Tricks to pass drug tests are like cures for the hiccups - there are many to choose from and some are spectacularly dumb.
A report in the November issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine described four cases of people becoming ill after taking massive amounts of vitamin B3 (niacin) to rid themselves of incriminating chemicals.
According to legend, the dietary supplement will cause every trace of illegal substances to disappear overnight, but established recreational drug references, including Erowid, warn that it does not work and can cause health problems.
Apparently, the four emergency room patients did not do their homework before trying the folk remedy. All of them suffered from itching, a burning sensation, and a rash. One of them had symptoms far more severe than the others.
Concerned that his parole officer would give him a drug test, a 14-year-old boy popped eleven huge tablets of extended-release niacin. After becoming dizzy, suffering heart palpitations, and vomiting several times, he was brought to a hospital.
Lab tests showed that his body fluids were too acidic, liver was in danger of failure, and blood sugar was unusually high. His urine contained alarming levels of chemicals called ketones.
Initially, the doctors misdiagnosed him with a severe diabetic reaction and gave him insulin. That treatment got his blood sugar under control, but he remained in the hospital for several more days.
On the third day of his visit, the physicians checked his urine for drugs. Despite his risky efforts, the kid still tested positive for marijuana.
Manoj Mittal, a doctor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and his colleagues from two other medical establishments warned that as drug testing becomes more common, so will incidents of niacin poisoning. A second paper in the same journal mentioned that sixteen people in Colorado had called poison control centers last year after taking excessive amounts of the vitamin to detox before a drug test.