If you’ve never had a drug test before, you may be wondering exactly what happens during this process. Some may even wonder if it’s possible to cheat a drug test. We’ve got the answers to both of those questions here, so you can better understand what is going on, and why attempting to cheat is such a risky venture.
Visiting The Facility
Drug tests are normally administered a collection facility, so this isn’t something that occurs at your place of work. A collection facility is another site, run by experienced, professional staff that have been trained both in collecting viable samples that are good for analysis, as well as circumventing attempts to cheat the system.
The reason collection facilities are favored is that these sites are designed specifically for the collection and preservation of specimens for analysis. They’re much better suited than bringing staff to a workplace and getting samples there, where it’s possible to contaminate specimens accidentally. The other side of this coin is that a collection facility is an unfamiliar environment for people being tested, and therefore, it’s much more difficult to attempt to cheat.
Normally, the collection will be for one of three possible samples, a hair, oral fluid, or urine sample. In the case of the hair and oral fluids, these samples can be collected directly by trained staff. It dramatically reduces the chances of cheating since the staff can witness or participate in the actual collection of the specimen.
With urine samples, some may think there is a bit more “leeway” because privacy is respected, and people being tested are taken to a restroom where they can urinate to provide the testing sample. However, even in this case, people being tested are asked to remove any extra baggage, such as backpacks or purses, and to remove all outer garments, such as jackets, sweaters and to empty any pockets, and wash hands before donating a sample.
Samples are then sent to a lab where they are tested. What is being looked for is the presence of metabolites, which can be considered “leftover molecules” in the aftermath of a substance being processed by the body. Different foods, drinks, and drugs leave behind different metabolites.
If a sample tests positive for the presence of certain metabolites, such as heroin, or cocaine, then additional testing is conducted to ensure this is not a “false positive.” If a test randomly conducted, this leaves no time to prepare for cheating, since people weren’t expecting it.