EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Pre-employment and random drug tests have become standard for many companies.
But some think they can beat the system by turning to products that claim to provide “clean” urine.
Synthetic urine products promising a negative drug test can be found all over the internet.
In our Assignment 13 investigation, we focused on just one and had it tested by a professional drug screener.
While it looks like the real deal, what we found may surprise you.
In a jam, partied too hard?
Well, you’re in luck, or “urine luck”.
There’s a website called urineluck.com.
It is home to Spectrum Labs.
Their prized product: Quick Fix.
The site appears to be a drug user’s best friend, providing them synthetic urine that’s ready to pour for a drug screening.
A few clicks, $35 and a couple days later, we had a batch of Quick Fix in our hands.
We wanted to see if the fake pee delivers on its promise or if it would send druggie workers to the unemployment line.
The instructions that came with the product say you can either put the faux urine in the microwave to get it between 94-100 degrees, or you can wrap it in a heating pad for one hour to get it to a normal body temperature that would fool testers.
Craig Olson, a professional drug screener from LabZone in Woodville helped us out with the test.
“On first appearance it's the right color, it's the right amount of volume. It would pass visually,” Olson said.
The rapid urine test used in our screening looks for cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, marijuana and opiates.
Olson explained the results as they were coming in.
“You can see that we have lines going across the top and that's the control, the one below it is the test. And they tell me they're all negative. So your sample is negative,” Olson said.
Yep, it passed.
But not all that glitters is gold.
After one hour on the heating pad, the fake stuff failed getting to a normal body temperature and that blew the entire test.
“The specimen would be rejected due to low temperature. So we wouldn't have gone any further in the testing at this point,” Olson said.
The tester said when screeners find urine that's not the right temperature; they make people do the test again.
“It's unconscionable to me that there would be a cottage industry out there, but there is, on how to defeat a urine-based drug test,” said Don Osterberg, Senior Vice President of Safety and Security for Schneider National.
Schneider National is a trucking company headquartered in Green Bay.
Their trucks roll through the Chippewa valley and all over the country.
It's just one of many transportation companies to require hair tests for drug screenings.
Urine tests only show drug use that goes back 30 days but hair tests go back 90.
Since starting hair tests in March, 2008, Osterberg said Schneider has done 43,000 pre-employment screenings.
The company said 1,525 potential drivers tested positive for drugs using a hair test.
From that 1,525, the urine test caught only 127.
“The good news is there’s commercial drivers who are drug abusers who aren’t driving an organge Schneider truck today, but in all likelihood they’re driving a commercial truck, and they’re on the highways with our families,” Osterberg said.
Osterberg said he'd like the federal government to mandate hair tests for truck drivers.
“The day has come for hair testing for drugs. It's a better test, it’s a more effective, reliable test,” Osterberg said.
But urine testing remains the gold standard.
Olson said until we transition to hair tests, screeners know how to weed out fakers by watching for suspicious behavior, checking IDs, making them empty pockets, and listening closely.
“People's behavior shows their true colors over time. So you might be able to fool a test once and a while. But in the long run it's pretty tough to fool an employer or whoever you're testing for,” Olson said.
We reached out to Spectrum Labs to see what they had to say about our test but never heard back.