At National Laboratories, we understand adulteration attempts on urine samples in drug testing. We work with addiction treatment programs and doctor's offices doing medication monitoring. So it's natural that we see more attempts at adulteration than other drug testing labs.
We perform several different adulteration tests to ensure that each sample we receive is valid and that each result we send out is accurate. We go even further, monitoring the Internet for new adulteration techniques to ensure our testing protocols are complete.
What Is Adulteration?
Adulteration is the act of manipulating a biological sample to trigger a false negative result in a drug test. Because urine drug testing is the preferred method for most drug treatment programs and doctor's offices, a number of adulteration methods have become popular. Some of the most common methods are:
• "Flushing" their system by drinking excessive amounts of water, "detox tea," etc.
• Adding chemical adulterants to mask the presence of drugs
• Adding oxidants in an attempt to remove substances from the sample
Types of Drug Test Adulteration Testing
Just as there are many forms of adulteration and many different adulterants available for purchase today, there are many ways to test for these. At National Laboratories, we use four different adulteration tests to ensure a sample is valid:
Creatinine is a waste product of muscle metabolism. In a normal human urine sample, creatinine levels will generally be above 20 mg/dL. When a person drinks water excessively or attempts to use detox teas in an attempt to "flush" their system, creatinine will fall below this level. Anything lower than 5 mg/dL indicates a non-human sample.
Human urine has a specific gravity between 1.003 and 1.035. When a person tries to dilute their sample with toilet water or other dilutants, it will lower the specific gravity of the sample below this level. When a person tries to add substances to their sample in an attempt to mask substances of abuse from detection, it may raise the specific gravity of the sample above this level.
For most people, their urine will have a pH that falls between 3 and 11. Anything that falls outside of this range is a strong indicator of adulteration, either by dilution, additives, or oxidants.
Because urine testing has become the preferred method of testing by most treatment centers and doctor's offices, several commercial adulterants have gained popularity. These products (sold under names like Urine Luck, Klear, Stealth, and Clean ADD-IT) contain oxidants that attempt to remove substances of abuse from the sample. In a normal urine sample, no oxidants will be present.
We run each sample that we receive through multiple adulteration tests to ensure that any negative result we send out is accurate and reliable.