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Taking Action Investigation: Are your employees acing drug tests with fake urine?

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Necessity is the mother of invention.  Since drug tests have been administered, people have found ways to beat the system.

Now there is an entire market of over-the-counter products making it possible for everyone from employees to parolees to pass drug tests, no matter what is in their system.

"The market to subvert these drug tests has been around as long as drug tests have been around," said State Probation Officer Josh Boyd.

Synthetic urine, with names like "U-Pass" and "X Stream," promise zero percent fail rates and can be purchased at the gas station.  Some websites even post reviews of how well the products work.

WHNT News 19 took the test to Boyd, who expected the test would not work. The QuickScreen testing strips are already in the sample cup.

When testing for a drug a "control" line will appear, and another line to indicate if the urine is clean or if there are drugs in the person's system.

The X-Stream synthetic urine passed the drug test.

While state and Madison County probation offices visually watch parolees provide a sample, drug labs used by employers and parents do not, and they're getting duped.

We purchased an at-home drug test that can be purchased at your neighborhood convenience store. This time we tested the U-Pass synthetic urine. The at home kit gave the all-clear for marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and opiates.The kit does provide the option of sending the urine off for a "confirmatory test."

While other states take measures to get the products off the shelves, they continue to be easily accessible in Alabama.

States like Illinois Arkansas, and Maryland all have laws on the books that ban the sale, possession, or use of synthetic urine and other methods of subverting a drug test.

Boyd thinks legal action would help get the products of Alabama shelves, however thinks the real responsibility lies with testing labs.

"Where people might be more concerned is not regulating this industry, but renewing their process and going over their policy and procedures for drug testing," said Boyd.

In this case, knowing the ways people are already cheating the system may be the best way to prevent it.

We want to know what you think. Should synthetic urine be allowed on shelves in Alabama? Join the conversation here or on the WHNT News 19 Facebook page.



  • Dac

    This article almost makes me want to stop watching this station. These tests are an invasion of privacy, and unless your employee is coming to work high I don’t think they should be allowed to do it. You don’t see people on wellfare getting drug tested… Leave the hard working people be.

  • ariel

    I agree with both comments. And drug tests usually can only detect Marijuana since most hard drugs can be out of your system in less than 24 hours. So they are pointless, you’re not going to be able to detect anything that actually matters. Also the invasion of privacy thing is a big deal to me if you can’t tell your employee is on drugs then it’s obviously none of your business.

  • sally (@FedGoat)

    Why do I, as a hard working, never collected government help citizen have to take a drug test at all when people on welfare that take all my tax dollars and they don’t have to pass any test.

  • bewisetoday

    You need to use a SAMHSA certified lab that tests for these synthetic urine products, not all do. The instant test kits are only valuable when direct observation is used. They are a “dumb” test and don’t test for the additional characteristics of real urine. It’s shameful that congress has still not enacted the Drug Test Integrity Act that would make the sale, distribution and use of these tampering products illegal. You would think congress could at least agree on that.

    • Red

      I think it is shameful that YOU think fake pee should be illegal just because somebody might be getting around a drug test with it. Do you work for a drug test lab or something? I do agree that the folks that wrote this article performed the most idiotic experiment that they could, and it’s obvious that they didn’t bother to do any research beforehand, or they would have understood the difference between the simple tests and the more in-depth tests.

  • Sane

    Some people on welfare should take a mandatory drug test especially when they sell their food stamps to purchase pain pills for recreation use

    • Red

      Does it bother you that the money that would be spent to test welfare recipients would far outstrip any savings in welfare not paid out? Does it bother you that the children of parents who might test positive will be innocent victims of this stupid plan of yours, or are you one of those that says… who cares, it’s their own fault? Does it bother you that NO drug test is fool proof and immune to false positives?

  • Red

    This is where nanny-state, BIG GOVERNMENT, invasive policies come from… from whiney people who think that other folks will have to deal with the fallout, so that makes it OK. When people have it in their heads that they know precisely who will be affected and who won’t, then that tends to just encourage them further.

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