By Rick Cusick
(Editor’s Note: DTN correspondent Rick Cusick is the former associate publisher, co-editor and ad director for High Time magazine. His popular column “The Drug Test” ran from 2005 to 2008)
When I first started writing about drug testing it was like shooting fish in a barrel.
During the second Bush Administration workplace drug tests prospered under federal grants even though the tests were so flawed they were beaten with breathtaking ease.
The drug warriors couldn’t do a thing to stop it. Dilutions, spikes, additives, a daily detox and a quick flush: everything worked!
We used to say it was really an intelligence test: if you couldn’t pass your drug test, you were probably too stupid to do the job.
Unfortunately, those days are gone.
In the ensuing years urinalysis became more reliable and the drug test companies now perform Specimen Verification Tests. These days the testers can detect additives, and find dilutes.
Even though they are still selling vigorously, the classic detox drinks and 5-hour spikes simply do not work like they used to, and the manufacturers of these products have no reason to tell you that.
Practically speaking, the solutions that still sold online are no solution at all.
Substitution – the time honored practice of switching your dirty urine with clean pee – seems to be the only option left. “
While workers have long tried to cheat drug exams with an array of creative methods,” the Washington Post recently reported that, “authorities say synthetic urine has become the new go-to trick.”
Dr. Barry Sample, the Director of Science and Technology for Quest Diagnostics, one of leading drug test outfits, recently wrote in a corporate blog that “there is no industry consensus or regulatory standard for classifying a urine specimen as ‘synthetic’ or ‘substituted,’ “
In a recent corporate blog, Dr. Barry Sample, the Director of Science and Technology for Quest Diagnostics, one of the leading drug test outfits, wrote that “there is no industry consensus or regulatory standard for classifying a urine specimen as ‘synthetic’ or ‘substituted’, and was forced to admit that if synthetic urine can be successfully substituted for real urine in the privacy of the collection site restroom – “there is often little that can be done.”
The drug warriors have taken notice.
Over the years at least 18 states have passed some kind of law attempting to ban synthetic urine, but theses have been wildly inconsistent and hard to enforce. Two years ago a synthetic urine ban passed the Mississippi House but the bill was stalled in committee on its way to the senate floor.
Last year Indiana passed a law that made it illegal to sell synthetic urine within the state but did not prohibit people from purchasing the product online. Most recently, several states have outlawed manufacturing synth-piss, but quality products are still widely available.
Quality is the operative word.
Good quality synthetic urine will, of course, be golden yellow and should be presented at the proper temperature with all the components intact: creatinine, uric acid, phosphates, ammonia and sulphates. Synthetic urine should be disease-free but not treated with a biocide that can be detected like adulterants.
It takes a little more thought now, a little more strategy, but it is still possible to ace your urine test.
Not long ago, failing a urine test meant you were dumb; now, passing a urine test means you’re smart.
Stay smart and good luck!