We are back for another round of common drug testing questions we can answer from a clinical lab perspective! This time, we're building on the topics addressed in our last drug testing myths FAQ, specifically focusing on tactics used to manipulate urine drug test results.
Does crushing a pill and putting it in the urine cup make the test positive?
No, because all that would be present in the urine is the parent drug, and not the metabolite (after being processed through the liver and kidneys). It would be near obvious to tell if the pill was crushed and added.
For example, if the patient is taking Xanax (Alprazolam), it's metabolite alpha-hydroxyalprazolam would be present in the result. If only alprazolam is detected in the urine, it would be suspect the crushed pill was added during collection.
If synthetic urine or someone else's urine is used, is it detectable?
People are able to buy or make their own urine using different powders or liquids, but the major flaw is the consistency of the false specimen. Validity testing will expose any abnormalities as it relates to temperature, pH, creatinine, and specific gravity.
In the event of using another person's urine, one could use warming gloves to get the specimen close to body temperature and detachable bladders to hold it all. In some cases for males using female urine, certain urinalyses have been performed to show positive testing for pregnancy.
Nonetheless, clinically, the doctor wants to see if unprescribed substances are in the patient's system, but what's just as important is which prescribed medications are actually being taken. So in the very slight chance the urine passes the validity testing, the person's urine being tested does not match the patient's unique prescription plan.
If dog urine is used, is it detectable?
Yes, dog urine has a specific gravity not consistent with human urine and would be flagged as an adulterated sample. Not to mention how messy the collection process would be. Key advice would be to put down the doobie and leave out Scooby.
Does mixing in water or vinegar lower drug concentration?
Yes, but validity testing will determine the urine is not 100% genuine especially with creatinine and pH levels being obviously distorted.
What if creatine or meat is consumed to raise creatinine levels to normal?
This is actually a myth. Drinking copious amounts of water to dilute the urine, while eating more meat or ingesting more creatine to fool the validity testing sounds like a great balancing act on paper, but in reality it has no effect.
How long is urine good for drug testing?
Urine is stable for seven days, even at room temperature. When Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area, a clinic flooded and had urine specimens which still required lab testing. Our personnel were able to retrieve the samples after the water had gone down. These urine specimens had been produced a week and a half prior and miraculously were still in running condition and successfully tested at the lab.
The Bottom Line
Many retail and DIY methods exist for outsourcing "clean" urine. Validity testing is the key to ensuring the produced specimen is 100% authentic. Our facility has a full-time lab director on staff who specializes in examining test results, explaining abnormalities as they occur, and ensures full clarity of medication monitoring results.
If you have any additional questions on this topic, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd be happy to reply, as well as update this blog article with relevant information - SO KEEP CHECKING BACK!