Since passing the drug-free workplace act in 1988, both federal and private sector companies have integrated regular drug testing into the workplace. Depending on the field, these regulatory protocols may be consistent throughout employment, or introduced as a pre-hiring screening process. However, some instances threaten the security of these tests.

As safety standards in the professional sphere continue to heighten, a rise in tampered drug testing has followed suit. For federally-regulated companies and small businesses, this issue poses many questions. 

In fact, many business owners may be asking themselves, what is the best way to navigate adulterated drug tests? If you’re curious about recognizing tampered drug tests, and how to handle them, continue reading. 


How is a Tampered Drug Test Detected? 


For business owners, efficacy surrounding drug testing is a core value that informs the overall function of the work environment. Understanding how an adulterated drug test is detected brings insight to businesses navigating the process. 

Here are some common testing procedures drug screening facilities use to identify an adulterated test.


Physicochemical Properties


When screening urine, there are a few factors that indicate adulteration. For example, abnormal coloration, temperature, or the odor of a sample can provide valuable insight. Dilution using water turns a sample into a clear solution. Meanwhile, detoxifiers containing niacin increase the yellow contrast of the liquid. 

In addition, the use of bleach, alcohol, or vinegar changes the odor of the sample providing further clues to the validity of the test. Moreover, true urine reflects the temperature of the human body, meaning any temperature below 90-98 degrees Fahrenheit indicates tampering. 


Spot Testing


Another key way to identify an adulterated urine sample is through a colorimetric test. This process utilizes certain compounds to create a color reaction when mixed with the right adulterant. 

For instance, adding hydrogen peroxide to a sample adulterated with PCC (pyridinium chlorochromate) turns the solution brown. This is a telltale method to indicate an adulterated urine sample or the solution used to do so. 


Test Strips


Test strips can also be used to check the validity of a urine sample. These strips can detect a variety of oxidants that tamper with urine including PCC, pH, creatinine, glutaraldehyde, nitrites, and more. 


Navigating Adulterated Drug Tests in Federal Industries


Various rights exist for employees working in federally regulated safety-sensitive industries. In these industries, employees who test positive during a drug test may be referred to an employee assistance program (EAP).

EAPs provide the employee with support regarding mental and physical health and substance misuse. While these programs do exist, individuals may also be referred to a treatment program. Or, depending on the nature of the situation, they may be effectively terminated. 


Navigating Drug Tests in the Private Sector


Although federal industries offer support for employees struggling with drug use, private businesses are not legally required to follow these protocols. Because private companies are not regulated by the same laws, protocol for positive drug screenings varies. As a result, private sector employees that test positive for a drug screening could be immediately terminated without negotiation. 


How to Locate Drug Testing Near Me


For those seeking drug testing outside of the workplace, drug screening facilities or over-the-counter drug tests are available. You can easily discover a local drug screening lab or an at-home drug testing retailer in your area. Simply search for “drug testing near me.”


Discover Workplace Safety with Soteria Drug Screening

If you’re seeking higher standards for your business, drug testing is a powerful tool. Soteria Drug Screening offers a multi-facility, quality drug screening lab to ensure the safety and security of your workplace. To increase the success of your business, contact Soteria Drug Screening today. Discover how their services can support your growing workplace. 

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