The truth behind drug testing and those who try to fake the syst - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The truth behind drug testing and those who try to fake the system

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KENNEWICK, WA- With the legalization of marijuana in many states across our nation, a lot of companies are still enforcing no-drug policies. Labs that process drug tests are finding more potential employees are purchasing synthetic urine offline and using it during their drug tests. 

We met up with Laboratory Technical Director, Dave Michaelsen out of PAML in Spokane. He tells us, "what we saw was these products were there we didn't know exactly how much substituted urine was coming through our laboratory but we knew at least one client that they believe several people were putting it through". 

The industry is continuously upgrading their products and trying to pull one over on the labs, that's why Dave Michaelsen is constantly patrolling the websites, making sure no fake samples are passing their tests, "we first started seeing our name come up several years ago. Somebody submitted a synthetic urine sample and it passed a drug test at our lab". 

After seeing their name on that website Michaelsen tells us they started testing for natural things that would come from a normal human diet, "as we started testing for additional analytes we were easily able to distinguish synthetic urine from normal human urine". 

From there, they started to catch on, "and even though not all of the manufacturers have done that yet we have started to see samples come in with these normal human bi-products in the urine that we were testing for since that was the case we were starting  looking for multiple analytes and as we looked for more than the one that they tested now they have to guess alright what are they looking for this time". 

Michaelsen tells us, "all of a sudden on those same websites, our name wasn't appearing anymore". The labs are constantly trying to stay one step ahead, "many times we see people try to dilute those samples with synthetic urine so we'll pick up a drug and the fact that they've added synthetic urine to it". 

About 10 years ago is when they first saw the massive influx of people trying to use synthetic urine and at that time, "somewhere between 4 and 5 percent of the samples coming through for synthetic urine which is a huge number when you think of the tens of thousands samples tested on a daily basis". 

Since then, it's dropped to just under 1%, "so either people don't feel as comfortable submitting synthetic urine as they did before or they're making sure it's being submitted to other laboratories because we are catching the majority of them". 

The lab has seen all the efforts of people trying to smuggle in their synthetic samples with a container and something to heat it with, but not something too hot because it has to be at just the right temperature. With the effort that goes into the effort of trying to fake a test Michaelsen says, "if people would spend as much time on their job or in school or anything else and the creativity they have to have to get around the drug test, if they would just focus that on their other efforts, it's amazing how much they could get accomplished".