While the employers are establishing drug testing more mandatory, people using or misusing drugs are finding different ways to falsify their drug testing results. Some people use the dilution method and some substitution method. One such substitution method is using fake pee or synthetic urine.
Employers usually prefer urine drug testing method since it is noninvasive and economical. Drug users initially tried various methods such as diluting the urine or adding adulterants to the urine sample in order to evade drug testing. Subsequently, many people started using fake pee or synthetic urine, which has the tendency to alter the drug screening results.
Due to the increased drug use and positive results for drugs on drug testing, people have started using synthetic or fake urine to elude the drug test. Different kinds of devices and fake urine refills are available in the market. Many companies manufacture these products and usually commercialize with unusual tactics.
Of note, selling fake urine explicitly to pass a drug test is forbidden by law and punishable in many states of America.
Table of Contents
- Risks of Using Fake Pee And Preventing Adulteration
- What is Synthetic Urine?
- Is Synthetic Urine or Fake Pee Legal?
- Does Fake Pee Falsify Drug Test?
- Dilution Method
- Adulteration Method
- Substitution Method
- How is Fake Urine Obtained?
- Fake Urine Products
- How to Prevent Adulteration?
What is Synthetic Urine?
Synthetic urine or fake urine or laboratory urine is an artificially prepared chemical substance that mimics real human urine. These substances have the appearance, color, smell, chemical composition and properties similar to human urine. Synthetic urine generally contains creatinine, urea, ammonia, uric acid and sulfates. It also comprises pH level and specific gravity that is similar to human urine.
The synthetic urine was mainly created for testing purposes. These were used to test the effect of urine on products such as cleaning agents, diapers, mattresses and medical instruments. Synthetic urine is also used for experimentation purposes in scientific researches and alternative medicine as well as in drug testing to ameliorate the efficiency of testing.
Due to the legality and accessibility of many drugs, more and more people are becoming susceptible, thus increasing the positivity for drugs during the screening process. Therefore, people have started using synthetic or fake urine to alter their drug testing results.
Fake pee is available in common forms such as dried powders and premixed solutions. The potency of these forms expires with time and therefore it is necessary to replace the unused kits. Fake pee is often used by drug users to avoid a non-negative result in drug testing despite the risks for detection.
Is Synthetic Urine or Fake Pee Legal?
The legality of the synthetic or fake urine varies among states. It has been banned in 18 states from manufacturing, selling or using synthetic urine to fake drug tests. There has been prosecution against one seller in South Carolina for selling synthetic urine to pass a drug test.
Companies manufacturing and selling synthetic or fake urine promote their product in a tactful manner to dodge state and federal laws. Due to the increasing rate of synthetic urine usage to fake drug tests, the federal government may modify their drug testing program and use other biological specimens instead of urine specimens.
Does Fake Pee Falsify Drug Test?
Fake pee may work in certain cases, but not for all. Attempts to use fake pee may become risky if the product is not mixed properly. One may even find it difficult to hide, transport and heat the fake urine to the appropriate temperature under strict supervision. Any person found attempting such a fallacious method may be laid-off or penalized.
There have been reports indicating that donors also attempt to use various other products such as eye drops, lemonade, dog urine, soft drinks, household products and other adulterants based on facts and promotions to give negative or inconclusive results. This may successively give more time for the body to get rid of any illicit substances or prescription medications before taking any retest.
Many people try to fake drug tests by using various methods such as dilution, adulteration and substitution.
- Dilution Method: Drug users try to dilute their urine sample by drinking excessive amounts of liquids or using flush kits to excrete the drugs in their system. Alternatively, donors may also use detox drinks available in the market to get rid of the drugs in their body a few hours or a few days prior to drug testing. The dilution process lowers the concentration of drugs in the urine below the detection threshold. When a donor drinks lots of water or detox drinks, the color of the urine may also change and some detox products also help in altering the result on hair follicle test.
- Adulteration Method: This method involves adding adulterants such as bleach, detergent, vinegar, iodine or any other agents to the biological urine specimen in order to get a negative or inconclusive result. These substances may interfere during the detection process and provide false negative or inconclusive results. For example, Pyridinium chlorochromate may reduce the chances of detection of OPI and THC, but this increases the sensitivity to AMP without affecting the detection of PCP. Glutaraldehyde may interfere with the enzymes to produce the negative effect.
- Substitution Method: Donors use synthetic or fake urine that is readily available in the market in liquid and powdered forms. The liquid form can be used instead of biological urine specimen that mimics the characteristics of real urine. Powdered form should be mixed with liquids appropriately in order to achieve the desired result. If it is not mixed properly, the donor may be caught red-handed and disciplinary actions may be taken. These products are priced between $15 and $40 in the market and advertised as having similar properties to human urine.
How is Fake Urine Obtained?
Fake or synthetic urine is mostly obtained through online stores, truck stops, head shops and other retail outlets that sell smoking products, possess and conceal cannabis products or illegal substances and/or other similar products. Synthetic urine is mostly marketed as fetish urine for research or novelty purposes.
Instructions are provided with the synthetic urine package on how to mix the contents, achieving appropriate temperatures and concealing the product. Some products also come along with securing device and holder to hold in the product until required during drug test.
Another risk the donor faces after purchasing the synthetic urine is sneaking in the product, mixing it properly and maintaining proper temperature to avoid detection.
Fake Urine Products
There are many synthetic urine/fake pee products available in the market. Some of the popular brands are Quick Fix, UPass, Clear Choice Sub-Solution, and Clean Stream.
- Quick Fix synthetic urine is made from a mix of water, creatinine, urea and uric acid. Protein color and foam is also added for a naturalistic appearance. It also has specific gravity and pH range equivalent to human urine. Quick Fix synthetic urine is manufactured under controlled conditions in the laboratory and checked for quality. Throughout the production process, the consistency of the formulation is maintained.
- UPass synthetic urine is another prevailing brand that has advanced formula and also contains creatinine levels, balanced specific gravity and pH, urea, uric acid, right color and odor as well as correct foam. It is a premixed solution with temperature strip along with hand warmer. Instructions come along with the package about how to use the product.
- Clear Choice Sub-Solution contains 11 different chemical compounds and mimics human urine with balanced creatinine, pH and specific gravity. This brand has also sprung up vigorously and considered one of the best formulations in the market.
- Clean Stream is also a premixed synthetic urine and is toxin-free. A Vinyl bladder belt is also provided with this kit that is a gravity-operated device. User instruction is also provided along with the kit.
Synthetic urine is also used in laboratories to calibrate urine testing instrument. Donors who substitute synthetic urine to cheat on drug test will easily be caught. There are certain protocols that laboratories follow while analyzing the urine specimen.
- Adulterant and Urine Integrity Test: Drug testing laboratories are well equipped to verify the reliability of the urine sample. Real human urine has a standard concentration of components in it, but a fake sample or adulterated one may have altered values from the standard level.
- Observation during Sample Collection: There is a great risk involved in carrying the fake sample to the testing location since testing agencies may send their staff member to join the donor in the sample collection room. Despite strict supervision, donors may attempt to cheat by hiding a bottle of synthetic urine under their garments. Sneaking in synthetic urine and pouring it into the collection cup may be hard if the staff accompanies the donor inside the collection room.
- Checking Urine Temperature: Fresh urine specimen is warm to touch, which will range between 90 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Fake samples need to be heated to the right temperature and maintaining it at the right temperature is going to be arduous. The tester might find out if the sample is below or above the standard temperature range.
As new and new cheating methods emerge, the drug testing industries also upgrade their testing equipments and technologies to tackle these fraudulent methods.
How to Prevent Adulteration?
Donors using or abusing drugs may try cheating methods to evade drug test. Concerned employers may choose different drug testing biological specimens such as saliva or hair follicles. Oral specimens are hard to be adulterated or substituted since it is collected under direct observation and can reveal drug use within 12 to 48 hours. Hair follicle samples can reveal drug use up to 90 days, but does not expose drug use within the past few days.
In order to avoid tampering of the sample during drug testing, some preventative measures can be attempted including:
- Not informing about the random drug tests in advance.
- Strict vigilance at the collection site or lab to prevent interference.
- Not allowing personal belongings such as handbags, jackets, hats, etc, inside the specimen collection room.
- Instructing the donor to wash his/her hands before providing the sample.
- Turning off or blocking accessible water supplies in the collection rooms.
- Tinting the toilet water with dye.
- Inspecting the collection rooms for any hidden adulterants.
- Checking the donor’s pockets.
- Checking the urine specimen temperature after handing over to the tester.
- Maintaining supervised sample collection procedures in the site.
Once the donor provides the urine sample to the tester, some of the parameters are initially checked to look for adulterants in the provided sample.
- Creatinine Level: This is checked in order to find if the sample is diluted. Samples with the creatinine level above the range of 20 mL/dL are acceptable for testing. Samples less than the range are considered diluted specimen and are unacceptable for testing.
- pH Level: This test measures the acidity in the urine and checks for presence of chlorine bleach in the sample. The normal range is 4.0 (acidic) to 9.0 (base).
- Oxidants: This test will check for the traces of oxidizing agents in the provided urine sample that could interfere during testing process.
- Specific Gravity: This checks whether the urine has been diluted or not. The acceptable range for the urine sample is 1.002 to 1.040.
Drinking large amounts of liquids may dilute the urine sample, which is the most effective and difficult form of adulteration. The kidneys flush out the dilute urine in 30 minutes following the ingestion of 12-ounce glass of water. This increases the volume of urine and reduces the drug concentration in the sample.
Dilution is the most effective way to pass the drug test. A highly diluted sample might not be the reason for suspicion of drug use as other factors such as ailments or organ malfunctioning may also influence urine dilution or concentration.
Though the drug testing agencies take adequate measures to ensure no adulterated specimens or fake urine get through at the collection site, drug users still find ways to sneak in products to cheat drug test. Laboratories initially check for adulterants in the provided specimens as well as dilution of the specimen as part of drug testing process. If certain parameters are found out of range, then the sample will be considered adulterated and unacceptable.
Employers considering drug testing their employees can discuss with drug testing facilities beforehand to have a better understanding about drug testing and to ensure appropriate candidates are hired. Drug free environment will increase the productivity as well as improve employees’ well-being.