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What do People do to Pass a Urine Test?

By J.L. Drede
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Urine tests for drugs are often given to people because of corporate policies or for insurance purposes before starting a job. Urine tests can detect many different kinds of legal and illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines. The only legitimate way for a person to pass a urine test is to not have any drugs in his or her system while taking the test. Otherwise, there are ways to make it appear a person has successfully passed a urine test, even though drugs are still in his or her system. In most states and countries that have urine tests, these methods are considered illegal. At the very least, they can get a person fired if found out.

Many times, a person looking to pass a urine test with clean urine will flush his system beforehand. This involves drinking a lot of water and other liquids, such as coffee or soda, to force himself to urinate more before the actual test. This can help to temporarily flush out any traces of an illegal drug that may show up during a test. Flushing usually leads to colorless or pale urine, and many drug testing agencies won't accept samples that appear to be flushed.

Some drugs are easier to flush out of the system than others. A similar method used to pass a drug test is called diluting, which is when a person will just directly add water to the sample. This can make traces of drugs hard to read during the urine analysis, but it also changes the temperature of the sample. Most drug testing and drug screening facilities notice colder or warmer urine samples as ones that have been tampered with.

Another common method for trying to pass a urine test is adulterating the sample. This involves adding a foreign substance into the sample that removes all evidence of a drug. Salt, soap, ammonia and lye have all been used to nullify drugs found in a urine test. This does not always work, and can be easily detected by more advanced tests.

A similar method used to try and fake a drug test is masking. Some legal drugs, like antacids and aspirin, have been known to mask illegal drugs such as cannabis and opiates. Just like adulterating, this technique is not very reliable, especially against more advanced drug tests. Some stores sell commercial products that advertise masking abilities, but the reliability of these products is frequently called into question and they are not legal in many places.

One of the most common methods used to pass a urine test is to use substitute urine. A drug user trying to pass a drug test will get urine from someone who is not a drug user and hide it on his or her body, usually in a balloon, plastic bag, or condom. When the time comes to take the drug test, the user empties the clean urine into the container and passes it off as his or her own.

Aside from the fact that this is illegal nearly everywhere, there are many problems with this plan. Urine outside of the body is not the same temperature as urine inside the body, and urine samples are always temperature tested. A urine sample that is too cold will almost always be suspect. Smuggling and depositing the urine into the sample cup is not easy either. Many drug testing facilities pat down applicants to check for smuggled urine, and some will even have employees present in the restroom to make sure the applicant is urinating into the cup.

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Discussion Comments
By anon986943 — On Jan 29, 2015

Do you think that if you have mostly clean urine in a test cup, but it was a little shy of the line, adding a very small trickle of dirty urine will bring back negative results?

By Buster29 — On Jan 26, 2014

I've heard of a really elaborate way to beat a urine test, even if someone is assigned to watch you the whole time. It uses a bag of clean urine, a long hose and a realistic rubber penis from a sex store. The bag of urine stays strapped to the user's thigh, so it should be warm enough to fool the tester. When the observer starts watching, the user uses the fake penis and hose to deliver the clean urine into the cup, Supposedly you can fool the observer if you handle things just right.

By pollick — On Jan 26, 2014

@AnswerMan, I respect your opinion about drug tests, but I think you're being a little harsh here. What most employees do in their spare time isn't really the company's business unless they do something else on the job to arouse suspicion. I don't think random drug testing is a fair way to handle the problem, and if someone wants to fight the system and cheat on a urine test, I say more power to them. They'll probably get caught, anyway.

By AnswerMan — On Jan 25, 2014

I have a problem with people trying to cheat the system instead of just owning up to a personal habit. So what if you manage to find some way to pass a urine test illegally? What have you really accomplished, other than to keep your job for a few more months? I don't always agree with drug testing every employee, but I do want to know if my child's bus driver is taking mind-altering drugs before his shift. If you're concerned about losing your job over a bad habit, then I think you should spend more time working on becoming clean and less time trying to figure out how to beat a drug test.

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