Presence of Caffeine, Nicotine, and Chocolate in Urine Help to Unravel Synthetic Urine Scams

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The idea of selling fake urine samples to patients who want to trick medical professionals into prescribing specific pain medicines is proving to be extremely profitable for scam artists in the medical industry. Fake urine samples are readily available for sale which is helping people to get access to medicines, such as hydrocodone, that are only available only when prescribes by a medical professional.

The most common use of fake, synthetic urine samples is to pass drug tests or tests that make sure that the patient is not consuming opioid medicines. Just like marijuana is easily available in Colorado, fake urine is available for purchase under suggestive brand names such as UPass, Clean Stream, and Sub Solution.

Patrick Kyle, director of clinical chemistry and toxicology at the University Of Mississippi Medical Center, recently raised the issue as patients had been leaving the contained and packaging materials of these synthetic urine products in the restrooms in his hospital. Kyle, with the help of his colleague and pathologist Jaswinder Kaur, declared that consumption of coffee or chocolates, even cigarettes, can help medical professionals to distinguish between synthetic urine samples and real urine samples.

Previously, the methods of analyzing the concentration of creatinine – a metabolic waste substance – along with assessing density and acidity of urine were used to distinguishing fake urine from the real specimen. However, the new synthetic urine products pass these tests as well,” said Kyle.

A new method of identifying fake urine samples was discussed at the annual Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT) meeting in Minneapolis last October, which involves the identification of theobromine, caffeine, urobilin, and cotinine in urine. With the help of liquid chromatography, to separate urine and these four compounds, which flow into mass spectrometers to their molecular weights.

Scientists observed urines samples from four groups – 100 urine samples from people who had been observed providing them, 100 came from unobserved patients seeking pain medication, 200 unobserved job applicants, along with 10 fake urine samples. All the samples from the first group were positive for at least one of the aforementioned substances, however, three from the second group, two from the third group, all of the samples from the last group showed negative results for the tests to identify these four substances.

Even though negative results of the test do not provide us enough proof for any criminal activity, it proves the attempt of deception. Laboratories, clinics, or hospitals should simply collect new samples from these patients,” said Kyle.



Robert Lewis

Robert graduated from Brandman University, where he got his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Born in Massachusetts, Robert’s family moved to Kentucky in 2005 where he spent his college life and worked as an insurance agent for four years. Now is the founder and team leader of the website.


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