Does Walgreens Drug Test?

walgreens drug test

Do you work at Walgreens? Are you thinking about applying for a job there, but have concerns about their drug testing policy? Many stores subject potential employees to drug tests as part of a pre-screening process, whereas others keep workers on their toes with random testing.

Walgreens is tight-lipped about its drug-testing policy, but online comments from employees suggest they do carry out drug tests. Walgreens appears to use a combination of urine screening and mouth swab (saliva) testing. It is unclear whether Walgreens prioritizes certain regions for testing, or if the system is completely random.

I’ve searched the web for everything I could find about Walgreens and drug tests. In this post, I’ll bring together the most crucial details, and give you some advice on how to go about passing different types of drug tests.

Who are Walgreens?

Walgreen Company, or Walgreens, is one of America’s largest pharmacy chains, with thousands of stores nationwide. Founded by Charles Rudolph Walgreen in Chicago in 1901, Walgreens stocks a range of health and wellness goods and fills prescriptions, too.

Drug Tests at Walgreens

Your likelihood of getting drug tested at Walgreens appears to depend on your position within the company. If you’re working in a cashier role, there’s no guarantee you will face a drug test.

However, those in pharmacy positions should expect to be tested. After all, if you’re involved with filling prescriptions, many of which will be for controlled substance medications, Walgreens needs to know you’re fit for work. They can’t risk customers being given the wrong drugs or incorrect dosages.

Employees working in leadership positions may also be subject to drug testing – it is unknown how frequently these employees get tested.

But it’s hard to say how regularly Walgreens may check you. According to /u/sprinklee17 in this Reddit post, those in pharmacy roles are only tested once a job offer has been accepted and not during the application phase.

I like this approach since it gives you a chance to get your affairs in order once you’ve received a guarantee of employment. Of course, your chance of a clean test still depends on the substances you use, which we will touch more on later.

It’s also worth noting that not all states allow random drug testing, considering it a breach of civil liberties. Random testing is limited or restricted in California, Montana, New Jersey, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and more. 

A handful of cities and counties have also clamped down on random testing. Check the laws where you live to make sure you know your rights as an employee! While employers would love to keep tabs on you 24/7, some lawmakers have correctly said no.

What drug tests does Walgreens use?

From what I can tell, Walgreens prefers to use a mouth swab (i.e., a saliva test) where possible. These tests are becoming the first choice for a growing number of employers, who find them more convenient and efficient than classic urine tests.

But “where possible” is the key phrase. A few states do not permit the use of mouth swabs for drug tests. If you work at a Walgreens in Tennessee, Maine, Connecticut, or the US territory of Puerto Rico, you’ll face a urine or hair follicle test, instead. 

What Substances Show Up on Walgreens Drug Tests?

While official information is unsurprisingly lacking, it looks as if Walgreens conducts extensive testing. Therefore, they most likely use a 9-panel drug test.

A 9-panel test can detect the following: amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana, methadone, methamphetamine, opiates, and PCP. That covers most bases, although it is notable that tests don’t look for kratom.

Does delta-8 show up on a drug test?

Delta-8 is the best alternative to marijuana if recreational pot is not legal where you live. It produces psychoactive effects and sensations of euphoria comparable to those from THC. 

While delta-8 is not banned at the federal level and does not meet a legal definition of marijuana, it is detectable in drug tests. Standard 9-panel tests searching for tetrahydrocannabinols cannot tell the difference between delta-8 and THC.

Delta-8 is a tetrahydrocannabinol, and its metabolite is almost chemically identical to THC. If you have enough delta-8 in your system at the time of the test, it will return a positive result for marijuana.

The same applies to delta-10, another hemp-derived legal high, although we don’t know yet about HHC. A few people claim they have passed drug tests with HHC in their system, although there is no way to verify that.

I suggest being as cautious with delta-8, delta-10, and HHC products as you are with regular weed. Even though these three compounds are legal, they still get you stoned, and you may find it tricky to make your case to an employer if you test positive.

Does Walgreens test for kratom? 

kratom powder

There are no indications that Walgreen tests for kratom, even with the Southeast Asian substance’s expanding profile. Kratom produces opiate-like effects and can be used recreationally, but it’s also an emerging natural substitute to painkillers.

Typical 9-panel drug tests won’t flag up kratom use. However, drug tests for kratom do exist, and nothing is stopping an employer from making you take one.

That said, you should be okay, providing you are discreet. The costs of a company like Walgreens conducting a test specifically for kratom would be too high. Unless they have reason to believe that you are using kratom and it is an issue, I wouldn’t worry.

But what if I’m taking prescription drugs?

Maybe you have an opiate painkiller prescription or take amphetamine-based stimulant medication. Several types of prescription meds could trigger a positive drug test since they also have abuse and recreational potential.

Employers like Walgreens are aware of this, and it will not be a problem providing you have the necessary prescription documentation to back up your case. Employers aren’t trying to falsely frame the innocent with their testing procedures! 

How Long do Drugs Remain Detectable in the Body?

Different drugs remain in the body for different lengths of time. Prepare for your Walgreens drug test by ensuring you know long various illicit substances remain detectable.

Marijuana: THC metabolites may be detectable in urine samples for up to 30 days and hair follicles for up to 90 days. However, THC typically clears from saliva samples within three days.

Opiates: Most opiate-based drugs can only be detected in urine for up to two days – although this extends to one week for heroin. Opiate metabolites linger in your saliva for up to four days but will stick around in your hair for several months.

Benzodiazepines: Xanax and valium can show up in urine samples for up to 10 and 30 days after consumption. Benzos remain detectable in saliva for around two days and in hair follicles for up to three months. 

Methadone: The methadone detection window in urine lasts for 14 days after intake. However, methadone only stays in saliva for two days. In hair follicles, methadone use won’t show for at least two weeks but can then be picked up for many months.

PCP: PCP first appears in urine between four to six hours after consumption, staying detectable for a fortnight. The substance remains in saliva for up to 72 hours and in hair follicles for two to three months. 

Barbiturates: These sedative-hypnotic drugs linger in urine for an unusually lengthy six weeks. However, barbiturates should no longer be detectable in saliva and hair follicles after three days and three months respectively. 

Cocaine: There’s a reason cocaine is a commonly-used recreational substance – it clears quickly. Cocaine metabolites only stay in urine for three days and disappear from saliva samples within two. But it does remain in your hair for many months.

Methamphetamines: For most users, urine samples can pick up methamphetamine use for five days – although the detection window extends for chronic consumers. Meth stays in saliva for one to four days and in hair for up to 90 days.

Amphetamines: Amphetamines like Adderall and Dexedrine linger in urine and saliva for around five days. But the typical three-month window applies for hair follicle samples. 

Types of Drug Tests

I mentioned earlier that Walgreens prefers urine and saliva (mouth swab) samples when testing employees. Let’s run through how each test works. I’ve also added hair samples – while unlikely, you can’t rule them out entirely!


You will be asked to urinate in a cup, with a 5 or 9-panel strip then submerged into the urine. If the Control and Test lines appear on each strip, you’re all good!


Mouth swab tests have become more common because they are cheap to administer, easy to use, and less invasive than urine samples.

The efficient process generally takes place on-site. The tester will swab your mouth and the results should be available within a few minutes.


Some employers like hair follicle tests because drugs remain detectable for many months after you’ve used them. I think this goes overboard, and I haven’t heard of Walgreens taking hair samples, but it’s always possible.

The collector usually cuts around 100 hairs from your head, of around ½ inch length. Don’t worry, they won’t take them all from the same place! 

The sample then gets packed off and sent to a lab for analysis, with negative tests confirmed within 24 hours. A positive drug test may take 72 hours to confirm, with the sample undergoing multiple checks if the result is unclear.

How to Pass a Drugs Test

If you enjoy partaking in marijuana or any other illicit substances during your time off work, you’ll need a plan to keep you in the clear if you’re subjected to a random drug test.

You could attempt a genuine detox and try cleaning out your system naturally. But if that’s not feasible, your best bet is to invest in a synthetic urine product, so you can provide a fake sample if the need arises.

First, I’d like to go through some natural detox tips, before giving you some advice on what to look for in a synthetic urine product.

Cleansing your system to pass a drug test

I always recommend making the effort to clean your system naturally. Even if you are a regular recreational drug user, a brief detox period could make all the difference, especially if the employer uses a low-sensitivity test.

The amount of time a drug stays in your system varies depending on age, sex, weight, and overall physical health. 

You could also try flushing your system out by drinking lots of water on the day of the test. However, an excessively diluted urine sample might make an employer even more suspicious. You may be better served with a detox drink or pill. 

Detox drinks: These are hit-and-miss, but some people have had fantastic results from them. Detox drinks speed up the body’s natural detoxing process and can help flush THC metabolites from your system fast.

But you need to time it right. Detox drinks only work for a few hours, and some brands require you to take them as close as one hour before your test.

Detox pills: Another intriguing approach to clearing marijuana from your system, detox pills work more gradually. Most detox pill packs come with tablets, a small amount of detox fluid, and dietary fiber. I think these are unnecessarily complex.

Using Synthetic urine to pass a drug test

If you know that there is no chance you can pass a test with a real urine sample, consider investing in some synthetic pee. You’ll need a high-quality product with urea, creatinine, uric acid, and other ingredients found in urine.

Synthetic urine that is verifiably fake could land you in even more hot water than a plain positive sample. But providing your synthetic pee product is good enough, it will get you out of the tightest of jams.

And you can get discreet synthetic urine products, too – check out the Whizzinator, which comes with a prosthetic penis! It’s a priceless add-on if you’re required to take a sample on-site under the close watch of an inspector. 

Tim Rosenberger
Hey there! I'm Tim, the founder, and author of Too Slick. I created this blog to share my passion for all things related to family, home improvement, health, drug education, and more, with a focus on making your life easier. My goal is to help you lead a healthier, happier life by providing practical tips and insights. Let's learn together and have some fun!


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