Can synthetic urine replace authentic urine to "beat" workplace drug testing?

Drug Test Anal. 2019 Feb;11(2):331-335. doi: 10.1002/dta.2497. Epub 2018 Oct 14.


Synthetic urine (SU), which was primarily utilized by drug testing laboratories as a matrix for quality control preparations, is now commercially sold and can be used to "fool" a positive drug test. To determine if SU can pass as authentic urine, we challenged Army urine drug testing specimen accessioning and testing procedures using eight different commercial SU products. Adulteration (Sciteck AdultaCheck® 6) and Onsite SU (Synthetic UrineCheck™) test strips were also evaluated. Five of the eight SU were identified by physical observation. All SU products screened negative in the drug immunoassay and additionally passed the specimen validity testing (SVT) as authentic urine. Furthermore, SU was not detected as adulterated with the adulteration test strips (Sciteck AdultaCheck® 6) but was successfully detected as SU with the On-site synthetic urine (Synthetic UrineCheck™). To deter SU use, direct observation, as utilized by the military, may be recommended during the collection process.

Keywords: drug abuse; synthetic urine; urine adulteration; workplace drug testing.

MeSH terms

  • Deception*
  • Humans
  • Specimen Handling*
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods*
  • Urine / chemistry*