Here are some of the common ways applicants or employees try to cheat on their urine drug test, and ways to prevent it.
Diluting the specimen - Donors will either drink a large volume of water prior to the test or add water, products or chemicals to the urine. (Test results will come back "Dilute" and most employers will have the applicant repeat the test.)
Substitution - It has become increasingly common for applicants to sneak in a synthetic urine, or someone else's urine to substitute the specimen. During the chain of custody process the donor is required to empty all pockets, so the substitute specimen may be hidden beneath clothes or taped to the body.
Oxidizing adulterants - According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) an oxidizing adulterant is a substance that acts alone or in combination with others to oxidize drugs or drug metabolites in order to prevent detection in the sample. Examples of oxidizing agents are bleach, iodine, peroxide, nitrites and other chemicals which the donor may add to the specimen while in the restroom stall. Lab will report results as "adulterated".
So what is an employer to do?
First, make sure your laboratory is SAMHSA-certified (Occuscreen uses only SAMHSA-certified labs) and that the collection site strictly follows chain of custody procedures to help control the possibility of substitution/adulteration.
Laboratories such as Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp use Specimen Validity Testing to detect substitution, adulteration or dilution, which will disqualify the analysis from being completed.
If you continue to get dilute and adulterated specimens within your applicant or employee pool, consider switching to lab-analyzed oral fluids drug testing.
An oral fluid specimen is collected on-site, witnessed, and sent to the laboratory for analysis. Substituted or adulterated specimens are not an issue as the collection is witnessed by a manager following chain of custody procedures. Consumption of fluids prior to the test does not affect the specimen. The donor is also supervised for 10 minutes prior to the collection and not allowed to drink, eat, chew gum or smoke during that time, to ensure a clean specimen.
If you have concerns about drug test cheating, please contact us with your questions. We are happy to discuss the options with you!