Tampering and adulterating drug testing samples is the leading cause of continued drug abuse due to false negatives rendered in lab results. In recent times, people have started substituting their urine with synthetic urine during routine drug tests. In many instances, subjects have been known to replace their urine with someone else’s urine. But, this method has also backfired when the urine replacement detected more drugs than their sample would have. Using fake urine is now a more convenient and reliable method for those with ill intentions to tamper with their test. It is made to have the same composition and appearance as actual urine. In this article, we have discussed more synthetic urine and if labs can detect them.
What is synthetic urine?
Synthetic or fake urine was developed for the purpose of testing the impact of actual urine on products like diapers, cleaning agents, mattresses, and medical devices. Synthetic urines are usually made by mixing the following components in order to mimic the properties of real urine:-
- Yellow coloring
- Uric acid
- pH balance
Synthetic urine is usually of the same density as real urine and is designed to mimic every aspect of urine in urine drug tests and validity tests. These fake samples consist of biological creatinine levels and even maintain a specific gravity and physiological pH. Users usually smuggle synthetic samples into testing centers in hidden flasks in their underwear. Then they warm it and use it to fill the sample cup.
Can labs differentiate between real and synthetic urine?
Synthetic urine is developed for the sole purpose of mimicking the exact properties of real urine. Therefore, it can be difficult to spot sometimes, especially in labs that use traditional or backdated testing methods.
With the current advancement in drug testing methods, fake urine can be easily identified. Some of the methods used are:-
- Shaking samples: Most of the time shaking samples can detect if it is fake or not. This is because actual urine has protein, which causes bubbles when disturbed. Synthetic urine usually lacks protein.
- Smelling: Urine consists of odor-producing bacteria that multiply the longer the sample remains outside the body. However, newer formulas for synthetic urine not only contain these proteins but also have the same density and pure compounds as actual urine.
- Advanced technology: Advances in drug testing technologies can easily identify two compounds in synthetic urines that biological samples lack and use them as unique markers.
Consequences of using synthetic urine
Adulteration or tampering with urine samples can result in the following consequences:-
- An individual on probation will have to go through a zero-tolerance policy that results in jail time.
- A patient prescribed narcotics may not be kept under close observation but will be expected to produce a positive test result. Doctors will refuse to prescribe the drug or note it in their chart if they are caught tampering with a urine sample.
- Immediate job termination.
Legislations against using synthetic urine by state
In the United States, no federal law has banned the sale or use of synthetic urine. However, the 19 states listed below have enacted legislation against the use of synthetic urine:-
- Alabama’s SB111
- Oklahoma Code §63-7002
- Arkansas Code § 5-60-201
- South Carolina Code 16-13-470
- Mississippi H.B. 1080
- Tennessee § 39-17-437
- Florida Statute 817.565(b)
- Missouri Chapter 579
- Utah HB 0016 76-10-2203
- New Hampshire 2016 SB 361
- West Virginia §60A-4-412
- Indiana’s Adulterant and Synthetic Urine Ban
- North Carolina General Statutes § 14-401.20
- Wisconsin 2015 AB658
- Wyoming § 6-3-614
- Michigan Article 23
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