The last and lowest resort for desperate patients trying to pass a test is to actually tamper with the sample. Disregarding ethical conflicts, this happens to be a dangerous option considering that testers are always on the lookout for cheats and will be certain to flunk them if they get caught. On the other hand, emergency situations might call for extreme measures, particularly when drug tests are administered unscrupulously by surprise or without good cause.
Sample collection facilities are supposed to take measures to limit and discourage sample tampering. For instance, they might check IDs, require subjects to empty their pockets prior to testing, and prevent access to water or soap that might be used to alter the sample. Some high-security institutions like prisons might mandate observed urination. However, undercover tests by the U.S. General Accounting Office discovered that 22 out of 24 collection sites for the transportation industry didn’t comply with all the security protocols set forth by the Department of Transportation (GAO). In 8 out of 8 cases, investigators at the GAO successfully tampered with the sample by replacing it with clean urine or adding supplements to decrease the chance of being noticed.
One of the most surefire ways to foil a drug test is by substituting clean urine. It’s important to keep the sample at body temperature (90 to 98.5 degrees Fahrenheit) seeing as how it is checked at the point of collection. If you cannot find clean urine anywhere else, you can actually purchase it from different companies that specialize in drug testing aids. Kits with synthetic clean urine and temperature-control dispensers are available via the internet except a few states that outright ban them by law (Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Oklahoma.
In some desperate instances, it is possible to thwart the tests by including a chemical adulterant into the sample. Unfortunately, any adulterant can be detected with appropriate lab tests, but, for economic reasons, labs usually don’t administer complete security tests on every sample. A few household products like bleach, vinegar, ascorbic acid, salt, soap, and eye drops have been known to produce false negatives on urine screens for marijuana. For the most part, these are easily detectable by integrity tests conducted by many labs. These include tests of acidity (pH) and density (specific gravity).
Eye drops, however, are one of the most common adulterants and are the most likely to elude routine integrity tests (Dasgupta). Several more sophisticated urine test adulterants are sold commercially in states that permit them. These products include Stealth (containing peroxidase and peroxide), Klear (nitrite), Instant Clean (glutaraldehyde), and Urine Luck (pyridinium chlorochromate or PCC). Of course, the drug testing industry is keen on these products and is constantly developing advanced methods of adulterant detection. This has spawned a sort of arms race between testers and test evaders. In spite of the risks involved, companies that sell drug-testing aids report relatively high rates of success with their adulterants and detox drinks. In the GAO investigation, the labs did not detect adulterants in 4 out of 4 samples.