Help protect your teen by learning the signs of a faked at-home drug screen.

Teen substance abuse is a crisis in our culture. As parents scramble to try to protect their teens from addiction, the use of at-home drug tests is a popular solution to ensure that they are honest about their sobriety. While drug tests for teens may seem like the perfect way to monitor substance use, there are ways teens can alter the results of these tests, which could lure parents into a false sense of security about their teen’s substance use. Before you drug test your teen at home, find out the methods people have used to cheat the test.

Article at a Glance:

  • Teen substance abuse is a major problem, leading many parents to turn to at-home drug tests to screen their teens’ behavior.
  • At-home drug tests are fallible, and there are many ways to cheat these tests.
  • Teens often use synthetic urine or diluted urine to pass at-home drug tests.
  • The results of at-home drug tests can be altered by taking aspirin or dangerously drinking bleach.

Ways Teens Cheat At-Home Drug Tests

With teen drug use on the rise, parents want to safeguard against their kids’ use of substances. Often parents will purchase drug tests as a means of ensuring sobriety, particularly if their teen’s drug abuse has been ongoing. Unfortunately, these tests are fallible. Cheating a drug test is possible; there are many ways to do it. If your teen is motivated to have a clean result, they may research how to pass an at home drug test and use these methods.

Synthetic Urine

Sometimes, teens using drugs will resort to using synthetic urine, or fake pee, for drug tests. Synthetic urine is not actual urine. Instead, it is a manufactured composite that mimics the look and chemical compounds of urine. It is passable in lab screens as a clean urine sample. Synthetic urine is sold in the form of a powder that is then mixed with water. Heating pads are often part of the purchase to keep the urine at a passable temperature for the test. People purchase synthetic urine online, and although it is being used to fraudulently pass drug tests, the product itself is legal.

Diluted Urine

As long as there have been urine screens for drug testing, there have been people trying to dilute their specimen in an attempt to fake their results. A diluted urine drug test is usually done by consuming excessive amounts of water before testing or adding water to the urine sample to dilute the concentration of substances in it. A diluted urine test can sometimes be detected more easily than other types of cheating, based on the dilution of other prime compounds in the urine that are detected on the test.

Creating False Negatives

A false negative drug test is an attempt to introduce a compound into the body or the urine directly that influences test results. Taking aspirin before the drug test is a common method of falsifying results. The chemical compounds of aspirin are known to have properties that can mask drugs within the urine, making this a popular method. Drinking bleach to pass a drug test is another common method used to fake a drug test that is highly dangerous and ineffective. Teens are putting themselves at risk not only by using substances but by employing dangerous tactics to fake their drug tests.

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Editor – Megan Hull
Megan Hull is a content specialist who edits, writes and ideates content to help people find recovery. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Paula Holmes, LCSW
Paula Holmes is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist and freelance writer who lives and works in midcoast Maine. She received her master's degree in Social Work in 2008 from the University of Maine. Read more

Zwillich, Todd. “Drug-Test Cheats Try New Tricks on Labs.”, July 28, 2008. Accessed July 28, 2019.

Powell, Amy. “What is Fake or Synthetic Urine?” USA Mobile Drug Testing, June 3, 2019. Accessed July 28, 2019.

National Drug Screening, Inc. “Negative Dilute Drug Test Results.” November 23, 2014. Accessed July 28, 2019.

Helmenstine, Anne. “Drinking Bleach and Drug Tests.” Science Notes, August 14, 2015. Accessed July 28, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.