Excuses for positive drug tests

If you search online for “how to pass a drug test,” your browser will return content on how to do just that. Millions of results will display in the form of blogs, videos, product advertising, recipes, and Internet folklore. The most popular recommendations include diluting a urine sample, drinking cocktails containing vinegar and cranberry juice, taking creatine and metabolism-boosting supplements, or sneaking synthetic urine into the restroom as a substitute for your sample – one of today’s more popular methods by which to attempt to cheat a drug test.

While it’s tempting to trust everything we read online, the fact is that the Internet is filled with misinformation. From time to time, would-be drug test cheaters are surprised that the drug test they were hoping to pass returned accurate results that were positive for one or more drugs. At that point, it’s pretty typical for donors to provide a variety of creative excuses for their drug test results. Here are a few.

  • It must have been something I ate.
  • I kissed my boyfriend after he smoked a joint.
  • My dentist gave me something strong for a sore tooth.
  • I ate a lot of poppy seed muffins for breakfast.
  • I failed because of second-hand marijuana smoke.
  • I take all-natural supplements and some ingredients aren’t listed.
  • My mom has a valid prescription for that drug.
  • Perhaps drugs are in the lotion or shampoo I use.
  • The required time window didn’t work for me… I needed a few more days to get clean.
  • I don’t know how that bottle of urine got in my purse.
  • Marijuana is safe and not illegal where I live.
  • There must have been a mix-up with the specimens.
  • Can I take a retest? I attended a party over the weekend but I don’t use often.

If donor excuses and drug test cheating are a problem for your company, here are four simple things you can do to help alleviate the issues.

  1. Drug test at your company and have a testing policy in place. Drug users tend to avoid applying at companies who test, knowing their drug use will likely be detected.
  1. Consider oral fluid or hair drug tests. These specimen types leverage observed collections are completed under direct supervision, making it more difficult to cheat.
  1. Trust a reputable collection site. Trained, professional collectors are a key component of the drug testing process. These administrators know what to look for and can help ensure that donors adhere to collection protocols which are designed stop cheating.
  1. Add specimen validity testing to your testing program. This additional level of testing is performed in the laboratory and can help to ensure the integrity of urine test results by measuring pH, creatinine, and specific gravity, and screening for adulterants.

Collectors, program administers, and Medical Review Officers know that they can expect just about anything from donors who are desperate to provide a potentially plausible rationale for their positive drug test result. Anticipating these reactions and implementing best practices for overcoming them are proven to enhance the effectiveness and reliability of any workplace drug testing program.

For more information about drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.