stopping the drug intake at least 5 days to the test.
Some individuals have reported success by taking up to 2.5g of Niacin daily. Others have achieved it by taking a mere 0.25g. The recommended daily allowance, however, is just 0.014 to 0.018g. Most of these sources recommend taking them in 3 to 5 doses per day to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.
3, Water intake
Using Niacin will require you to take more than two gallons of water per day. To put things into perspective, the adequate intake of water per day is 0.18 gallons.
4, Duration of detoxification
There is heated debate on the duration of time one would need in order for Niacin to work. Some sources claim it can work in 24 hours, while others claim you will need at least 5 days for it to work.
During the drug test day, some sources recommend taking the supplement and a lot of water before the test. Others disagree with this notion and claim it only increases the chances of a positive result.
How Niacin can damage your life
In May 2011, The National Institutes of Health was forced to end a Niacin study 18 months earlier, after people who took 2g of the drug underwent more than double the strokes that other participants who never took the drug did.
The incessant spread of information promoting the use of Niacin to pass drug tests is baffling, considering the abundance of information pointing to the contrary. There are hundreds of reported case of people who become ill after using the drug and are rushed to the hospital to save their lives. These cases include those discussed below.
The short-term side effects of Niacin include fever, rashes, reddened skin, tachycardia, and vomiting.
The long-term side effects are direr and include gout, stomach ulcers, and loss of vision or liver damage. In a particular case, a 17-year-old was transferred to the ICU as he was suffering from acute liver failure. He initially denied any substance use but after probing and testing, he admitted to having used Niacin to mask the results of an approaching drug test.
In another, a 16-year-old patient, in an attempt to flush THC out of his body, took a whopping 13g of Niacin over a 48-hour duration. He suffered from chest and abdominal pains, severe diffuse myalgia, hypoglycemia, transaminitis, acidosis, and coagulopathy. He got better eventually, but only after 5 days of treatment.
I could go on and on listing the case examples of a Niacin experience gone bad till you get bored of reading. Fortunately, I won’t let it get to that. Assuming you have read this in depth, you already got the point I am trying to drive home. Further cases can be found here, here, and here.
Even in the right dosage, Niacin is not a drug I would recommend to anyone in my right mind. Whatever method you decide to detoxify with, make sure the information available on it is consistent and most importantly, accurate.