Scientists Foil Drug Test Cheaters

Scientists Foil Drug Test Cheaters
Posted by FoM on June 10, 2001 at 07:27:04 PT
By Duncan Mansfield, Associated Press 
Source: Charlotte Observer
Workers who use mail-order or herbal products to disguise traces of narcotics in standard drug tests may soon find they will no longer can get away with it. Researchers at East Tennessee State University's Quillen School of Medicine in Johnson City have found a screening technique that not only detects "adulterants" in urine samples but also identifies them. This could be the first "proof positive" test for these compounds, which federally certified drug testing labs will be required to begin screening for in August, lead researcher Dr. Kenneth Ferslew said.
The test uses a laboratory technique known as capillary ion electrophoresis that was developed to analyze contaminated wastewater.Ferslew, an East Tennessee State forensic toxicologist specializing in urine analysis, wondered if the technique could be applied to drug testing."The more I looked at that, the more I thought, `Well, urine is a water sample and people are dumping salts in it (to beat a drug test). Why couldn't we test a urine specimen?'" he said."I didn't develop a new box," added Ferslew, who had no outside funding for his research. "But it is a new application of a technology to a specific problem. In this case, we adapted it to adulterants."Millions of drug tests are administered every year for employers.While adulterants are probably present in only a small number of them, products are readily available to mask drug tests and their users offer the most serious challenge to public health and safety, said Bob Stephenson, director of workplace programs within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.The technique developed by East Tennessee State would add another layer of confirmation to employers, he said, and perhaps give pause to drug users trying to mask a test."This isn't flunking a drug test, this is flagging yourself as a cheater," he said. Drug users "believe they can go undetected, so they have no fear. They are probably the most dangerous drug user."The procedure requires only a drop of urine, which is sent through a tube and zapped with electricity.The negatively or positively charged molecules separate over a few minutes. Aided by a computer, scientists can chart their concentration and identify the substances found in compounds intended to fool a drug test.Note: New procedure identifies products used to disguise narcotics in urine.Source: Charlotte Observer (NC) Author: Duncan Mansfield, Associated Press Published: June 10, 2001Copyright: 2001 The Charlotte Observer Contact: opinion Website: CannabisNews Drug Testing Archives
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Comment #5 posted by Kevin Hebert on June 11, 2001 at 10:41:29 PT:
OK, but...
They can make the drug tests as accurate and as intrusive as they want. But if you refuse to submit to one, they cannot ever make you take it. Of course, if everyone refused them, they wouldn't exist. But of course, for most people it's hard not to go with the flow. But when you do, they can never, ever take away your freedom, or subject you to any degradation.
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Comment #4 posted by dddd on June 11, 2001 at 08:57:39 PT
A telling statement
>""This isn't flunking a drug test, this is flagging yourself as a cheater," he said. Drug users "believe they can go undetected, so they have no fear. They are probably the most dangerous drug user.""This type of talk is truly chilling and bizzarre!..."so they have no fear",,so in other words,,fear,is important.....and it's true,,,fear is important,,for control!And what the hell makes a drug user "the most dangerous"??????Are they theones who live in so much fear of losing their jobs,or going to jail,that they willtry their best not to get caught??Does this mean that people who are not in jail,and still have jobs are dangerous?This war on drugs just gets sicker,and more dimented every daydddd
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Comment #3 posted by greenfox on June 11, 2001 at 08:37:41 PT
Regarding "whiz quiz" (as you so call them), I ask this very important question:Why doesn't CONGRESS have to undergo these tests? Or the president, for that matter? I'd have to say that leading the country is definately a "sensitive" job. -gf
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Comment #2 posted by legalizeit on June 10, 2001 at 19:18:25 PT
"Ostensibly legitimate researchers"
These bright sparks probably got applause and under-the-counter kickbacks from government officials and drug-testing companies for coming up with this added element of intrusion into many workers' lives.Technically, fooling a drug test is cheating, but when the drug test is absolutely pointless and irrelevant to the job at hand in the first place, what or whom is being cheated? How many companies have cheated THEMSELVES by rescinding job offers to prospectively intelligent, creative and productive workers whose only flaw was failing to provide the proper chemical compounds in their excrement?Compare this so-called "research" to that to the scientists mentioned in the Pickard article, who were "ostensibly legitimate" only beacause they elected to research some of the most important substances known to man, which some arrogant men in power just fail to acknowledge.Have these dork heads also researched what types of legal substances ingested might trigger the adulterant flags they have set up? More tests, more room for error and career-wrecking "false positives."Invasive tests of what we do in our private time, or entheogens capable of transcending our mundane and pointless existence and bringing peace to the world? I think the answer is obvious which research was legitimate.
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Comment #1 posted by J.R. Bob Dobbs on June 10, 2001 at 08:44:10 PT
Just Say No to the whiz quiz
  But the adulterants aren't, in and of themselves, illegal. Now they're sniffing our wee-wee for LEGAL substances. Odd.  Don't forget, these tests are mainly for cannabis, which stays in your system for a month or so. Hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, leave no trace after two days of non-use. Thus, a person who is fearful of drug testing is more likely to use the drugs that their employer should be worried about.Here's what THEY have to say about cannabis:  Notice how THEY focus on its negative effects... even though the effects they claim sound no worse than you'd get of a night smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. They never mention the many negative effects of PROHIBITION... because they'll be out of a job after it ends!This website needs updating and organizing but the idea is right on:
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