This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-05-653T 
entitled 'Drug Tests: Products to Defraud Drug Use Screening Tests Are 
Widely Available' which was released on May 17, 2005.

This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part 
of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately.

United States Government Accountability Office:



Before the Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, 
Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives:

For Release on Delivery:

Expected at 9:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday, May 17, 2005:

Drug Tests:

Products to Defraud Drug Use Screening Tests Are Widely Available:

Statement of Robert J. Cramer, Managing Director:

Office of Special Investigations:


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss the ease with which 
the public can obtain products that are marketed, designed, and sold to 
defraud urine drug use screening tests such as those administered in 
the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Program.[Footnote 1] For purposes of 
my testimony, I will refer to these products as masking products and 
will discuss ways in which some businesses peddle them on the Internet. 
Masking products fall into one of four categories: (1) dilution 
substances that are added to a urine specimen at the time it is 
collected or are ingested before an individual submits a urine 
specimen; (2) cleansing substances that detoxify or cleanse the urine 
and are ingested prior to the time that an individual submits a urine 
specimen; (3) adulterants that are used to destroy or alter the 
chemical make-up of drugs and are added to a urine specimen at the time 
that it is provided for testing; and (4) synthetic or drug-free urine 
that is substituted in place of an individual's specimen and provided 
for testing. My testimony today summarizes our findings.

We began our work by searching the Internet to obtain an overview of 
the array of products available to mask drug use and located several 
Web sites that tout products that are used to mask the presence of 
illegal drugs when a urine drug test is administered. Then one of our 
agents, posing as a federal employee in a sensitive position who uses 
marijuana and cocaine and was looking for products that would allow him 
to pass an impending drug test, placed telephone calls to businesses we 
identified in our Internet search and purchased drug masking products 
from them. Through our Internet search, we also identified and visited 
a retail store in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area that sells 
these products. Additionally, we interviewed officials at the Substance 
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) of the 
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to obtain information on 
the operation of the Federal Drug Testing Program and the types of 
products or methods that are used by individuals to deceive drug tests. 
Finally, we obtained information from the Department of Justice (DOJ) 
and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and about federal laws relating 
to the sale of masking products and researched state laws on this 
issue. We conducted our investigation from August 2004 through March 
2005 in accordance with quality standards for investigations set forth 
by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency. We are 
referring the results of our investigation to appropriate law 
enforcement authorities and thus are not naming the sources from which 
our purchases were made.

In summary, we found that products to defraud drug tests are easily 
obtained. They are brazenly marketed on Web sites by vendors who boast 
of periodically reformulating their products so that they will not be 
detected in the drug test process. In addition to an array of products 
designed to dilute, cleanse, or substitute urine specimens submitted to 
testers by drug users, approximately 400 different products are 
available to adulterate urine samples. The sheer number of these 
products, and the ease with which they are marketed and distributed 
through the Internet, present formidable obstacles to the integrity of 
the drug testing process.

The sales representatives of the businesses we contacted assured our 
investigator that the products they sold would enable him to pass an 
impending drug test despite his purported use of marijuana and cocaine. 
While all of the businesses offered products designed to defraud drug 
tests, the sales representatives recommended different types of masking 
products based on how frequently our investigator purportedly used 
drugs, whether he was subjected to drug tests that are announced or 
conducted randomly, and whether testing administrators closely 
monitored the collection of urine specimens. When our investigator said 
that he occasionally used marijuana and cocaine, the representatives 
recommended he purchase herbal supplements and minerals to be taken 
orally prior to the drug test. According to the sales representatives, 
these products act as cleansers or detoxifiers. When our investigator 
reported that he used marijuana and cocaine on a daily basis and that 
he was subjected to random drug tests, they recommended that, if he 
would not be closely monitored when he provided a specimen, he purchase 
synthetic urine or adulterants that are added to a urine specimen. The 
prices of the products that the sales representatives recommended 
ranged from about $30 to $79.

Currently, there are a variety of laws related to the sale of drug 
masking products. Under federal law, if such products are determined to 
be "drug paraphernalia," an individual may be prosecuted for selling 
them pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 863.[Footnote 2] However, we have not 
found any reported federal cases in which individuals have been 
prosecuted for such sales. In contrast, some states specifically 
prohibit the manufacture, marketing, or distribution of drug masking 
products. For example, New Jersey, Florida, and Kentucky broadly outlaw 
the sale of any product designed to defraud or falsify a drug screening 
test.[Footnote 3] In some states, such as Louisiana and Texas, it is 
illegal for an individual to knowingly or intentionally deliver or 
manufacture substances designed to falsify or alter drug test 
results.[Footnote 4] Additionally, at least nine other states 
(Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, 
Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia)[Footnote 5] have outlawed 
the sale of urine or adulterants for the purpose of passing drug tests. 
Of the nine states, only one--South Carolina--has prosecuted at least 
two individuals for marketing and selling masking products: one who 
sold urine substitution kits over the Internet[Footnote 6] and another 
who advertised that his store carried products that are used to pass 
drug tests by cleansing the system.[Footnote 7] Also, of the nine 
states, Illinois and Kentucky have made the offense punishable as a 
felony; South Carolina and North Carolina have made a second offense 
punishable as a felony; and it is a misdemeanor offense in the 
remaining states.


Pursuant to Executive Order 12564, dated September 15, 1986, the 
federal government established the Federal Workplace Drug Testing 
Program. It is administered by SAMHSA for the purpose of preventing and 
deterring the use of illicit drugs in the federal workplace, and to 
ensure that as the federal government maintains employee productivity. 
In 2004, SAMHSA revised the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace 
Drug Testing Programs to require that specimen validity tests be 
conducted on all urine specimens collected.[Footnote 8] Noting that 
there has been a recent increase in the number of chemical adulterants 
that are marketed on the Internet and in certain magazines, SAMSHA 
officials stated that validity tests are intended to produce accurate, 
reliable, and correctly interpreted test results and to decrease or 
eliminate opportunities to defeat drug tests. According to SAMHSA, 
approximately 400 different products are available to adulterate urine 
samples, and companies that market masking substances periodically 
offer new formulations of their products to avoid detection.

Internet Businesses Tout Success of Masking Products:

To determine how businesses market drug masking products on the 
Internet, our investigator conducted an Internet search using the words 
"pass drug test." He quickly found many Web sites that brazenly tout 
products and related information that enable users of illegal drugs to 
pass drug tests. For example, one Web site claimed that "passing a 
urine drug test has never been easier," while another boasts that it 
offers a "variety of detox products [that] will beat the drug test or 
you'll get 200% of your purchase price back." Yet another site advises 
prospective customers that its product formulas change approximately 
every 6 to 9 months to stay ahead of new validity tests performed by 
drug testing laboratories. These Web sites offer a full array of drug 
masking products.

Additionally, our investigator found some Web sites that provide an 
interactive format for prospective customers to find out which products 
best meet their individual needs. For example, one Web site provides a 
question and answer format for prospective customers and then 
recommends certain products based on the responses. Among these 
questions were:

How many times per week do you smoke or take other substances?

Are you watched when providing the sample?

Will you have at least an hour to prepare?

Are you taking a Department of Transportation regulated test?

After a purchaser clicks on the most appropriate responses to these 
questions, the site presents pictures and descriptions of recommended 
products that are available for purchase. This Web site offers a "one- 
price-fits-all" approach and charges $32 for each of its products. It 
also provides a store locator that helps prospective customers find out 
whether retail stores in their local area carry these products.

To further investigate how these businesses market drug masking 
products, our investigator placed telephone calls to some of them. 
Posing as a federal employee looking for ways to hide his purported 
cocaine and marijuana use in an impending drug test, our agent asked 
the sales representatives for each of these vendors for information on 
products that would enable him to pass a drug test. While each vendor 
offered a number of products, most of the sales representatives 
tailored the particular type of masking product they recommended to 
information they elicited from the investigator about his purported 
drug use. They asked, for example, how often he used drugs and when he 
had most recently used them. They also asked about testing procedures, 
such as whether tests are conducted randomly or are announced in 
advance, and whether individuals providing urine samples are closely 

When our agent described himself as a casual cocaine and marijuana user 
who undergoes announced drug tests, sales representatives recommended 
that he purchase cleansing products that are ingested orally prior to 
the test. According to the vendors, these substances detoxify or 
cleanse the urine if taken before a test is conducted. For example, one 
of the sales representatives said to our investigator, "if you can stay 
clean for at least two days, we have a detox drink that you would drink 
on the day of the test. It will keep you clean for five hours." For 
$35,[Footnote 9] our investigator purchased the "detox drink." After 
telling another sales representative that he had used cocaine during 
the past week and had a drug test scheduled the following week, the 
representative told him "… the good news is we have a detox program. … 
It's a four day program, and basically if you do that, you'll be OK for 
the test." For $79, our investigator purchased the "detox program," 
which came with a urine test kit that a buyer can use at home to 
conduct a pre-test before submitting a specimen for a drug test.

When our investigator told the sales representatives that he uses 
cocaine and marijuana on a daily basis and undergoes random drug 
testing, they recommended that he purchase either synthetic urine or 
adulterant products. Recommending a synthetic urine product, a 
representative told our investigator, "you won't have to be as careful 
with our product. But you can still get away with it and people do get 
away with it." Our investigator purchased the product for $32. Another 
representative told our investigator that his company sells synthetic 
urine and that it is "better suited for random situations because the 
urine is premixed in the bag, sealed off, and irradiated so that it 
won't go bad." Our investigator paid $49.95 for this product.

At the suggestion of two other sales representatives, our investigator 
placed orders for two adulterants. For $29.95, he purchased one 
adulterant that is designed for people who use drugs daily and are 
subject to random drug testing. This product consists of two small 
vials containing liquids that are added directly to the urine specimen 
before it is submitted for drug testing. Additionally, he spent $32 for 
another adulterant that is designed to be used at the drug test 
location. This product is a bag that contains two chemicals: one 
chemical is supposed to destroy the drug toxins and another purports to 
destroy traces of the first chemical. According to the product 
instructions, a urine specimen should be poured into the bag, mixed 
with the chemicals, and then poured into the specimen cup.

Using the store locator function on one of the Web sites, we identified 
a store in the Washington, D.C. area that sells drug masking products. 
Posing as someone needing information on products that would ensure 
passing an impending drug test, we visited the store and observed a 
variety of masking products displayed for sale. The owner of the store 
told us that he has sold masking products for the past 11 years, and 
that on some days he sells up to 4 detox products. Additionally, he 
told us that he has repeat customers. For one of his customers, he 
special orders certain products. While the store also carries synthetic 
urine, the owner advised us that the detox drinks are more popular and 
sell better.

Laws Regarding the Sale of Drug Masking Products Vary:

Under federal law, it may be illegal to sell drug masking products if 
the products are determined to be "drug paraphernalia." Specifically, 
under federal law, it is unlawful for any person to sell drug 
paraphernalia, which is defined as any equipment, product, or material… 
primarily intended or designed for use in … concealing … a controlled 
substance.[Footnote 10] The following factors may be taken into 
consideration in determining whether an item constitutes drug 
paraphernalia, including the instructions provided with the item 
concerning its use; descriptive materials accompanying the item which 
explain or depict its use; national or local advertising concerning its 
use; the manner in which the item is displayed for sale; and the 
existence and scope of legitimate uses of the item.[Footnote 11] 
However, officials from DOJ and DEA advised us that there have not been 
any federal cases in which an individual has been prosecuted for 
selling drug masking products under this statute and our independent 
research of federal case law databases did not find any.

In contrast, some states have statutes that specifically prohibit the 
manufacture or distribution of drug masking products. For example, a 
New Jersey statute specifically prohibits individuals from 
manufacturing, selling, or giving "… any instrument, tool, device, or 
substance adapted, designed or commonly used to defraud the 
administration of a drug test."[Footnote 12] Under the New Jersey 
statute, a person may be prosecuted if he or she submits a substance 
that purports to be from a person other than its actual source or 
otherwise engages in conduct intended to produce a false or misleading 
outcome of a drug test.[Footnote 13] Similarly, in Florida and 
Kentucky, it is illegal to manufacture, market, or distribute products 
intended to defraud any lawfully administered urine test designed to 
detect the presence of controlled substances.[Footnote 14] In some 
states, such as Louisiana and Texas, it is illegal for an individual to 
knowingly or intentionally deliver or manufacture substances designed 
to falsify or alter drug test results. [Footnote 15]

In some other states, laws relating to drug masking practices are 
narrower. For example, in Nebraska it is illegal to provide bodily 
fluids for the purpose of altering the results of tests to determine 
the presence of drugs. In some states, such as Pennsylvania and 
Virginia, it is illegal to sell drug-free urine, but there is no 
specific prohibition on the sale of adulterants. In contrast, in some 
states such as South Carolina, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, 
Illinois, and Maryland, it is illegal to sell urine or adulterants. 
However, of these states, only Illinois and Oklahoma prohibit the sale 
of synthetic urine.

In our research of reported cases we found two cases in South Carolina 
in which individuals have been prosecuted for the sale of masking 
products. In one case that was decided in August 2002, the South 
Carolina Supreme Court upheld a conviction for violation of a statute 
that prohibits the possession of adulterants intended to defraud a drug 
test. In that case, the vendor placed an advertisement in a magazine 
for a novelty store he owned which read: "Taking a drug test? Want to 
cleanse your system? We carry Readi-Clean, Carbo-Clean Plus, Quick 
Tabs, One Hour, Zydot, One Hour Klear, Body Flush." An undercover agent 
purchased an adulterant Zydot after the store clerk assured him that 
the product would allow him to pass a drug test for marijuana. In 
upholding the conviction, the Court relied on, among other things, the 
advertisement the defendant placed rather than a determination whether 
the product effectively masks drug use.[Footnote 16] Additionally, the 
South Carolina Supreme Court upheld the conviction of another vendor 
who sold urine substitution kits on the Internet.[Footnote 17] Included 
on the defendant's Web site were claims that, "Our Complete Urine Test 
Substitution Kits allow anyone, regardless of substance intake, to pass 
any urinalysis within minutes."

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. We will be pleased to 
respond to any questions that you or the other members of the 
Subcommittee may have.


For further information regarding this testimony, please contact Robert 
J. Cramer at (202) 512-7445 or Paul Desaulniers at (202) 512-7435.



[1] Drug tests can be performed on urine, saliva, perspiration, hair, 
and blood. Currently, the federal government relies solely on urine 
drug tests, which have a high degree of accuracy, low costs, and 
relatively unobtrusive method of collection. 

[2] Drug paraphernalia is defined, among other things, as any 
equipment, product or material…primarily intended or designed for use 
in … concealing … a controlled substance. 21 U.S.C. § 863.

[3] N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2 C:36-10 (West 2004); Fla. Stat. Ann. § 817.565 
(West 2000); and Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 516.108 (Michie 1999 & Supp. 

[4] La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §14:133.3 (West 2004) and Tex. Health and 
Safety Code Ann. § 481.133 (Vernon 2003).

[5] Ark. Code Ann. § 5-60-201 (Michie 2003);; 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/ 
17-28 (WESTLAW through 2004 legislation); Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 10-
111 (2003); Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1908 (2002); N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14- 
401.20 (2003); Okla. Stat. Ann. Tit. 63, § 7002 (2005); 18 Pa. Cons. 
Stat. Ann. § 7509 (West 2000); S.C. Code Ann. § 16-13-470 (Law. Co-op. 
2003); and Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-251.4 (Michie 2004). 

[6] State v. Curtis, 591 S.E.2d 600.

[7] State v. Rothchild, 569 S.E.2d 346.

[8] Initial validity screening of a urine specimen includes tests for 
color, odor, creatinine level, specific gravity, and pH level. When 
these test results do not fall within an acceptable range, more 
comprehensive testing is undertaken to assess the general validity of 
the specimen and confirm the presence of adulterants such as oxidants, 
nitrites, glutaraldehyde, chromate, and surfactant.

[9] For purposes of our testimony, we are providing the actual price of 
the product, which does not include shipping and handling costs.

[10] 21 U.S.C. § 863. 

[11] 21 U.S.C. § 863(e). 

[12] N.J. Stat. Ann § 2 C:36-10(b). 

[13] N.J. Stat. Ann § 2 C:36-10 (a). 

[14] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 817.565 and Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 516.108. 

[15] La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §14:133.3 and Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. 
§ 481.133. 

[16] State v. Rothchild, 569 S.E.2d 346. 

[17] State v. Curtis, 591 S.E.2d 600.