One of the most common ways that drug users try to cheat on a drug test is to use synthetic urine or urine from someone else who is “clean.” In order to stay ahead of these companies, drug testing labs have developed different “validity” tests to detect certain markers within urine samples to ensure that the sample given by the donor is actually from them.
Here are a few ways that drug testing labs are able to validate a sample - courtesy of Quest Diagnostics
Temperature – The first way that labs test for cheaters is by checking the temperature to make sure it is within the correct range. Samples that are either too hot or too cold will be immediately rejected.
Creatinine – A substance produced by the kidneys. Labs will measure samples and reject ones that do not meet required levels.
Oxidants - Substances that either oxidize drugs or drug metabolites to prevent detection during a drug test, or affect the reagents in the drug test itself (e.g. Nitrates, Bleach, iodine, halogens, or peroxide). This is the most common way donors try to cheat.
pH – Human urine tends to have a neutral pH balance. Urine outside of the normal range will raise a red flag.
Gravity/Density – Urine has a standard density range in comparison to water. Labs will measure the specimen’s density to ensure authenticity.
In an instance where a sample has been adulterated, as indicated by one of these markers, the donor will be recommended to re-test. Employers may choose whether or not to re-test. In most situations, they do.
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