Effectiveness of Laboratory Drug Testing
Urine tests are unreliable. The public is told that they are scientific. But in operation they can’t stand up to scrutiny. Don’t trust their results.
A test of the testers conducted by the government’s Center for Disease Control in Atlanta found: “…one of thirteen labs given cocaine-spiked urine gave totally correct results. Five of thirteen failed to find the drug in any of 34 spiked samples each lab received. On the other hand, the labs somehow detected cocaine in as many as 6%, and amphetamines in tip to 37% of urine specimens that were ‘blank’ – those containing no drugs at all.”
In the April 26, 1985 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Hugh Hansen reported shocking results from blind tests conducted for the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. By sending in blind samples spiked with drugs the following results were obtained from samples sent to thirteen labs.
Barbiturates best lab 1 % error rate, worst lab 94% error rate. Amphetamines 19% to 100%. Methadone 0% to 33%. Cocaine 0% to 100%. Codeine 0% to 100%. Morphine false negative error rate ranged from 0% to 100%.
Error rates were: Barbiturates 0% to 6%. Amphetamines 0% to 37%. Methadone 0% to 66%. Cocaine 0% to 6%. Codeine 0% to 7%. Morphine 0% to 10%. An official for the Center for Disease Control commented, “If these labs dumped the samples down the sink or tossed a coin, they would have come up with the same reliability in their test results.”
In the May 1987 edition of Laboratory Medicine, Dr. T.P. Moyer of the Mayo Clinic concluded in testing for marijuana on the EMIT test, 15% of the positives would be false.
Who would be more sensitive to drug testing errors than physicians? In the August 22, 1990 volume of the Journal of the American Medical Association Dr. David Orentlicher draws a distinction between impairment and positive drug tests results. He writes: “It is not clear, however, that adequate justification exists for the use of random urine testing to detect physician impairment from drugs of abuse. there may be only a weak correlation between positive urine tests and impairment by drugs.”
The November 1992 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, printed this surprising result. In a survey of 272 Michigan doctors 38 per cent said they didn’t believe drug tests were accurate.
Urine testing is less accurate that the lie detector tests that have been banned from the work place. Employers who rush into urine testing, wouldn’t dream of giving every worker a lie detector test. Dr. David Greenblatt. Chief of clinical pharmacology at Tufts medical center called the most widely used tests “essentially worthless.”
Because many employers do not want to pay the $100 plus lab price for the sophisticated confirmation tests, many falsely accused people are fired, or never hired, rather than retested. Beware, new job applicants are usually given the EMIT test, with no follow up. if you fail, you’re not informed. You’re are just not hired.