Several media outlets have reported recently about a rising challenge to drug abuse management – a growing demand by individuals to purchase synthetic urine. Synthetic urine is commercially used in laboratories, research, and manufacturing of reagents. It has also been sought out by drug users seeking to defeat urine toxicology testing and can be seen in online stores, truck stops, and dispensaries. Since synthetic urine is intentionally created to have very similar properties to human urine, testing for adulterants is unhelpful in identifying its use.
As reported by the Washington Post, Fox News, and various other periodicals, some U.S. states are banning the sale and use of synthetic urine. It sounds ludicrous for those of us who use synthetic urine scientifically, but when I did my research, I found the supporting legislation. Indiana and New Hampshire have already passed laws banning synthetic urine, and Mississippi and Missouri have bills in their legislature to create the same laws. 18 states in total are moving to ban the substance. The federal government is also making moves to standardize testing that use hair and saliva instead of urine.
Will you and your team be affected if this trend of banning synthetic urine continues? Would it prevent you from using urine when testing for drugs of abuse? Do you expect that this involvement from lawmakers will increase the overall interest in oral or hair testing? Are you concerned about the false positives associated with hair samples, or the short timeframe associated with oral testing? Have you had an experience with these new laws?
I’d love to hear your stories and opinions in the comments section below.
By Danielle Ziolo
May 11 2018
Graphic by Quest Diagnostics