What is Substitution?
Substitution refers to the act of an individual deliberately providing a counterfeit version of a urine specimen via a third-party source or through a synthetic product available on the market that mimics the biochemical compounds of genuine urine. In Canada, many industrial labor occupations are notorious for employees resorting to substituting their urine specimen for an otherwise legitimate sampling as a means to gain drug clearance.
Initially, urine drug testing serves as a preventative measure in appointing individuals to safety-sensitive positions where any level of impairment could pose hazardous risks inside the workplace. However, many applicants and employees anticipating urine drug screens often rely on substitution methods as a loophole to maneuver around a positive test result that can draw assumptions of a suspected drug problem. Urinalysis tends to advance one-sided inferences that show the existence of drug metabolites in the system, yet fails to establish if addiction or drug impairment at the time of testing are questionable factors.
Moreover, companies often enlist certified laboratories that operate under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) apparatus, which illustrates the guidelines consistent with substitution issues that may require a battery of testing. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), for example, is a sophisticated application that targets and isolates drug metabolites, linking the enzymatic properties of drug classes and their derivative compounds against cutoff thresholds values. Lab technicians note crucial factors such as coloration, odors, and temperature deviations in effectively weighing the validity of urine specimens based on their acidic content, which can play into the equation of substitution cases.
Synthetic urine products remain popular, especially given their ability to neutralize creatinine levels, a catalytic byproduct of muscular synthesis. As Canada does not outright prohibit substitution practices, employers must contend with lax measures that exempt possible repeat drug users in the way of forfeiting a drug-free workplace environment.