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Urine Temperature is Key to Accurate Testing

Urine Temperature check

Urine Temperature – The Art of Drug Testing

I was reminded a few days ago about an individual who wanted a drug test for their job. They requested a rapid 10-panel drug test which is fairly standard.

We try to be vigilant when we test and have all the safeguards in place to catch the cheaters. But sometimes a donor will try and sneak through by whatever means possible. In this case, they expressed that they needed to go to the bathroom otherwise they would pee themselves. This is a red flag to us as it generally indicates that they are carrying a fake sample.

Urine Temperature - The Art of Drug TestingLet me explain: Sadly it’s so easy to buy fake urine on the internet and use it to pass a drug test. There are many brands available that can mimic real urine. The sample comes with full instructions on how to use it. It evens comes with a heater pack to bring the sample up to temperature. Brands like Ur-In-Luck promote how easy it is to pass a drug test by substituting their product for real urine.

So the cheater comes in and expresses that they need to go desperately. This tells us that they have set the heater to warm the fake urine up so it passes the test. The industry standard permits urine temperature from 90° to 100° F. At this point we make them wait for as long as possible. Up to 15 minutes before we take them in for testing. Why do we do this?

Urine Temperature – And Catching the Cheaters!

The donor is asked to come into the testing area, we ask them to empty their pockets, wash their hands then go into the cubicle and provide a sample. We listen near the door for the normal signs of urination. Invariably we hear only rustling and no urination sound. The donor promptly comes out with a urine sample and presents it to the administrator for analysis.

This is how we catch them. We test the urine temperature. We do not accept the general rule for temperature which is 90° to 100° F. With many years of experience we know that the temperature is always around 96° F. The body temperature is 98.6° F., so allowing for a small temperature drop 95, 96, 97 or 98° F. is where the urine temperature should be.

The cheaters don’t know this, well not until they read this article. So we check the temperature, invariably it is too hot, anywhere up to 108° F. They make their excuses that they have a fever or they are sick. We have heard it all before. It can also be too low, anything below 93° F. is not acceptable. But what if the temperature is in range and their heater got it right? The key is the smell. Fake urine has no smell. BUSTED!

Urine Temperature
Read the temperature of the sample immediately. 93 to 98F is the acceptable range.

At this point, we tell them the sample is not acceptable and ask them to go sit in the waiting room for at least 30 minutes before they provide a fresh sample. By this time the heater has stopped working and the fake sample they brought with them is insufficient for a second attempt. When we test them again as we did with this individual we see that they are presumed positive for Cocaine. BUSTED again!


If you are parent or testing at the office, you have to be cuter than they are and see the signs. Monitor every stage of the test, look for body language and always listen at the door for the sound of urination. It doesn’t take long to know who the cheaters are even before their tested. Use a specimen cup with a temperature strip affixed to it and don’t accept excuses for why the urine temperature is out of range.

Urine Temperature

The next time an individual brings in a product like Ur-In-Luck or Quick Fix to beat the test, they will be Out-of-Luck! Happy testing.

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Know your Workplace drug testing policy & procedures

workplace drug testing policy

Do you have a Workplace drug testing policy?

Drug testing is a way an employer can determine if their employees or job applicants are abusing drugs.  It can identify evidence of recent substance abuse, particularly prescription and illegal drugs.  Substance testing cannot test for impairment or whether drugs have impacted a person’s behavior.  The way drug testing works best is to implement a clear written workplace drug testing policy and share it with all your employees. Part of your implementation should include employee education about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be added to provide help for employees who may have a drink or drug problem.

workplace drug testing policyHow to set up a drug-free workplace policy.

An effective substance-abuse prevention policy for your small businesses might start with five simple sentences. You can add additional content as required to suit the needs and circumstances of your company.


  1. [Your Company] is committed to protecting the safety, health, and well-being of its employees and all people who come into contact with its workplace(s) and property, and/or use its products and services.
  2. Recognizing that drug and alcohol abuse poses a direct and significant threat to this goal, [Your Company] is committed to ensuring a substance-free working environment for all of its employees.
  3. [Your Company] therefore strictly prohibits the illicit use, possession, sale, conveyance, distribution, or manufacture of illegal drugs, intoxicants, or controlled substances in any amount or any manner.
  4. Also, [Your Company] strictly prohibits the abuse of alcohol or prescription drugs.
  5. Any violation of this policy will result in adverse employment action up to and including dismissal and referral for criminal prosecution.

Download a Drug Workplace Policy Template

Before you start putting together your Workplace drug testing policy for employees, you should consider these questions:

  • What is the purpose/goal of your policy?
  • Who is covered by your policy?
  • When does your policy apply?
  • What behavior is prohibited?
  • Will employees be required to notify you of drug-related convictions?
  • Does your policy include searches?
  • Does your program include drug testing?
  • Violation of policy, what will the consequences?
  • Are there Return-to-Work Agreements?
  • What type of assistance is available?
  • How is employee confidentiality protected?
  • Who is responsible for enforcing your policy?
  • How will your policy be communicated to employees?

What is workplace drug testing?

Employers who decide to test a job applicant or employee must determine what drugs they are testing. Don’t just pick a standard five test because everyone else does.

The test used by U.S. Department of Transportation consists of a test for six substances.  These six substances include THC (marijuana), Cocaine, Opiates, Amphetamines, Phencyclidine, and Ecstasy. Here are some options. Use that as your starting point, then think about what other drugs you may wish to include in the test.

Many employers today go beyond testing for these six drugs, expanding the panel of drugs to ten or twelve. The test panel can be extended to include as many drugs as you see fit. It may wish to include Benzodiazepines, Methadone, Oxycodone, Barbiturates, and Methamphetamine.

Is workplace drug testing useful?

Common reasons employers implement workplace testing policy:

  • Deter employees from abusing illicit substances, prescription medications, and alcohol.
  • Prevent hiring individuals who are abusers.
  • To identify early and appropriately help employees who have substance or alcohol problem.
  • Provide a safe and comfortable workplace for employees.
  • Instills consumer confidence that employees are working safely and protects the general public.
  • Comply with State laws and Federal regulations.
  • Benefit from increased discounts for Worker’s Compensation Premiums.

What are the pros and cons of Workplace drug testing?

Alcohol and drug abuse can create significant health and safety hazards. It can result in decreased productivity and poor employee morale.  It leads to additional costs in the worker’s compensation claims and short-term disability claims.

Pros to the company:

  • Increased employee morale.
  • Decreased workplace accidents.
  • Reduced employee theft.
  • Increased productivity.
  • Reduced employee turnover.
  • Decreased cost of insurance, such as workers’ compensation.

Cons to the company:

  • Abusers have poor work performance.
  • Frequently call out of or arrive late to the workplace.
  • Frequently change workplaces.
  • Struggle with productivity.
  • File for workers’ compensation claims and benefits.

Workplace drug testing kits.

We stock many options for drug testing in the workplace and provide valuable information on how to use drug tests and what drug they detect.

Workplace drug test kits.

Useful Government links:

Drug testing laws by state.

Drug Free Workplace programs from SAMHSA.

Useful information for setting up a workplace drug testing policy.