I work for a major clinical laboratory company which handles many thousands of unique urine, blood, and oral samples a day. We test for almost every recreational drug, as well as additional testing to make sure you haven't altered the sample. Most of our samples come from pre-employment screening, but we also have hospital, law enforcement, and military clients. The next time you pee in a cup, it's probably coming to me. Because I value my job, I will not reveal which of the several drug-testing companies I work for, but you can ask me almost anything. I will post proof to the moderators.

Comments: 527 • Responses: 52  • Date: 

discobiscuit400558 karma

What about synthetic urine? I've used it 5 times and passed

druganonymous52 karma

Wow. Well, some clients do not order the validity tests, they only look for the drugs. This is to reduce costs I assume, because they cannot charge you the cost of the drug test. I do on occasion catch synthetic urine (I can recognize it because we use it too to make up our negative controls) when it fails the validity tests.

PartialChub26 karma

I have also passed several tests using synthetic urine like quickfix sold at headshops. I've had several friends do the same. I've passed the both the instant "dip stick" tests (easy to see how that can be done) and the ones where the sample is actually sent to a lab. I've been told that most employers don't spring for the type of expensive test which is capable of detecting the fake pee. Of course, it has to be the right temp, but I have found this obstacle quite easy to overcome using body heat and hand warmers. What does it mean specifically to fail the "validity" test? Have my friends and I just been extremely lucky or is it actually difficult to catch?

druganonymous32 karma

Well, if the client doesn't order the expensive test that can find the fake pee, then we won't find it. I guess you can just get lucky, but I would say the majority of our clients do order it. It probably depends on the size of the company you are applying to, whether they can afford proper screening.

PartialChub16 karma

So would you say that you would be capable of catching someone using synthetic urine more often than not?

druganonymous23 karma

It all depends on if the client ordered the proper tests. If they order it, we will almost certainly catch it. If not, it will slip on by. It's not our responsibility.

pisspockets51 karma

I have been a daily smoker of cannabis for over 15 years. I have taken to date 11 piss tests for various jobs, and I have never once popped, in some cases having smoked up until the day before. Every time I have done the same thing. No supplements, no gimmicks, I just spend the whole day before and the morning of drinking water non stop. If you do this the day of before you go, you will piss clean urine that is warm enough to register. but it doesnt have time to gather the elements of the drug in your system. Never failed once. Your feeling on this?

druganonymous35 karma

Yes that will work if the client doesn't ask for specific gravity or creatinine tests. Dilution can be dangerous for your health though, and is easy to catch with the right tests.

MrFabulousSrs38 karma

Hi OP. Are you able to test for LSD?

druganonymous36 karma

We do, but it is very rare that we are asked to. I test maybe one sample per day, out of the 15+ thousand that we receive each day. LSD is not very stable in urine. I'm guessing it is more commonly tested from blood.

13arton30 karma

does your job require you to be drug tested?

druganonymous37 karma

I was tested before I got the job, and there is the threat of random monthly tests for us. I was told they throw everybody in the company's name in a computerized hat each month, but I've never heard of someone getting randomed at my facility. It's not really worth risking it though, as the second you walk in the door the day your name is drawn, you get tested pretty much immediately. Any positive result would mean immediate termination for me.

permagloom19 karma

  1. Smoke up.
  2. Test your own pee at your workplace when randomed.
  3. Rinse and repeat.

druganonymous7 karma

Yeah, not that easy.

_MCV26 karma

If a male uses his friend's pee who is of the opposite sex, can you guys tell? What if the male uses a pregnant female's pee?

druganonymous28 karma

We don't test for hormones. Generally this trick is defeated with a temperature test. If it isn't your pee coming out of your body, it probably won't be the right temperature and the sample will be rejected.

saf329 karma

How can the temperature be accurate if the sample is shipped to you, sometimes from across the country like you said? Wouldn't the urine have cooled to room temperature by the time you test it?

druganonymous34 karma

We have a ton of collection site offices where the pee is actually taken. The temperature is verified there, then it is shipped to us.

saf311 karma

Ah okay that makes sense.

What's the temperature range, out of curiosity?

druganonymous14 karma

No idea. I don't work with collections, sorry.

hen-9325 karma

Which drug can you detect the longest after use?

druganonymous44 karma

Probably THC for a chronic user. It continues to leech out of the fat and into the urine for weeks. A first-time user might be clean after 2-3 days, but someone who uses every day will be positive for a long time.

jisc32 karma

how long is a "long time"? lol

druganonymous51 karma

Maybe a month.

Maxwyfe21 karma

What happens if you drop a sample?

druganonymous44 karma

This happens. I have to go into the store room and pour more out of the donor's bottle into a new tube. If we run out of urine...well... =/ Clients really don't like that.

Maxwyfe19 karma

I would imagine that makes for a pretty big "oh shit" moment. Thanks for your AMA!

druganonymous24 karma

Actually not really. Unless you drop a whole tray of 50, that would suck, but a single tube is just whatever.

IChangeTenses21 karma

Is it true that eating poppy seeds will make you test positive for opium/heroin? I ask because of that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry's friend uses Jerry's moms urine for a test, because she had a poppy seed bagel.

druganonymous30 karma

I believe there was a mythbuster's episode about this. Apparently you have to eat an obscene amount of poppy seeds, but yes it can cause a false-positive.

BlarghBlar20 karma

Do you know the identity of the person's pee you're testing? Or is it just something like 'test vial 4729a'?

Also, when you're running samples, do you hear cool csi science montage music in the background?

druganonymous28 karma

All of the vials have numbers and barcodes on them. There is no way to search the database by name to find that number. However, if I search a particular number I can find the associated name. If I wanted to find my friend's sample or something, it would be nearly impossible.

The testing room is actually quite loud. Lots of fan and the clicking and whirring of the machines doing their job. No cool montage :(

ChildishSerpent18 karma

Are you personally for or against the legalization of marijuana?

druganonymous51 karma

For. But as it is currently illegal, I have no qualms about continuing to test for it.

row4land14 karma

How do you dispose of all the bio hazardous waste?

Most jobs have some room room for horseplay or Tom foolery, maybe on break?. What sort of things happen at your work between co-workers? Ever slip samples into co-workers apple juice?

druganonymous24 karma

For urine samples, we just pour them down the drain when we're done. Pee normally goes into the sewers anyways.

No laboratory ever allows horseplay. If I were to intentionally expose a co-worker to a sample I'd be immediately fired and possibly sued. Urine samples can contain infectious diseases, though it's not likely. Occasionally we get samples with blood contamination, and those are a real gamble.

dale_glass11 karma

Do you notify the person that is getting tested in such cases? Like "this looks bad, you should probably see a doctor"?

druganonymous23 karma

I wish I could. Some of the samples are from people who are clearly dying.

R3divid3r11 karma

Explain "clearly" please.

druganonymous7 karma

Sometimes they are brown or black. Sometimes they are mostly blood. Sometimes the smell makes me want to throw up, like rotten eggs (bacterial infection) or just the stench of death.

phubans13 karma

What drugs have you done, if any? How did you get into this line of work? Do you feel like your job is a noble cause or just another paycheck?

druganonymous25 karma

I've actually never done any drug, unless you want to include ethanol. Some people in my lab have done quite a few.

This was the first job I could find out of grad school, after job searching for 3 months.

To me, it's a paycheck. While on the one hand it is nice to help catch people who are selling their narcotics prescriptions or driving trucks under the influence of X drug, I know that I also make people lose their job who maybe just made the wrong choice one time. It has its good and bad.

PaperplatesnTowels12 karma

I am a chronic cannabis smoker of three years. I have smoked daily with varying amounts for at least the past 2 years. Will 30 days be enough to stay negative for trace amounts of THC?

druganonymous17 karma

Probably. I wouldn't be surprised if there was still some left in you, but you could expect to come in under the cutoff.

thefranchise9711 karma

Generally, when a company is testing its employees, do they want people with any trace of a drug to be considered "positive," or do they have cutoff levels?

druganonymous18 karma

Every drug has a cutoff level. You can have some in your system and still be considered negative. It's pretty arbitrary.

Techre9 karma

How good are hair test?

Will 2CB give false positives for amfetamines?

Do you test on LSD?

druganonymous10 karma

Hair testing is being phased out. I've never performed it myself, but I would assume by that fact that hair testing isn't so great.

I don't know what 2CB is.

We do test for LSD, I've answered that somewhere in here. It's rare.

PelicanPop9 karma

What are some myths that are easily busted? For example, I've heard if you drink a lot of water, or certain liquids, the test results become very diluted.

druganonymous17 karma

Well this is true, dilution is probably the most popular method for beating the tests. It works, to a degree. We test most samples for how diluted they are, their specific gravity (we only test what the client has ordered. Not all test for everything). If a sample is too dilute, it is reported as such. This usually results in an observed collection the second time around, and depending on your employer may be considered tampering with the test.

Drugs and their metabolites are released from the body at a certain rate and there is very little you can do to change that rate. Many methods that are advertised to people as "drug-cleansers" or whatever are actually quite dangerous. Anyways, if you dilute your urine, it is possible to come in under the cutoff for the drug concentration. You just run the risk of being flagged as dilute, and judges can still bust you for violation of probation if there is any drug in your system, not just the cut-off amount set by SAMSHA http://www.samhsa.gov/

heavenlytoaster9 karma

What things can mask the fact that you have diluted your urine? I know one prevalent test is creatine levels (eg. so if you load up with more it will appear at "normal" levels) are there any other substances that one could add to their attempts to beat the tests?

druganonymous14 karma

If you somehow get your creatinine and ion levels to be normal while still diluting the urine, you'll come out clean. The thing is, creatinine is a very difficult substance to obtain because it has 0 commercial value. As for specific gravity, you could try eating salty foods. Some people have died trying to dilute their urine because they did not maintain their salt balance. It is dangerous when attempted by uninformed amateurs.

Fwyatt2509 karma

Do you have a good sense of humor about handling other people's piss for a living?

druganonymous20 karma

Yeah. I'm a pretty open-minded and lewd person anyways. Pee smells bad, but after a couple weeks you don't notice it anymore. I got some on my face once. Just got an alcohol pad and wiped it off...

circusnachos9 karma

I work in a homeless shelter and we use dip tests with 5 strips. Lately we've been getting a lot of non-reactive tests. Any idea why?

druganonymous15 karma

They are probably throwing in additives like bleach, nitrates, perfume etc. These can interfere with the antibody associations.

fydel8 karma

What was the highest number of positive results in one test and which drugs were that?

druganonymous22 karma

Well, the most positives usually come from the hospitals, and we are testing them for pain management. They are supposed to be positive.

For pre-employment stuff, you might get as many as 3 positives on a single sample. Usually if there is cocaine there is also THC. Same with amphetamines. It's also amusing to note just how positive some people are (we can tell how concentrated the sample is). I've had a few samples where I wonder how they even managed to pee into a cup.

redrocket9248 karma

What is the process like? How is the urine analyzed for traces of illicit substances?

druganonymous11 karma

When the samples enter my lab, they are loaded onto automated machines that take small amounts of urine for each test. This is mixed with an antibody/enzyme mixture that is designed to change colors depending on whether or not there is drug present. This process takes about 15 minutes. The data is reviewed and then compared to control samples to make sure the machines are operating correctly and we aren't reporting false results. Any positive samples are moved to a confirmatory stage (if the client so chooses) which generally uses mass spectroscopy to confirm the presence of a drug. Not all clients do confirmation for positives, but they cannot take legal action against an employee if they don't.

redrocket9242 karma

So that's why you have to fill up the cup to a certain volume then... For some reason I always assumed that they used something like PH test strips that only needed to be moistened and it was silly to collect as much as they did. Thanks

druganonymous5 karma

The preliminary tests require very little urine, as little as 20 microliters. However, due to the way the confirmatory tests work, they require as much as 2 mililiters.

bumbling_mumbler7 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA, you're awesome.

I work a job where I have to go into a lot of different houses each day, and some of them are kind of cloudy/stinky when I go in. Chemically speaking, is there a threshold for a regular "user" versus someone who is just regularly "exposed"? Thanks again, I just hate my job and want to pass a piss test at my next potential employer, only I'm not sure that I will, considering what I encounter on a daily basis...

druganonymous7 karma

Occasional second-hand exposure shouldn't flag you positive.

cameronbates16 karma

What's the youngest age of someone who has tested positive for a drug? Which drug?

druganonymous7 karma

I don't have that information.

toobspunk6 karma

Does your job ever piss you off?

druganonymous4 karma

Har Har Har.

Actually no, it's pretty low-stress.

Troogle6 karma


druganonymous9 karma

Oxy is not commonly tested, no. That's more common in oral sample screening.

techyy6 karma

What is the most common drug you find people using? (Other than THC?)

Edit: Typo

druganonymous10 karma

Hmm, probably amphetamines.

Megatron_McLargeHuge6 karma

You said you don't test for steroids but do you test for any kind of performance enhancing drugs?

Have you had to testify in support of your testing process?

What controls are there to make sure the labs don't get lazy? Do they send known samples through to audit you?

druganonymous7 karma

1) No

2) We have higher-ups who testify for us, but occasionally we do have to testify ourselves. I have not.

3) Every batch has a random positive sample put in it. We have to catch it or the batch fails.

Wolfcoolornot6 karma

Have you ever accidentally spilled a sample?

thenewnum26 karma

What drugs do you test for?

druganonymous14 karma

Amphetamines, methadone, cocaine, PCP, propoxyphene, methaqualone, opioids, barbiturates, THC, and benzodiazapenes are probably our biggest tests. Most pre-employment screens order those. We also test things like fentanyl, buprenorphine, oxycodone, cotinine, ethanol, carisoprodol, tapentadol, LSD, ambien, synthetic cannabinoids, and dextromethorphan. Not all of those drugs are illegal. Strangely enough we don't test for psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Addiontally, we have another battery of tests to ensure that the sample has not been tampered with. The tests that are performed depend entirely on what the client has ordered.

thenewnum25 karma

How come no lsd? ( or one of these are a component in it and I am dumb)

Also do you get drug tested??

druganonymous8 karma

I listed LSD (but I misspelled it, derp), although we only get maybe 3-5 requisitions for it per week. Easily our least-tested drug. I guess nobody takes it anymore. In the 5 months I've been working there I've only seen 2 positives for it. Part of the problem is that it breaks down in the urine in a couple days so it's hard to catch.

buxe20003 karma


druganonymous7 karma

Tobacco is tested under cotinine. For ethanol, we just test the urine for it and if it's positive, it's positive. We report that back to the client and they decide what to do with it. Some people are contractually obligated under their company to never drink alcohol, so that could be why they are getting tested.

I'm not responsible for contacting clients with results, I only input positives and negatives into the database. I'm not sure if they tell clients any more than that.

mobilehypo5 karma

Educational background?

druganonymous7 karma

BS and MS in Biology.

Fartless4 karma

Do you know anything about STD urine tests? If you get an STD from skin to skin contact (IE open wound on finger), would a urine test still be able to detect?

druganonymous4 karma

No clue about that, sorry.

GrizzlyOtis3 karma

I've always been told that an individual cannot be tested for "spice" or synthetic marijuana and bath salts. Is this true?

druganonymous13 karma

Oh they most certainly can. Certain formulations of those things may not be illegal, but we can definitely test for them.

blueflamingo42203 karma

can you detect if someone uses synthetic urine?

druganonymous9 karma

Yes, it will not contain creatinine, which is a natural byproduct of muscle metabolism that all people produce.

blackkeysplease3 karma

My friend has passed 3 drug tests using fake urine. Explanation for that?

sapolism3 karma

What is the specific chemical you test for with regard to THC? Is it delta-9-THC or 11-OH-THC?

druganonymous6 karma


PandazCakez2 karma

Does going to a sauna or a steam room have any affect at all?

druganonymous5 karma

Maybe for THC if it's making you burn fat, but otherwise nope.

Bypassomega2 karma

What percentage of samples test positive on average, would you guess?

druganonymous3 karma

For your average pre-employment screen, maybe 1-2 every 50 samples will have a positive for something. Most often THC, but we do see everything.

drphilcolonaccident2 karma

What would happen if I went to a drug test and couldn't pee.

druganonymous2 karma

I don't work on the collections side, but I assume they'd just have you wait around until you could do it.