How To Prevent A Negative Dilute Result When Testing For Drugs

Screening for drug usage by ordering a urine test is a common procedure for many companies. That’s because urine test analysis can give pretty accurate information about the habits of potential employees, in addition to being simple and easy to order. 

However, just because they’re accurate doesn’t mean they’re fraud-proof. There are a few ways to mess with the test, one of which results in a negative-dilute result. Whether you’re an applicant taking the test or an employer looking for an honest result, here’s how you can prevent a negative dilute result when testing for drugs. 

How Urine Drug Tests Work

To understand what it means to get a negative dilute test, you should first get a clear idea about how urine drug tests work. These drug-screening tests work by administering antibodies to the urine sample provided. These antibodies can get attached to the metabolites in the urine sample, after which the percentage of antibodies are tested to determine whether their amount, as well as the drug they’re attached to, are over or under a specific cutoff level. If they’re above the cutoff level, that means the test for drugs is positive, i.e. there are drugs present in the sample. If the test is negative, that means either the absence of drugs in the urine sample or that they were present in a lesser amount than would be considered illegal. 

What Does Negative-Dilute Mean?

Given the previous explanation, it’s easy to understand that the result can either be positive or negative. However, that’s only theoretically speaking. When it comes to real life, it’s not just about testing positively or negatively for the test. It’s easy to tweak the results on a drug test if you understand how it works; in this case, the tested person can just drink more water to dilute the urine sample. By doing so, the amount of drug present in the urine can be diluted as well, which can give a negative result. 

What Results in a Negative Dilute Test

The catch in this situation is that the drug percentage isn’t the only thing that will be diluted, but other urine constituents as well. A dilute sample means that there is more water than average, which decreases the concentration of all other constituents. Lab analysts can know the test results weren’t accurate by testing for other substances, like creatinine, to indicate the dilution of the sample. If the percentage falls below the specified range, the test result comes out as negative-dilute and is rejected. 

How to Prevent a Negative-Dilute Test Result

To avoid all of the unnecessary trouble of getting a negative-dilute result, laboratories encourage employers and participants to stick to the following tips:

  1. Don’t drink too much water before the test, as that can give inconclusive results and sample rejection.
  2. Schedule the urine analysis test first thing in the morning, as it’s usually the most concentrated urine. 
  3. Employers can order random drug screening so participants wouldn’t have enough time to cheat. 
  4. Bringing personal items to the testing area should be prohibited. 
  5. Participants are encouraged to drink a sup of water in the case of having consumed caffeine, beer, or laxative before the test. 

Why are Negative Dilute Results Such a Problem?

Sometimes, getting a negative-dilute result on a urine drug analysis test happens completely unintentionally. It’s easy for a nervous person to drink more water in fear of being unable to present the sample on time or for a healthy person to drink their usual amount of water. However, this method is also commonly used by those trying to tweak their test results to hide their drug usage. While some try to go about it by drinking excess water to flush the drugs out of their system – sometimes drinking laxatives like caffeine or beer as well, others just opt for adding more water to the sample after excreting it. 

That’s why laboratories had to take extra measures in ensuring the accuracy of the tests. By taking into account the other substances naturally found in a urine sample, like creatinine, they can produce more accurate results about the full urine drug analysis test. That way, they can bypass the inconclusive results that come with negative-dilute tests. Meanwhile, if the results come back as positive dilute, that means that there were drugs present in the urine, even though it had been diluted. 

When a urine sample comes back with negative-dilute test results, that makes the final verdict inconclusive. That’s because the sample was too diluted to indicate whether there were any drugs present in the sample but have been diluted, or there weren’t any at all. To avoid having the sample rejected or accused of illegal activity, it’s best to follow expert-advice on presenting proper samples.