The opiate crisis and legalization of marijuana in some states has upped the ante for occupational medicine providers charged with conducting drug screens for workers and prospective employees. Patients who may be concerned about their own ability to pass a urine test don’t make it easy sometimes. Some have been known to try to substitute “clean” samples for their own questionable bodily fluids when they know they’re going to be tested. One woman in Denver, however, was concerned that by the time she presented a sample that wasn’t hers, it would not be close enough to body temperature to pass muster. Her solution: Heat the sample up. Even more unfortunate: She opted to do so in the microwave at a local 7-Eleven. As if that’s not bad enough, the container exploded. The woman fled at that point, but a clerk called police when he investigated and found “yellow liquid dripping from the microwave” accompanied by a smell that “was unquestionably urine.” Police tracked the woman down in short order, about half a mile down the road, and charged her with damaging property. As unsettling as the details are, the story is a reminder that vigilance is necessary when conducting even the most routine procedures in urgent care and occ med.
Beware Patients Who’ll Go to Great—Great—Lengths to Pass Drug Tests