Can you cheat urine drug testing?

The extraordinary levels that some people will go to in an attempt to cheat urine drug testing is interesting and sometimes bizarre.

If you’re a regular reader of our posts, you’ll know that we’re advocates for saliva drug testing over urine drug testing. There are several reasons for this (you can view a summary on the Workplace drug testing page on our website) and one of these is that while rare, urine drug testing can be cheated.

For example, recently one of the companies that we use for laboratory confirmations reported an increase in the incidence of fake urine in samples sent to their laboratory for testing. What is fake urine? Essentially it’s a synthetic product that’s been swapped for real urine by people who have been asked to undergo drug testing. Using fake urine to try to cheat urine drug testing is not new, in fact, it’s quite common in the United States and other parts of the world, and it’s a concern to see it on the rise in Australia.

So, are there other ways to potentially cheat urine drug testing? Here are some of the interesting and sometimes bizarre ways that people have tried… and mostly failed:

  • There have been instances of employees trying to use other employees’ urine to try to beat urine drug testing. There are even claims that some employees have used an animal’s urine for their sample. Clearly, for this method to work, supervision during testing would need to be incredibly poor.
  • A person in Western Australia was sentenced to 12 months jail for falsifying urine drug testing samples for employees at mine sites in the state’s north west. The person substituted urine samples for three men to ensure they would get a job or maintain their employment.
  • Others have tried to dilute their urine by drinking large amounts of water before being tested. People have also adding water or chemicals to their urine sample to try to cheat urine drug testing.
  • Employees have also tried to cheat urine drug testing by taking various products that claim to detox the body and clear it of drugs quicker. There are even supposed home remedies that claim to work. It’s generally agreed that the only ‘product’ that can remove drugs from the system is good old Father Time!
  • And, finally, to what must be the most bizarre. While this attempt to cheat urine drug testing relates to an athlete and not an employee, we thought it should be included for amusement’s sake if nothing else. It involves a former NBA star who recently revealed that he used a prosthetic penis to dupe drug testers in the lead up to the 2004 Olympics. Believing that he would fail a drug test because of his addiction and drug usage, the basketballer went to the extraordinary level of ordering the prosthetic penis online and using urine supplied by someone who was drug free. Incredible but true!

Incidentally, by providing this information we’re not suggesting you should try one of these methods if you are asked to undergo urine drug testing in your workplace. In fact, we’d urge you to not to try to cheat urine testing. While there is a slight chance you may get away with it, generally you will get caught and the consequences can be more significant than if you took the test and failed.


The extraordinary levels that some people will go to in an attempt to cheat urine drug testing is interesting and sometimes bizarre. Credit Keith Allison (image modified)

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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