Does synthetic urine work?
September 17, 2007 10:08 AM   Subscribe

How reliable is the synthetic urine called "Yellow River" by the people who make the "Whizzinator" for standard employment drug tests? Asking for my roommate (honest)! E-mail in profile for anonymity.

My friend literally just got back from a trip to Spain/Amsterdam where he apparently smoked every day. He never smoked before nor does he do any other drugs. He came back on Sunday, frantically called me to see if I could help. I'm having a hard time finding efficacy studies, though synthetic urine seems to be the way to go. I see a lot of good reviews for Quick Fix 4.0, but that is not what is immediately available.

I donate my own urine, but I'm all hopped up on the pain pills due to an unfortunate weekend sports industry. He insists he just did marijuana, no other drugs are involved.

Again, my e-mail is in the profile. His job is not for the government, nor is it safety related. He works in marketing, so allay your fears that he performs surgeries on orphaned babies.
posted by geoff. to Health & Fitness (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Would he be able to argue that he wasn't breaking any laws, since he was in Amsterdam at the time?
posted by rbs at 10:28 AM on September 17, 2007

Would he be able to argue that he wasn't breaking any laws, since he was in Amsterdam at the time?

Right, that was my first question. Apparently it is legal in Amsterdam and decriminalized (or equivalent) in Spain. He called up HR and while they were sympathetic (and advised that he use the entire 72 hour window before taking the test) the legality of the substance where it is consumed has no bearing on their draconian policy.

He's already looking at possibly getting a lawyer due to that, but I personally doubt that he has any legal ground. HR gave him a "wink and a nod" that these tests were beatable, but did not give him any more information, obviously.
posted by geoff. at 10:34 AM on September 17, 2007

When I was entering the Army, one of the other guys with me told the recruiter he was afraid he wouldn't pass the marijuana test, and the recruiter advised him to drink A LOT of water in the few days before the test to dilute/flush it out. Now, I don't know if that works, and, for that matter, I don't even know if that guy passed the army test, but that's the advice he was given.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:37 AM on September 17, 2007

oh weekends sports injury
posted by geoff. at 10:38 AM on September 17, 2007

Dilution is the solution to pollution.


Go to CVS and get the take home tests. See if he can pass. That will give him some peace of mind.
posted by OldReliable at 10:43 AM on September 17, 2007

Won't it be marked as diluted? I was under the impression there had to be a specific range for things such as gravity, creatine, etc.
posted by geoff. at 10:45 AM on September 17, 2007

I don't know about the synthetic stuff. But as to whether or not he has a case - As I had it explained to me, even if you do smoke the pot overseas, as long as anything is in your system you're open to being charged with possession of marijuana while in the states. So, unfortunately, he probably does not have any legal ground.

Put it another way - alcohol is perfectly legal. However, if he were to show up at the drug test with significant amounts in his system, he'd be in trouble there. It's not the legality of the substance, it's the possession.

(IANAL or a pot smoker, but this is the way this was described by a lawyer in a class where we were discussing drug laws.)
posted by azpenguin at 10:50 AM on September 17, 2007

If it's marked as too diluted, then they will just ask him for another sample. Between the first sample and the second, he can be flushing that much more out.
posted by philomathoholic at 10:51 AM on September 17, 2007

I've had a handful of friends use the "bring a friend's urine" trick. I believe they used pill bottles or something similarly small and taped it under their armpits. None of them had a problem.

Water and/or pickle juice works as well. Drinking of course :P
posted by Sufi at 10:53 AM on September 17, 2007

So is this a test for a new job, or does his company test him immediately upon return from any trip, to make sure he didn't have any fun?

With regard to methodology, as long as he's in relatively good shape, a hell of a lot of water, as noted above, and one of those $30 fake body detox solutions from the local head shop should do the trick. Of course, those solutions don't actually flush anything out of the body, they just contain massive amounts of creatine and other substances that, when combined with the recommended huge quantities of water on the bottle, will effectively mask dilution.

It works.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 10:55 AM on September 17, 2007

Drink a ton of cranberry juice, ideally he should be drinking enough to be peeing at least once an hour while he is awake. A masking agent taking shortly before the test is also a good idea.
posted by BobbyDigital at 11:03 AM on September 17, 2007

Drink a lot of water, then STOP drinking so much damn water three hours before hand.
posted by notsnot at 11:05 AM on September 17, 2007

I've known people who have taken those "Pass a drug test" pills you get on the internet and... passed their drug tests. There was that NFL player who admitted taking those things in order to pass tests.

The bottom line is that those things do supposedly work.
posted by delmoi at 11:08 AM on September 17, 2007

Why not buy some of the synthetic urine and then run it against one of the CVS drug tests, while also running his own urine (after drinking a lot of water -- not enough to poison him obviously, but as much as he can safely handle) as a control. I doubt that unless the company is in a defense industry or government, that the drug test is going to be a whole lot more complicated than the home ones.

I know anecdotally people who have used the synthetic pee and been fine.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:29 AM on September 17, 2007

I know people who've used the synthetic urine for years and have been fine. The thing you need to worry about is the temperature of the sample, if it's under or over, they'll know because they test that immediately. Under the armpits isn't gonna cut it.

All the info you need that isn't this heresy.

posted by Mach5 at 12:56 PM on September 17, 2007

Drink plenty of water, drink cranberry juice. I also heard that echinacea helps...I don't know how true it is, but my friend drank echinacea tea along with the water and cranberry juice for 24 hours straight and passed an FAA drug test, so...can't hurt, it seems.
posted by angeline at 12:58 PM on September 17, 2007

My sister has used Goldenseal and passed drug tests after smoking regularly, but I've also heard many times that it doesn't work. Oddly, I was tested the day after I came back from Amsterdam, after smoking every day. The cocaine in my system showed up on the test, but marijuana did not. I drink tons of water as a matter of course, so that may be the reason. And If he never smoked before it may not have built up in his system enough to show up. So drinking lots of water and trying a home test from the phamaracy sounds like a good idea, as others mentioned you have to have the temperature perfect if you go the synthetic route.
posted by catatethebird at 1:33 PM on September 17, 2007

Still don't follow - your friend gets tested regularly by his firm?
posted by A189Nut at 2:29 PM on September 17, 2007

Still don't follow - your friend gets tested regularly by his firm?

Yeah, sorry I didn't understand the details until just a few moments ago. While he was away someone found cocaine in the bathroom on his floor. There is a new HR director/manager who decided to take charge of situation and drug test everyone on the floor, from the assistants to the associates (or whatever the equivalent is in the marketing industry). Even though said friend was gone when this mysterious Lohan powder appeared he still has to take the drug test. Why? Well I guess that's the question a lot of people were asking on the floor. Apparently some of the older employees are failing the tests miserably due to the myriad of cross-regents (is that the right term?) that are caused by the plethora of heart, cholesterol and other pills that old people take.

I didn't know this from the outset, but the end result is that my roommate still has to take the drug test. It explains why HR was encouraging him to cheat, at least on the down low. I have never seen or heard of anything like this occurring, especially in a professional environment.

So it was just an unfortunate coincidence that said friend happened to go on a European stoner vacation when this happened. I'm sure this will be really fun in several weeks, but until then he's still in the fetal position mumbling about the end of his career (really though, the advice here has calmed him down enormously).
posted by geoff. at 2:51 PM on September 17, 2007

Of course it opens up the question of why said old people didn't just give a copy of prescriptions to the lab. Will let you know more as drama unfolds.
posted by geoff. at 2:53 PM on September 17, 2007

HR is testing everyone because the only way to avoid being accused of discrimination is to test everyone. Both discrimination, legally speaking, and whining about "why did I get tested and so-and-so didn't..." kind of stuff.

As you said, this is an odd coincidence that I assume will provides years of laughter later.

It's funny, I have a co-worker in another region, a marketing guy, who has talked about just such a vacation. And I think he's taken a few days off recently... hmm...
posted by altcountryman at 5:09 PM on September 17, 2007

Regarding dilution - I have a shy bladder so before I drug test, I have to drink usually 2 20-oz bottles of water, and then pray they can get me in before I burst. (I once had to wait almost 20 minutes in agony.)

Once, I got a peek at my results in my file at the employer's office later. It was marked for temperature (don't know why), but I was still hired. I don't know if it said anything about dilution, because I couldn't see it that well from where I was.
posted by IndigoRain at 3:52 PM on October 4, 2007

FYI: Assuming no news is good news, he's still working there with no incident. Uses synthetic urine.
posted by geoff. at 5:22 PM on October 4, 2007

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