Masking Agents/Adulterants

Drug of abuse tests performed in the Toxicology and Drug Monitoring Laboratory are used to monitor compliance with treatment programs and should be utilized in a clinical setting where test results can be definitively used to make a diagnosis. Specimen adulteration can have a significant, potentially damaging, effect on treatment decisions. For this reason, the Toxicology and Drug Monitoring Laboratory utilizes a multistep process to evaluate specimens for adulteration.

Attempts to "beat the test" usually involve the use of a masking agent. Masking agents function as either an assay-interfering substance or a urine diluent.

Adulterant testing is performed for urine drugs of abuse tests.

The specimen adulteration evaluation involves the following tests: creatinine, specific gravity, pH, and oxidants. When one or more of these results are outside the normal reference value, an adulterant comment is added to the final report that identifies the specific adulterant found.

View the Adulterant Survey Algorithm.