Urine Specimens

Common household chemicals such as laundry bleach, table salt, toilet bowl cleaner, hand soap and vinegar have been for many years used as adulterants of urine specimens in an attempt to avoid a positive drug test. There is also a popular belief that drinking Golden Seal tea helps to escape detection of an abused drug. More recently, a variety of products have become commercially available which can be ordered through Internet sites (http://www.bdtzone.com, http://pass-drug-test.com and so on) and tollfree numbers. Home test kits are also available commercially to test for certain drugs. Synthetic urine is available from these Internet sites as a sure method to beat a drug test in settings where collection of a urine specimen is not supervised. The Quick Fix Synthetic Urine is a bottle of premixed urine with all the characteristics of natural urine (correct pH, specific gravity and creatinine). The product can be heated in a microwave oven for up to 10 s in order to achieve a temperature between 90 and 100°F. It can also be taped to a heater pad in order to maintain the normal temperature of urine for up to 6 h in a pocket.

Commercially available products to beat drug tests can be classified under two broad categories. The first category includes specific fluids or tablets, along with substantial water intake to flush out drugs and metabolites. Many of these products can produce dilute urine and the concentrations of drugs or metabolites can be significantly reduced. Common products are Absolute Detox XXL drink ($31.00), Absolute Carbo Drinks ($28.50), Ready Clean Drug Detox Drink ($29.50), Fast Flush Capsules ($29.50) and Ready Clean Gel Capsules ($28.50). All products are available from the Internet site (http:///www.testself.com). The second category of products available is in vitro urinary adulterants, which should be added to urine after collection in order to pass a drug test. Stealth (contains peroxidase and peroxide), Klear (nitrite), Clean ADD-IT-ive (glutaraldehyde) and Urine Luck [pyridinium chlorochromate (PCC)] are urinary adulterants available through the Internet. Iodine is a strong oxidizing agent and may potentially destroy abused drugs, especially tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC), if present in urine (1). A recent article indicates that papain with intrinsic ester hydrolysis ability can significantly reduce the concentration of 11-norcarboxy delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC-COOH), a metabolite of marijuana, if added to the urine specimen in vitro. This product is relatively inexpensive and commercially available from Sigma-Aldrich Chemical Company. Papain, however, did not significantly decrease concentrations of the other drugs analyzed [screening by both enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique (EMIT) and fluorescence polarization immunoassay] except nordiazepam (2).

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