There have been great strides made in the legalization of marijuana. Though still a federal crime, many states have passed laws permitting recreational use. Others have decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug.
For those on a job search, these changes are not particularly impactful. Many employers still undertake drug screenings. And a positive result can often mean losing a great work opportunity.
To get past this hurdle, many resort to having friends that are drug-free provide the sample. So it begs the question, how to store urine for a drug test?
This issue is not unusual as drug screenings can often be carried out randomly. It pays to have a clean sample safely stored away that you can use at a moment’s notice.
Even those that may have medical prescriptions for marijuana use, a failed test can still be detrimental. Many employers remain rigid on the issue of drugs, even when they offer significant therapeutic benefits.
To mitigate the risk of losing a job over an unexpected drug test, storing a clean sample can be ideal. It does not even have to be someone else’s. You can take the time to get clean and collect your own sample.
When you know what to do, you can safely store a urine sample for even weeks at a time. We will discuss this later herein.
Let’s first learn more about why people may need this knowledge.
Why Store Urine
As mentioned, drug screenings can often be carried out randomly. You can be given just a day’s notice, leaving you scrambling for a solution. This is especially common for those already employed.
New hires can expect to be tested sometime during the hiring process. This often allows for detox and keeping clean until after the test.
Those hired with criminal records are especially likely to be tested. Large employers like Walmart are known to hire felons, subject to such exams. Those working in sensitive careers, such as healthcare, can also expect such scrutiny.
Passing a drug test can often mean the difference between being employed and unemployed. But for many, the desire to enjoy the pleasures of some drugs is hard to avoid. For others, it could be a health issue being addressed.
For those on probation or parole, it can mean losing their freedom or the custody of their kids. Parole officers may request random testing to ascertain sobriety. The stakes are often high for many people.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, marijuana or THC can remain in one’s system for 1-7 days. Other narcotics like heroin and cocaine can remain detectable for up to 3 days.
With the longer range of marijuana, there is a greater risk of being discovered during random testing. Hence the need to know how to store a clean sample.
Before getting into details on storage and submitting the sample, let’s look at why drug testing is done.
Why Drug Screening
Drug tests are administered mainly due to safety and liability issues. Many drugs can impair judgment, vision, and mobility. If a person is operating machinery, it can result in dangerous consequences.
Employers often see reduced productivity from employees on drugs. Those on drugs often lack focus and alertness needed to function normally and take instruction. The resulting health problems can also lead to extra claims.
To help deter employees from using drugs, random screening can be instituted. Employers likely hope this can make the workplace safer and healthier for all.
Screening can also be used to identify at-risk employees. They can then be removed from their positions before doing serious harm.
It also helps reduce the risk of incidents that involve customers, suppliers, or other outsiders. This can help preserve the reputation of the company. It can also instill customer confidence inspired by the responsible behavior of staff.
Besides pre-employment screening, an employer may request a drug test for other reasons. If there is reasonable suspicion due to observed changes in behavior. Testing can also be requested if there is a workplace accident.
Random testing is the most problematic as selections are compute generated. The lack of notice is what is meant to deter employees from indulging. Drug tests can also be requested for employees who have been away from work for a long time.
How Drug Screening Is Done
Drug testing can be performed on a variety of bodily fluids and hair. Fluids can include urine, sweat, saliva, and blood.
The most common form of drug testing is done through a urine test. Drug residues or metabolites will linger in urine for some time after use. We have earlier indicated the periods for some common drug choices.
While it does not indicate that there has been drug use that day, it confirms recent use. Urine tests are good for confirming illicit or prescription drug use in recent days.
The first type of urine test is an immunoassay. It produces quick results but can sometimes prove faulty when examining opioids. It can also sometimes give false-positive results.
If a person fails their urine tests, as a federal employee they can request another test. This second test is typically undertaken by a different lab.
The second test can be a gas chromatography/mass spectronomy (GC/MS) test. This test is more expensive and takes longer. The results are however more accurate, with fewer false positives reported.
Testing must be done under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) guidelines. These rules are referred to as the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing. While they are federal regulations, even private employers tend to adhere to these standards.
Under SAMHSA rules the five categories of drugs tested for include amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine. The authority also prescribes the use of urine tests.
A medical review officer (MRO) is often the one responsible for interpreting drug test results. It is important to share any pertinent medical records so they can make a correct report.
How to Collect a Urine Sample?
Now that we have covered the basics of drug screening, how to beat the system? Procuring a clean urine sample to submit is the best option.
It should preferably be your own. If, however, you find it difficult to keep off drugs, then have a friend help.
To start with, being sanitary is highly important. Even the slightest contamination can interfere with pH and specific gravity. This refers to the density of urine to the density of water in a urinalysis sample.
Even sweat can cause problems with the collected sample. It is vital to properly clean your hands, genital area, and the storage container. This will help ensure a pure sample is collected for storage.
How to Store Urine
Most people will either use a re-sealable bag or a bottle to store their sample in. we recommend the use of a bag if you are going to use the sample soon.
If looking to store it for a longer period than a day, a bottle is preferable. It makes for more stable and safer long term storage. A glass bottle provides the best airtight seal during long storage.
Ensure you use a refrigerator or freezer with a dependable power source. Any fluctuations in power can cause the sample to thaw due to temperature changes. This can stimulate urine breakdown.
Submitting The Sample
Urine samples are required to be submitted within four minutes. When you hand over the sample, its temperature is checked. It is expected to be between 90-100F at this point.
If you collected the sample from a friend that day, there is no need to freeze it. The more vital issue is to maintain the same within the prescribed temperature range.
Strapping the bag against your body can help keep it warmed up. Men and women can typically do so by strapping the bag against a thigh. This can make it easier to provide the sample if you are being supervised during collection.
Women not being closely supervised might be better able to keep the sample warm around the breasts. If supervised, getting the sample out into the sample container might be tough from this position.
If the test is the next day, you will need to refrigerate. Store the sample at a temp of about 39F. At this temperature, the bacterial activity will be slowed down considerably.
Samples that will be stored for multiple days, weeks, or months must be frozen.
When it comes time to submit the sample, you will need to thaw out any refrigerated or frozen sample. Depending on the size of the sample and room temperature, this can take less than fifteen minutes.
Do not use a microwave or stovetop to warm it up. Let it slowly come back up to room temperature on its own. Using a microwave may work, but there is a good chance it will overheat the sample.
A good alternative would be to use a heating pad. This can help keep the sample achieve the required temperature range and sustain it until submitting.
Alternative Ways to Beat Drug Tests
It can be a bit complicated to try and procure a clean urine sample on short notice. This means having to get creative on how to beat the drug test.
A common practice is drinking large amounts of water. This can help to dilute urine.
Some people even add water directly to their urine samples. This can however be difficult to accomplish if the collection is being observed.
If managed, the diluted sample can sometimes produce a negative result. Some labs are however good at detecting this anomaly. They may request for re-testing.
You can still use this strategy to delay testing and stay off drugs. A few days and most drugs will be out of your system, allowing you to get a second negative result.
Some people also add certain chemicals to their sample. These masking chemicals can include regular household items like vinegar, salt, soap, and bleach.
Many of these chemicals are easily detectable by a good lab. Others such as eye-drops can however pass muster. If a sample is found to be adulterated, it could be declared invalid.
Again this can be used as a delaying tactic, giving you a chance to clean up before re-testing.
Certain detox treatments can help to speed up the body’s metabolism. This may help clean up your urine may reduce the risk of a positive result.
Many contain powerful herbal supplements. They can drastically reduce the period drugs remain traceable in the body system.
Whether it’s a random test at work or on your football team, this can help beat the system. Submitting actual urine is a better way to go about it. Although you will need to think about how to discreetly introduce it into the sample container.
While synthetic urines are another option that may work, they are illegal in some states. Using them may lead to further legal problems.
Toxicology tests can also often determine if a person adds masking chemicals or diluting water to a sample.
A real clean sample is the best way to go. If, you have not had a chance to detox and have recently partaken.
Drug screenings can be a highly stressful experience. If you have recently used, it is important to have a plan on how to get through this.
Planning ahead is always advisable, more so when the drugs you take can impair your thinking. Keeping a clean sample of urine in your freezer is a good way to be prepared well in advance.
Be careful to ensure the right temperature range is maintained from freezing to when you warm it up. Ensure the storage bag is carefully positioned and practice how you will get the sample into the cup. This is often where people mess up, forgetting that they might be supervised.