Synthetic urine has long been the standard go-to product for those seeking to pass an upcoming drug test. With catchy names like “X-Stream”, “Urine Luck”, and “U-Pass”, who wouldn’t be enamored? Fake urine is product which has been perfected, nearly to the point of being undetectable, even in a lab setting.
What is synthetic urine? Syntheticurineworld.com defines it as, “a substance created to simulate the appearance, chemical properties, and composition of human urine. All major components of natural urine can be found in fake pee, including urea, creatine, uric acid, phosphates, ammonia, sulfates, etc.”. In all, it’s a substance meant to be used in place of a donor’s actual urine sample, at time of testing, so that the donor’s use of illegal substances will go undetected.
What is the sell? Simple, use any brand of synthetic urine (one mentioned above, or a host of others which are available), and pass a drug test. Now, considering this is a bit of oversimplification, here are some quotes from various product websites:
“Quick Fix Synthetic Urine has the highest rating and nothing but positive feedback! We have success stories after success stories, making this product extremely trustworthy for people who need medical privacy in the ever-changing world”
“It is sad, but you have to remember if you use synthetic urine you are playing Russian roulette with your career. Therefore, we only recommend the Real Powdered Urine as the surest way to pass a drug test. While synthetic urine is a great concept, but if the laboratory is on top of it you might have to learn a lesson the hard way.” (TestClear product)
“Freaking out? Dude, I feel you. Having to pass a urine test is shitty. The good news is that whatever your circumstance, synthetic urine still works in 2016 (as long as you use the right ones).” (Drug Test Ninja).
Different words, same theme. Buy the product, pass a test.
Recently, Denver’s KDVR Television station produced an undercover investigation regarding the use of synthetic urine. In the article “Synthetic urine works, helps drug users beat screenings,” Chris Halsne and Chris Koeberl reported that their Problem Solvers Team was successful in submitting fake urine through pre-employment screening labs on multiple occasions, all of which came back “all clear.” The team stated that they used the Quick Fix synthetic urine product, were able to use it in lab collection locations, which in turn passed the subsequent lab tests. Their investigative team also interviewed a drug test collector, who spoke to the difficulty in catching people using synthetic urine.
Hitting more closely to home, the drug test collection company which I am affiliated with has seen a dramatic increase in the number of synthetic urine “catches” over the past year. According to Chuck Marting, my company’s founder, since 2015 one company’s donors have attempted to use synthetic urine approximately 25% of the time over the course of a year. Whether due to the legalization of marijuana, the availability of synthetic urine, either online or locally, or a combination of both, this is an alarming statistic.
How many states currently have laws banning the use or sale of such synthetic products? According to current numbers, approximately 11 states have such laws in place. Florida Criminal Defense Attorney James Feuerstein III stated, “Florida has a very broad statue covering fraudulent practices relating to drug screening tests. Florida Statute 817.565(b) [Makes] it illegal to ‘Willfully to manufacture, advertise, sell, or distribute any substance or device which is intended to defraud or attempt to defraud any lawfully administered urine test designed to detect the presence of chemical substances or controlled substances.’”
In one of his blogs, Tim Thoelecke, a DATIA Certified Drug Test Collector for InOut Labs, clearly defines the synthetic urine laws in Illinois, “It’s against the law in IL to possess, manufacture or sell substances or methods that help people cheat on drug tests. This includes synthetic urine, adulterants, or devices intended to help people smuggle these things in. It’s also illegal to substitute or adulterate your specimen… A violation of this Section is a Class 4 felony for which the court shall impose a minimum fine of $1,000.”
A game of cat and mouse is afoot. Drug testing, and ways to get around it, can easily be described this way. I am, by no means, ignorant to this idea. I understand, and certainly now more than ever, recognize that this game is played repeatedly. As a retired police officer, it is certainly no different than the game often played with career criminals. The one is always trying to one-up the other. I get that. However, it does not mean that this is how the rules will always work out. Some of the trickery must addressed; synthetic urine is one such trick.
What are the perils of falsifying a drug test with the use of synthetic urine? Subverting a drug test is, in the long run, a dangerous choice to make. If you choose to take illegal drugs, then choose to work at a company which has a drug-free workplace policy, you presumably have to decide which activity means more to you. The company is likely a drug-free workplace by choice, possibly by circumstance, but nonetheless still a drug-free workplace. If you choose drugs, then pick a different place to work. If your choice is the job, then simply put, don’t take illegal drugs (yes, this includes marijuana). There should not be some middle-ground where you get to have the job in the drug-free workplace, and take illegal substances, thereby cheating on a drug test using synthetic urine. To me, this is like signing up to be an airline pilot, cheating on the exam to become a pilot, then being given license to fly the same plane…all the while knowing full well you have no business flying that plane! An oversimplification again? Maybe so, but perilous nonetheless.
There are those who believe that synthetic urine should be available to people for various reasons. Synthetic urine product labels often add on novelty uses, in order to try and dilute the true reason for the product. However, as long as there are websites (consider 420.com), where there are countless conversations revolving around which synthetic urine product is best for use at a drug test, along with videos and written instructions on how to use them properly, there is cause for alarm. Now is the time to say goodbye to synthetic urine.
(As of the date of this article submission, Colorado State Representative Jon Becker (R) is in the process of creating a bill to give to the state’s legislature banning the sale or manufacture of synthetic urine.)