Negative Dilute Drug Tests And How To Avoid Them

Would you understand what it meant if you received information that a drug test that was administered to you or your employee came back as “negative dilute”? First of all, what is this? And secondly, does this mean the drug test is positive or negative? This is an important thing for companies that do drug testing to understand.

What A Negative Dilute Drug Test Result Means

When a drug test comes back as a negative dilute, it basically means that there was too much water in the urine to get an accurate screening. The creatinine concentration in the urine sample is the primary measurement for identifying dilution, and if the sample contains no creatinine, it can’t be counted as urine. Most normal samples will have a creatinine value between 20-350 milligrams per deciliter. Less than 20 milligrams per deciliter is considered dilute.

So, bottom line: a negative dilute means too much water is present to determine accurate test results.

How Does A Negative Dilute Test Result Happen?

While it’s true that everyone produces different levels of creatinine concentration, some employees do attempt to drink an excessive amount of water to try and “flush out” their systems of drugs or to simply cheat the test. Some employees also try to cheat the test by adding water to their urine sample cup.

What To Do When A Test Comes Back Negative Dilute

First of all, if a test comes back as a positive dilute, that means that an employee has drugs in his or her system. It means that while there was more than the usual amount of water in the sample, the presence of drugs was still there.

However, if the test comes back as a negative dilute, this does not automatically mean that drugs were present in the urine sample. It simply means there was too much water to tell one way or the other.

The employer might ask the employee to submit another urine sample, and to not drink anything beforehand. No one can actually watch the sample submission, unless the MRO advises them to.

How To Avoid Negative Dilute Results

The best way to prevent negative dilute results is to make sure employees understand that excessive drinking prior to sample submission can cause it, and they will have to do the whole thing all over again. Make sure they know that they can’t “trick” the system by watering down their samples.

Another option is to administer the sample collection first thing in the morning, when urine has a higher amount of creatinine.

Written Workplace Policies Should Address Dilutes

If you’re an employer, you should make sure you’re your company’s written drug-free workplace policy includes information about both negative and positive dilutes. Should this situation happen, it’s smart to have established rules about how to handle it. This will keep the issue under control and will guide everyone clearly on what to do.

New Era Drug Testing is a DOT drug testing company which provides solutions and programs for companies who want to be DOT-compliant. This includes trucking companies, car services, cruise lines, coast guards, and more. If you have any questions about how we can help, please contact us.