Play ball! Shaken by allegations of rampant steroid use, major-league baseball begins its season with a twist this year: more-stringent drug testing. For many Americans, of course, on-the-job drug testing has been a regular feature of the workplace since the war on drugs was launched, in the 1970s. As drug tests have become more sophisticated over the years, entrepreneurs have developed increasingly inventive ways of beating them. Heads up, slugger: here are some of the products currently on the market. (The Atlantic makes no claims as to their efficacy.)
This is a carbohydrate-rich drink that is supposed to flush suspicious compounds out of urine. The instructions say to drink the entire sixteen-ounce bottle of Eclipse at least an hour before the test, then to drink "as much water as possible" and "urinate frequently." Cost: $22.95.
For "individuals with extreme toxin levels and/or extreme body size," the makers of Total Eclipse offer this thirty-two-ounce drink, which works in thirty minutes. Cost: $39.95.
The Randomizer is a urine additive, intended to beat surprise drug tests. "Just pour contents of the vial in your specimen cup and then add urine to sample. All Toxins will be eliminated in about 5 seconds …" Cost: $24.95.
The BioWash is an "herbal cleansing shampoo" to be used in preparation for hair-follicle drug tests. The company says that the "warm tingling sensation" will tell you it's working. Cost: $49.95.
The makers of this drug-cleansing treatment advertise that their product will both help you pass drug tests and make you look better: "Alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, methamphetamines, heroin, benzodiazepines" can "cause major damage to the structure and texture of the hair"; the afterBurner restores hair "to its natural state" and makes it "cleaner, healthier, shinier." Cost: $129.99.
"If you have a drug test coming up that you just cannot afford to fail, if you have children and house payments, and your livelihood depends on it," you need THC Maxout, say the manufacturers. The treatment regimen is not easy: it requires drinking four glasses of "Maxout liquid" and taking 200 "pre-cleanse" pills (washed down with 20 twelve-ounce glasses of juice) over the course of two days. Cost: $69.95.
What if your employer wants to test your saliva? Drop one of these easy-to-hide tablets into a glass of water, rinse, swallow, and repeat. The manufacturer advises you not to "smoke" between the time you finish the rinse cycle and the test. Cost: $30.00 for two tablets.
The Urinator consists of a short tube attached to a battery-heated plastic bag. Fill the bag with "clean" urine, warm the liquid to body temperature, stuff the bag in your pants, and you're ready to take the test—although the manufacturers advise that their product is not for beating drug tests but for "genetic privacy." Cost: $149.95.
The Whizzinator takes the Urinator one step further by replacing the tube with "a very realistic prosthetic penis" so that men can pass observed tests. To match skin color, the penises come in five natural shades. Though its makers claim the Whizzinator is foolproof, the actor Tom Sizemore was caught using one during a drug test in February. Cost: $150.00.