An Insider's Look at Drug Testing, by Fastest Labs Boss
Dave Claflin is CEO of Fastest Labs, and is well-versed in the tricks people play to pass drug tests.
When it comes to drug testing, David Claflin has seen and heard it all. “I could write a book on it,” says the CEO of Fastest Labs. “We have people that try to trick us every single day. And the funniest thing is when they get caught they just say, ‘OK, you got me.’”
I spoke with Claflin recently for an article about the rise of workplace drug-testing and the simultaneous expansion of drug-testing franchises, for the August issue. I learned a whole lot about Claflin’s world along the way.
“There was the guy who came in for a drug test, and he’s sweating profusely,” Claflin related. “I thought, What is wrong with this guy? And he comes back with a specimen, and it’s 130 degrees. It’s supposed to be about 98 degrees. He smuggled it into his underwear.”
This man was persistent, Claflin continues. “He pays for another test, and he fails for marijuana. He says there’s no way he failed, and pays for another test the next day. He fails for marijuana again,” and the Fastest Labs team quickly relayed the results to the prospective employer.
“We get a call about 15 minutes later, and it was the owner of the company” that had asked for the tests. “And he says, ‘You just called here about 10 minutes ago.’ He impersonated me and called the employer and said we had made a mistake.” And the kicker—that same man showed up for new-employer orientation the next day, failed drug tests be damned.
Claflin shares these common tricks to pass a drug test and how to combat trickery:
1. Smuggling another person’s urine in a small container is the most common trick. Visually inspect every person before testing by looking at tops, socks, boots and waistbands and require candidate to remove jackets, hats and all contents of their pockets.
2. Concealing a prosthetic device such as a whizonator or an IV bag that contains fake urine in an undergarment. Taking the temperature of the specimen will show that it is not in normal temp range and makes the specimen unacceptable.
3. Diluting urine by drinking large amounts of water. However, this does not change or mask the test results.
4. Synthetic urine or dehydrated urine powders mixed with water. These need a water source, so make sure toilet water is blue and that sink water is turned off in the testing area.
5. Adding adulterants like bleach, iodine, hand soap, air freshener or toilet cleaner to specimen. Remove all soap, cleaners or products from the testing area.
6. Painting adulterants on fingers; make sure their hands are washed before the test.
7. For hair testing, people will bleach or shampoo their hair with special agents. These tricks do not work because the history is locked in the hair shaft.
As for the most common tale told to employers: “I never smoked marijuana. I was at a party, concert or poker game and inhaled second-hand smoke.” Claflin retorts: “Our medical review officer made it clear that an individual could ride in a car with the windows rolled up and travel for a couple hours with marijuana being smoked all around them and THC would not show up in their drug test. You must inhale or ingest marijuana for it to test positive.”
As for the people who try to avoid testing by body hair, which reveals drug use back for almost a year, Claflin sets them straight—you can just go for the fingernails instead. “That goes back seven months,” he says. “So if you get a smart aleck in here that shaves all their body hair…”