Aside from alcohol testing, it is standard for employers to have employee testing for drug abuse. It’s beneficial because having a drug-free workplace is vital for the safety and productivity of employees. While there are different drug tests, employers usually go with urine drug tests. Urine drug tests as the testing method are known for being the gold standard for drug testing.

While test results are usually either just positive or negative, a diluted drug test result may appear. Read on to find out what that test result means and what can be done to prevent it.

What is the meaning of diluted drug test results?

When you have diluted specimens of urine, it means the samples have higher amounts of water than usual. The increased amount of water makes the level of detectable drugs less visible in the urine. This happens when the donor of the specimen drinks an excessive amount of fluid before the urine test. There are many cases when the donor does this unintentionally. However, some donors who take drugs do this, hoping to cheat the test and dilute their sample. A dilute urine sample may also mean the donor physically added a lot of water to change the result.


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How is a dilute test result detected?

The most basic indicator is that diluted urine is a lighter color than normal urine. There are also validity checks, which include looking at urine creatinine levels and specific gravity. The normal levels of creatinine range from 20 to 400 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). In diluted urine, the creatinine level ranges between 2 to 20 mg/dL. In short, if there is more fluid in urine, there is less amount of creatinine. On the other hand, if there is less fluid in urine, more creatinine can be measured.

Specific gravity, on the other hand, refers to urine concentration. Testing centers compare the water content to other substances in the urine drug test sample. An undiluted urine sample has a specific gravity ranging from 1.002 to 1.030. If the specific gravity is between 1.001 and 1.003, it is a good indicator that the sample has been tampered with.

What can be done about urine dilution test?

A drug test that comes up as dilute is still usable. If the test result is a positive dilute, then the result is a positive drug test result. If you’re the employer, you should proceed in the next steps when dealing with a drug-positive employee. However, if the result is a negative dilute, you can choose to have the employee retested. You can make them do another urine test. You can also specify another kind of test, such as a saliva drug test or a hair follicle drug test. The advantage of these tests is that you can see your employee during the test. This prevents faked or cheated drug test results.


How can a urine dilution test be avoided?

If you are going to undergo a urine drug testing procedure, you can do any of these to prevent dilution. 

  • Do not drink an excessive amount of water. One glass is fine. Also, avoid drinking any other kind of liquid two hours before the test.
  • If possible, use the first-morning urine because it’s the most concentrated urine of the day, making it best for drug tests.

If you’re an employer, you can also do the following to prevent any prospective cheating on tests.

  • Make the drug testing schedule random. That way, employees cannot plan to drink excess amounts of water to have a diluted test result.
  • If it’s workplace drug testing, don’t allow employees to bring anything with them. This is to make sure they don’t have anything that can help them dilute urine.

Now you know what urine dilution in test is and what to do about it. For best findings, avoid doing anything that can dilute the urine drug test. This will ensure accuracy and a good quality test result.

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