Computers are a wonderful tool. They provide information on any topic imaginable from how to make chocolate-covered pecans, to fixing a screen door, to training a puppy or how to beat a drug test. Any teenager can access page after page of computer sites explaining the materials and procedures one can use in an attempt to falsify drug test results.
Unfortunately, it’s not just adolescents who try to beat the system, but drug- test cheaters are among adults applying for jobs where drug testing is mandatory. The good news is, even though technology can work favorably for those who attempt to hide their offenses, technology also works very well with assisting those who remain one step ahead of the tricksters the drug experts who know what to look for!
How Do Teens Do It?
There are a variety of methods teens use to throw a wrench into drug test results. The disturbing thing, however, is the fact that some of the techniques these youngsters choose can be fatal. Let’s take a peek at a few of the more ‘popular’ means, by which, drug-test results might be altered.
—Tampering: A urine sample can be tainted when certain additives are combined with the urine specimen. These additives include a mere sprinkle or splash of items such as bleach, salt, vinegar, detergent or drain cleaner. Since such a small amount of these ingredients is used, it’s very easy for an individual to smuggle his contraband into the restroom and then dispose of the remaining contraband before exiting the restroom. These household products can be somewhat effective with masking illegal substances and making them undetectable. Savvy teens know which of these products can cause ‘clouding’ in urine and which ingredients keep the urine looking normal. They realize any ‘clouding’ can raise suspicions, so efforts are made to use those illicit substances that will keep urine looking as clear as possible.
—Water-Loading: Drug users will guzzle copious amounts of water in an attempt to dilute any traces of drugs in their urine. Users know that if enough water is consumed, test results can be labeled as ‘unfit for testing’, giving the offenders more time to rid their systems of drugs. Many teens may not be aware that drinking too much water can be fatal! It’s called ‘water poisoning’ and youngsters have died from water overdoses that were used as an attempt to cheat and beat a drug test.
—Switching Drugs: The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns of a potentially fatal condition known as ‘sudden sniffing death’ which involves inhaling certain types of chemical vapors that produce quick, brief highs. Certain inhalants can trigger fatal heart conditions and death can be the tragic result. Teens will switch from a drug that can be detected in the urine to one that is inhaled, thereby, ‘passing’ a urinalysis. Just because a teen has a clean UA, doesn’t mean he is free of drugs.
—Exchanging Urine Samples: Yes, using someone else’s clean urine has been attempted countless times. Then there is freeze-dried urine, available on-line for youngsters who feel compelled to pass drug tests through any means, necessary. Teens will tape the packaged urine to an area of their body, such as an armpit, to keep it warm until it is needed. Urine temperature that is questionably cooler than normal body temperature would be suspect.
We want our young adults to be problem solvers and critical thinkers. When those desirable traits, however, are used to deceive, we have a problem with no easy solutions.