Synthetic urine was invented by accident by chemist, Friedrich Wohler, over 100 years ago. When trying to create synthetic ammonium cynate, he managed to create synthetic urea instead. Urea is the main nitrogen-containing substance found in a mammal’s urine.
Back in the day, his discovery made headlines because it disproved vitalism. Vitalism is a scientific theory. It states that all living things are alive because of a “vital force.” Therefore, organic compounds could only be created by a living thing.
Little did he know years later, some manufacturers would use his discovery to market a product meant to deceive employers. Users discreetly purchase the product online and it comes right to their door. Of course, it’s also available in “head” shops nationwide and possibly your corner convenience store! The more expensive versions of the product come with a warming device. The drug user discreetly attaches it to their body. It keeps the temperature of the specimen in the required temperature range of ninety to one hundred degrees.
There are those that tell you that using synthetic urine is the best way to pass a drug test, but of course, it isn’t.
How it’s made
Manufacturers create synthetic urine from a mix of ingredients that include water, urea, creatinine, pH balance, and possibly uric acid. The intent, of course, is to exactly mimic the make-up of human urine.
We’ll note here that if you search for the product online, some sites selling the stuff noted that using this technique could be risky due to the very sophisticated methods used by some laboratories.
This is a “SMH” moment if ever there was one, isn’t it? They always leave themselves an out.
Laboratory equipment and advances in the technology used for urine drug testing have put a huge dent in the “this is how you pass the drug test” claims. Those that make their money marketing products claiming to do the trick are constantly trying to stay a step ahead of scientists that work to preserve the integrity of drug testing results.
Combating the problem
Lab technicians and employers are on to the synthetic urine It was far easier to “put one over” on employers back in the early days of employee drug testing, but no more. Laboratories, such as those certified by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) analyze temperature, odor, and color as well as the chemical balance found in the urine.
They specifically look for adulterants, diluted specimens, and substitutions. Furthermore, synthetic urine can look too pristine, meaning there are no sediments of any kind detected with the naked eye.
Customers purchase the powdered form most often but it also comes in a liquid. Drug users mix the powdered substance with water. They must follow the package directions precisely. Failure to do so will alert lab technicians that something is amiss.
Technicians mark the test as inconclusive with an accompanying report as to what caused the result. Employers follow company protocol from that point forward. And, we’ll note that most employers don’t play in regard to second chances. An inconclusive result pointing towards a substituted specimen will likely be cause for termination.
It can’t be legal to use, can it?
In short, of course not!
Employers, worldwide, are seeing increased attempts to pass a drug test using synthetic urine. Deceiving an employer by using synthetic urine or substituting someone else’s urine is fraud, plain and simple.
Manufacturers realize this so you’ll never see packaging proclaiming that you will pass a drug test by using the stuff. Advertising usually pertains to a certain type of fetish that we’ll not elaborate on here.
Many states have laws in place banning synthetic urine. Others are in the process of passing laws to ban it. Some states allow for possession but not the sale of synthetic urine, others ban both. Furthermore, most states have strict laws pertaining to tampering with drug tests in any form. That means even if a state doesn’t specifically target synthetic urine in regard to drug testing, someone that gets caught doing so will suffer the consequences.
No rationalizing allowed
Employees that have access to medical marijuana cards or who live in states where CBD use is legal to purchase over-the-counter know they can still be held accountable if they fail a drug test due to marijuana detection. This, of course, also applies to employees who test positive at work in states that have legalized recreational marijuana.
Marijuana is still classed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance at the federal level. Until there is a test for current marijuana impairment, employers retain the right to test for it.
The problem with that is that drug metabolites are detected long after the high has passed. A marijuana breathalyzer may be the answer to this conundrum. In the meantime, employees who use marijuana in any form are in danger of losing their jobs.
Feelings of desperation over a drug test may cause some to rationalize their “right to use.” They may justify submitting a synthetic urine sample over their own.
We wouldn’t recommend it. If employers and laboratories realize there is an increased use of the stuff, it’s because they are identifying it.
It all boils down to this
Employers drug test to create the safest work environment possible for their entire workforce. Employees who are under the influence of drugs have impaired thinking and motor skills. They are more likely to be involved in an accident that could involve not only themselves but others.
Furthermore, employee drug use costs employers billions of dollars each year. Increased absenteeism, tardiness, lowered productivity, and increased medical expenses all play a part.
Failing a drug test will, in all likelihood, result in termination. However, cheating on a drug test is a crime punishable by law. Most judges don’t take the charge lightly and the employee will suffer far more severe consequences if they’re caught.