Can Quest Diagnostics Drug Screening Detect Synthetic Urine?

Your guide to Quest Diagnostics drug test screening

Drug tests are a big deal for both employers and employees.

For employees, it’s an inconvenience that could cost them their job. For employers, it’s a matter of safety for the workplace or the customer – either way, they want to know if you’re on drugs before hiring you.

We did a little investigating and found out how employees use synthetic urine to beat drug test after drug test. Then we searched far and wide for a drug screening that can’t be beaten with synthetic urine, and we came across Quest Diagnostics.

But first of all, let’s see what drug testing is and why it is so important.

Why is Urine Drug Testing Important?An Asian nurse holding up an urine sample and a thumbs up

Urine drug testing is important because it helps maintain a safe environment, identify illegal drug use, and provides a clear picture of an individual’s current and past drug usage.

It goes without saying that it’s crucial to maintain a safe environment for your employees and those in the immediate vicinity.

Drug screenings help identify illegal drug use, which can lead to some pretty severe consequences–including dismissal from employment or imprisonment.

Urine drug testing is the most common form of drug testing and can provide results in minutes.

It is the most affordable form of drug screening and can be done in labs or by using at-home tests.

Drugs detectable by urine screening include:

  • amphetamines
  • benzodiazepines
  • barbiturates
  • cocaine metabolites (cocaine alkaloids)
  • opiates or opioids such as codeine, heroin, opium etc.

Urine drug testing is vital because it can provide a clear picture of what drugs are currently in the body.

A urine drug screening detects whether an individual has been using any illegal substances and is also able to detect recent use as well as chronic usage over time.

Drug Testing Industry in the USAA female medical person in a lab using a microscope

The drug testing industry in the USA is a thriving business.

With so many people addicted to drugs, and those who are not but have friends or family members who are, there’s always been plenty of work for drug testing companies.

This industry has grown by 20% over the last decade due to the increased usage of both legal and illegal substances.

Drug testing on the job is not something that’s new or unique to this industry; the first drug screening was done back in 1962.

However, it wasn’t until 1987 when a federal agency for alcohol and illegal drugs set up standards for federally regulated employers, making it mandatory to screen their employees.

This increased awareness about addiction and pushed more towards the safe working environment regulations.

There are now over 100,000 drug test labs in the United States, and Quest Diagnostics is among the best.

Quest Diagnostics is related to synthetic urine in the context of urine drug testing, as synthetic urine is sometimes used by individuals attempting to cheat on Quest Diagnostics’ urine drug screening tests.

Quest offers various drug screening tests, but we will focus only on urine drug testing in this article.

The Quest Diagnostics urine drug screening is one of the most well-known tests for drugs, and there are a few things you need to know before deciding if you want to try your luck and cheat on this one.

What is Synthetic Urine?A bottle filled with synthetic urine sample

Synthetic urine is used to pass drug tests.

Fake pee contains uric acid, urea, and creatinine particles which are natural byproducts of human metabolism, so it has the same chemical profile as real pee.

What is a Urine Drug Test?

A urine drug test is a screening procedure used by employers to identify possible unlawful use of drugs or alcohol within the workplace and monitor employees’ ability to perform their job safely.

It tests the urine for a range of substances, including prescription and illegal drugs.

Can Synthetic Urine Be Detected in the Quest Diagnostics Drug Test?

Yes, Quest Diagnostics can detect synthetic urine in their drug tests through specimen validity testing.

When you are looking for a way to pass a urine drug test, there are many approaches available. Among them, synthetic urine is one of the most popular and common ways of cheating.

However, Quest can detect this type of product in their testing procedures using specimen validity testing.

Key points to remember:

  • Collaborate with a drug testing provider that performs specimen validity testing in a certified laboratory that is inspected regularly and participates in proficiency testing programs to address the challenges posed by undetectable products in standard drug urine testing and adjust accordingly.
  • There is no industry consensus or regulatory standard to classify a urine specimen as “synthetic” or “substituted” based on abnormally low levels of other urinary constituents.
  • Professional collectors follow precise protocols to identify suspicious activities during the drug test collection process, such as improper urine temperature or extended restroom usage, while noting that urine drug testing is not directly observed.
  • Preventing the substitution of real, drug-free human urine with synthetic urine at private collection sites can be challenging, emphasizing the importance of highly trained collectors to ensure a legitimate and subversion-free specimen collection experience.

What is Specimen Validity Testing?

Specimen validity testing is a technique of analyzing a urine sample to verify that it is real and not adulterated. Therefore, Quest will be able to detect if the donor has used synthetic urine or other methods of cheating on their drug screening.

However, fake pee may not always be detectable because there are no industry standards for classifying a sample as “synthetic” or “substituted” when there are incredibly low levels of other kinds of urinary constituents.

What are Collectors Doing About Cheating?A female doctor holding up a urine sample and a thumbs down

Collectors working for Quest Diagnostics take measures to prevent cheating during urine drug tests by following strict federal guidelines for sample collection and administration.

A collector is an individual who works for work for a drug testing company.

They are trained in administering and collecting the samples according to federal guidelines, which may vary by state or province.

Do Hospitals Check for Synthetic Urine?

Yes, hospitals check for synthetic urine. However, labs cannot differentiate real and synthetic urine since synthetic urine mimics real urine. Fake pee is an artificially synthesized substance that simulates human urine’s composition, chemical properties, and appearance.

Labs perform certain tests on urine samples to be sure.

They include: 

  • Sniffing: Urine comprises odor-producing microbes that increase when the sample stays outside the body. However, more recent fake pee formulas include these proteins and have the same reliability and density as real urine.
  • Shaking: In most cases, shaking samples can reveal whether it is real. This is due to the presence of protein in actual urine, which, when disrupted, results in bubbles.
  • Creatinine levels: These must be between 601 and 2936 milligrams. Your creatinine levels won’t show up in this range if you’re using the improper fake pee kit, which will raise a concern about the inorganic ratio.
  • Specific gravity: For a typical, healthy individual, the urine gravity should be between 0.1002 and 0.1003. When urine is over-diluted because of excessive water consumption to lower drug metabolite concentration and pass a drug test, labs employ specific gravity to calculate the level of dilution.
  • PH balance: Urine’s pH must fall between 4.5 and 8.0. Otherwise, it can be a sign that you have a medical condition, including kidney stones that affect the pH of your urine. If you do not disclose any medical conditions, the facilitator will be immediately suspicious if the pH of your urine indicates an abnormality. Your drug test can fail due to a thorough study of fake urine.
  • Other advanced testing methods: Modern drug testing techniques such as chromatography, spectrometry, and urine chemical testing can easily recognize chemicals in synthetic urines that are absent from biological samples and use them as distinctive identifiers.

What’s the Difference Between Urine DOT and Non-DOT Drug Screening?

The difference between DOT (Department of Transportation) and non-DOT drug screenings primarily lies in the standards and procedures set by the DOT for safety-sensitive industries. Here are the key differences:

Regulations and Standards

  • DOT Drug Screening: Follows strict guidelines set by the DOT. These include specific procedures for sample collection, testing, and handling, as well as the types of drugs tested.
  • Non-DOT Drug Screening: Not regulated by DOT standards. Employers have more flexibility in designing their drug testing programs, including which substances to test for and how to handle the testing process.

Substances Tested

  • DOT Drug Screening: Typically tests for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines/methamphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP).
  • Non-DOT Drug Screening: Can include the same substances as DOT tests but may also test for additional drugs, such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, or alcohol, depending on the employer’s policy.


  • DOT Drug Screening: Requires observed collection under certain circumstances, strict chain of custody protocols, and testing at certified laboratories.
  • Non-DOT Drug Screening: Procedures can vary widely and may not require observed collection or specific certification for laboratories.


  • DOT Drug Screening: Mandatory for employees in safety-sensitive positions, such as commercial vehicle drivers, pilots, and pipeline operators.
  • Non-DOT Drug Screening: Used by employers in non-regulated industries for workplace safety, compliance with company policies, or other reasons.

Result Handling and Reporting

  • DOT Drug Screening: Results are reported through a specific process, and there are clear guidelines for follow-up testing, return-to-duty testing, and substance abuse professional evaluation.
  • Non-DOT Drug Screening: Result handling and follow-up actions are determined by the employer’s policies.

Can You Cheat with Synthetic Urine Quest Diagnostics Drug Screening?

Attempting to cheat a drug screening conducted by Quest Diagnostics using synthetic urine or adulterants is not advisable, as their lab equipment is capable of detecting such substances, and getting caught may result in job loss.

Quest Diagnostics is one of the largest and most popular companies for performing pre-employment drug screenings on potential employees.

If your urine has any traces of fake pee or other adulterants in it, they will know because their lab equipment can detect these chemicals.

So, if you want to keep your job, make sure that when you go into the office to be tested, all liquids are from natural sources and not anything else; otherwise, you’ll end up losing your job if caught with fake pee in a drug screening.

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