The Lab-Based Oral Fluid Testing Solution
A Common Problem
People who deal with drug testing are full of stories about people trying to cheat their drug test. Clinics and drug treatment centers are no stranger to these sometimes absurd antics. Defending against the various ways people cheat to pass a drug test is an ongoing battle. Clinics, pain management and treatment centers that conduct drug testing must be aware of the many ways samples can be tampered with. With a quick internet search, people can access thousands of websites that focus on the many ways drug users can pass their upcoming drug test. These resources offer everything from free targeted advice on the best ways to beat certain types of tests, sell products, additives, and even synthetic urine.
Many drug abusers have become highly competent and continue to come up with new ways to beat a drug test, especially when the stakes are high. Knowing what the cheaters know and evolving your programs testing protocol is critical.
Common Cheating Methods
The dilution method requires the user to consume large amounts of liquid (water, juice, etc.) leading up to the drug test, with the goal to dilute the drug concentration. Although a diluted urine sample does not automatically mean the individual is a drug user, the specimen will usually be reported by a laboratory as an unfit sample for testing.
The substitution method is self-explanatory in that it is just the substitution of one person’s urine with that of someone (or something) else’s. This method can pose complications for the cheater, however it may cause the urine to be visually dirty or the container used to store the substituted urine might break or leak. To avoid these complications, products and advice is readily available online.
This method is carried out by the person hiding a container of concealed urine to dump out into a sample cup. This method requires the donor to keep the sample warm within an acceptable temperature range, while also pouring the urine out quietly without the collector knowing. People looking to pass their test may use condoms or other more advanced container styles with flexible tubes to hide the container and dispense the urine even under supervision. Even more extreme scenarios have been taken by cheaters emptying their bladders and having substituted urine injected directly into their bladders via a needle.
With the adulteration or additive method, the user adds something to the urine, typically after they have personally voided their own specimen. Common additives include bleach, vinegar, eye drops, dish soap, and even drain cleaners. There are also a variety of products that claim to interfere with the testing process/results.
• There are countless websites (approximately 27+ million) on the Internet that offer products that claim to help people successfully cheat on a drug test. There are just as many websites that offer advice about how to mask the presence of drugs in a person’s urine.
• If you’re in the business of administering drug tests, these websites can be an invaluable resource. You can learn a lot just by reading what they have to say about adulterants, dilution methods and substitution techniques.
• In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans above the age of 12 were current (past month) illicit drug users.
• Why so much drug testing? Because drug testing ensures medication adherence, program compliance, prevents dangerous drug interactions and ultimately, provide better care to the patient.
Is Oral Fluid Testing The Answer?
Although people continue to attempt new and creative ways to beat a test, there are many things clinics and treatment providers can do to minimize, if not eliminate, the cheaters’ chances of success. With advancements in science, more and more clinical based drug testing programs are moving to oral fluid testing to overcome the problems associated with people cheating their test.
Oral fluid drug testing makes for a valuable addition to drug testing methods. Oral fluid testing is 100% observed and offers an ideal solution that is less invasive than other methods of testing. Direct observation during collection allows testing to be administered anytime and anywhere, drastically reducing the opportunity for tampering and use of adulteration products. Because of these benefits, oral fluid testing is considered a tamper-resistant testing method and almost impossible to cheat.
Lab-Based Oral Fluid Drug Testing
Our CAP Forensic accredited laboratory offers fast, accurate and customized solutions for clinical practices including; pain management, mental health, chemical dependency/treatment facilities, primary care and OB/GYN among others. We combine state of the art, highly sensitive LC-MS/MS instrumentation with reliable methodology to ensure fast and accurate results.