Does Synthetic Urine Work for Lab Tests?

lab technician testing urine in vials

People use different ways to try and beat a drug test. Some attempt to purge their system through detoxing⁠—usually by drinking lots of water or chugging some cranberry juice. Others try to cheat by using a “clean” sample from someone else or by purchasing fake pee, which is supposed to be a thoroughly convincing substitute. But does synthetic urine work for lab tests?

Obviously, failing a mandatory drug test can result in some pretty disastrous consequences. And if you’re reading this article, you’re probably facing such a situation yourself. Therefore, while we are not advocating the use of synthetic urine, we understand the need to verify its efficacy.

Can Synthetic Pee Pass a Lab Drug Test?

The short answer? It depends. There are many factors that can affect the outcome of the test. But if you’ve purchased the synthetic urine from a reliable manufacturer, and as long as you mixed it properly, it could very well pass a lab test. 

That’s what’s great about synthetic urine⁠—it's designed to be realistic down to its general makeup. It not only mimics characteristics like color, smell, temperature, and density, but also contains chemicals, creatinine, and sometimes even uric acid.

Many people have tried submitting all sorts of substances to be able to evade detection of drug use. However, all this does is make their sample invalid for testing, which would then require a retest. This is because human urine typically has matching creatinine and specific gravity (SG) levels, as well as a typical range for pH level.

urine sample for marijuana drug test

How is Synthetic Urine Used for Tests?

Synthetic urine sometimes comes in small packs that can be concealed under your clothes. Some of them come pre-mixed, while others can be mixed privately once you’re in the bathroom. Others come with heating pads and thermometers to ensure that they’re at the right temperature.

And in case you have to pee in front of someone, some products come with very realistic genitalia and tubing, as well as leg straps and an elastic belt to help the whole thing stay in place. The genitalia even comes in different colors to make the whole thing even more realistic. Read this article on how to properly use a synthetic urine belt so you can do your business with confidence. 

For your synthetic urine needs, you’ll want products that you can trust. ALS leads the industry with the highest quality and most up-to-date synthetic urine kits on the market. Also, check out the wide array of medical-grade urine devices on their website for your next urine lab test⁠—or whatever else you may need it for⁠—we won’t judge!

What is a Urine Drug Test?

Now that we’ve answered your most pressing question, let’s learn a little bit more about urine drug tests.

A urine drug test or urine drug screen (UDS) is the easiest, most painless way for anybody to get tested for illicit drug use or potential substance abuse problems. It usually screens for amphetamines (including methamphetamines), steroids, barbiturates, marijuana, cocaine, narcotics, PCPs, and even alcohol, to name a few. Once the test identifies misuse, you will typically be recommended a treatment plan — at the very least — since drug use is illegal in many states and can be linked to other crimes.

Tests can occur at random, especially in workplaces and other areas where there is a need to deter illicit drug use. The selection process here is unpredictable so it’s easier to catch users. Others, when there is reasonable suspicion, such as being unfit to work or even after an accident, like DUIs and other dangerous behavior. 

There are times when you will be informed about a urine test, such as during pre-employment, annual physical examinations, or as part of a treatment monitoring plan. 

How Urine Drug Tests Are Done

Urine drug tests may be conducted by a trained collector who visits your office to pick up the urine samples. Or, employees may be instructed to go to a certified laboratory. Either way, accuracy is very important, so the transfer (or “chain of custody”) should involve a trusted person who can ensure continuity and confidentiality.

On the day of the test, you’ll be given a plastic cup for you to take to the bathroom. For best results, you’ll be asked to obtain a “clean catch.” This involves peeing a small amount into the toilet first to help get rid of the bacteria that may be present on your outer glands. You then catch the “midstream” of your pee until your cup is about half full.

Once you’re done, you'll have to bring the cup to the receiver or to their designated compartment. It also has to be labeled with your name before you hand it over (if the cup is not labeled yet) to ensure accuracy.

Some lab tests may provide instant results, and some do not. Oftentimes, samples are sent out so formal reports can be generated to show results. 

Immunoassays, which is the most common type of UDS, measure how the drug being tested interacts with the body. The results are expressed in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) in relation to a cutoff number. Anything below the cutoff point means negative while anything above means positive. If it’s the latter, it undergoes a confirmation test to pinpoint the exact metabolite and exact drug, thus ruling out false positives.

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