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Research Note: The Security of Urine Drug Testing

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 39 Issue: 4 Dated: Fall 2009 Pages: 1015-1028
Roger G. Johnston; Eric C. Michaud; Jon S. Warner
Date Published
14 pages
This study examined 23 different commercial products used for urine drug testing by government, private industry, and non-government organizations to determine the security effectiveness of these products.
The authors studied 23 different commercial products for collecting, storing, securing, and mailing urine samples analyzed for illicit drug use. Despite their tamper-indicating features, all of these products can be quickly and easily tampered with, either before or after sample collection, while leaving little or (usually) no evidence to be detected. Either false-positive or false-negative drug test results could then occur. A brief review of other security practices and standards associated with urine drug testing suggests there may often be additional serious security problems. Given the importance of drug testing and the fact that illicit drug tests have a huge impact on people's careers, livelihoods, and reputations, better security, especially better tamper detection features, would seem warranted. Figures and references (Published Abstract)