During workplace drug testing and other kinds of drug testing, we often see donor’s trying to “beat the test”. They sometimes try and use someone else’s urine sample or attempt to adulterate the sample. You just have to Google the phrase “how to beat the drug test” to see what a large industry has evolved, specifically around trying to get a “negative” result.

What are Masking Agents and Sample Adulteration?

“Adulteration” can be defined as the consumption of a product, such as a masking agent or adding a substance/product directly to a sample, usually urine or oral fluid, with the sole purpose of passing a drug test. This includes simple techniques like drinking large amounts of water to dilute the urine sample beyond human norms.

Commercially Available Masking Agents and Household Products

Commercially available and general household products can be added to a sample, usually urine or oral fluid. These are primarily designed or used to hide/destroy the presence of a drug or its metabolite. These have varying success. Some are completely useless. Others will confuse the on-site point of care drug test, while some will only confuse the laboratory test.
Several adulterants are used to mask tests for abused drugs in urine. Adulterants such as “Klear” and “Whizzies” contain potassium nitrite while “Urine Luck” contains pyridinium chlorochromate (PCC). The presence of these adulterants cannot be detected by routine specimen integrity check (pH, specific gravity, creatinine and temperature). It is important to choose a test strip that can detect the presence of these adulterants along with specific gravity, creatinine and pH in urine.
However, the use of all of these products and methods can be detected using an on-site adulteration test strip, such as  ITS Adulteration Test Strips. These should be carried out in conjunction with the on-site point of care drug test. Laboratories carry out similar “sample validity tests” (SVT) during analysis.

100% Guaranteed Success!

There are many websites promising “100% success or your money back!” type guarantees. There are no adulterant products that can be added to urine, which 100% guarantees success in “fooling” a drug test. That is providing correct procedures are used, together with a quality adulteration test. Some of the commercially available adulterants and masking products also contain chemicals. Some of  which are harmful and acidic while others contain known carcinogens, cancer causing chemicals. Any persons who chooses to use such products, should take extreme care.

Getting Caught

In the UK, workplace drug and alcohol policies usually state that any adulteration, or attempt to adulterate, will be considered as a confirmed positive drug test. Therefore, any attempt to use a masking agent, product or technique is highly likely to have drastic consequences, if caught!

In Summary

If you are carrying out workplace drug testing or any other type of drug testing, then we would highly recommend the use of an adulterant test. There are generally two options to ensure a sample is unadulterated:

  • Urine drug test cups or dips, can come with 3 built in adulteration strips, 3 parameters only
  • Separate strips with a wider adulterant panel, usually 7 adulterant parameters, like ITS Adulteration Test Strips.

If you do not use an adulterant test as part of your drug testing program, you may be at risk of missing a positive result and the consequences this may lead to.