With drug tests becoming both more common and more invasive, people everywhere are looking for ways that they can turn the tables on their prying employers. Some have turned to asking friends to provide them with samples they can submit when the time comes. This, however, is a strategy fraught with potential drawbacks since you don't ever really know what someone else may have put in their system that could come back to haunt you. Others turn instead to the idea that a diluted sample is a safe sample. That is, if they can simply add enough water to their pee, any drug residuals will be so small as to be undetectable. It’s an idea that on the surface seems to make a lot of sense. But does it work?
Diluting a Urine Sample: Ingenious or Ill-advised?
Diluting a urine sample that is to be submitted for drug screening is a strategy that makes a certain amount of sense but will also put the diluter squarely in violation of the terms of their employment. As such, deciding whether to dilute or not dilute is a judgment call only the individual can make. Should you decide to adopt this strategy, there are a few things you'll need to consider.
Finding a Water Source
You can be sure of one thing: you are not the first person who has decided that diluting their urine sample is a smart move. Because screening companies are fully aware of this trick, it's not unusual for them to prepare their bathrooms in advance by adding dye to the toilet water and turning off the water entirely to the sink. In a case like that then where will you find the water to dilute the sample?
- One method is to use water from the toilet tank since the dye is often added only when the water enters the bowl. If the tank water is already dyed, you’re going to have a tougher road. You may be able to remove the top of the tank, flush the toilet and collect a bit of water from the feeder tube that comes directly from the pipe. This process can be noisy though, and you can bet the tester will have their ear to the door.
- Some people will bring a small water pouch with them strapped to their torso or leg and use this to dilute the sample. You just have to be sure this water is the right temperature, or it could cool down the sample to the point that it sets off alarms.
The Dangers of Diluting Your Sample
Diluting your sample exposes you to several potential risks with three being of particular importance.
- First, as we noted above if the water you use to dilute the sample is room temperature or below it could cool the whole sample to a temperature that will set off alarms with the screener. A too-cool sample will be an issue if you use water from a sink or toilet to dilute the sample. One possible way around this problem is to rub the outside of the container vigorously between your hands for a few minutes. Keep in mind however that the tester outside the door is watching the clock to make sure you don’t spend too long in the bathroom, as that is almost always a sign that tampering is in progress.
- Second, dilution is going to change the color of the sample to the point that it will be almost clear. While this in itself is not an ironclad indication of tampering (because urine is often colorless, especially if you drink a lot of water), it may nonetheless get the attention of the checker who may then subject your sample to closer than normal inspection.
- Third, you could lose your job. Whether you know it or not when you accepted your position you also agreed to give your employer the right to drug screening you and agreed that you would not do anything to undermine the integrity of those tests. Check your employment paperwork. You’ll find that consent form somewhere. Because you signed away your right to urinary privacy if you are caught tampering with a sample you may face immediate termination. In some states, criminal charges may also be brought against you. While tampering with a urine sample is not a felony it can still go on your record and have a negative effect on your ability to obtain future employment.
Is There a Better Way Than Mixing Water and Urine?
This is the $64,000 question to be sure. The answer is "It depends." As in, it depends on how badly you need to circumvent the screening and whether you're actually willing to consider alternatives. The fact that you took the job even though you had to agree to drug testing must mean you thought the job was worth it. It likely offers a good salary and benefits and has the potential for advancement. If you believe there is good cause to be concerned about an upcoming drug test, then you might want to consider ways you can pass it that may not be entirely above board. But as we said earlier that’s entirely your call.
Let’s say hypothetically that you decide you need to find a way to pass the screening, but you can’t submit a sample of your own undiluted urine. However, you also know that the checking agency uses dry rooms with no water sources available. Do you just bite the bullet, cross your fingers and submit your dirty pee? Or do you try another approach? In such circumstances, many determine that submitting a sample of synthetic urine is the best way to obtain a positive result without raising any red flags. High-quality synthetic urine is easy to obtain, easy to prepare and has a proven track record. If your job was worth signing away your rights for, you might also decide that it’s worth taking a risk in order to try and keep it.
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