KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As more companies are beginning to drug test future and current employees, the people responsible for administering the tests are catching more cheaters.
It’s not only happening in Kansas City, but nationwide.
Mike Pruente owns Midwest Justice, a private business in Olathe, Kansas that’s been administering drug tests for the past 15 years. In recent years, Pruente said more companies have reached out to him about testing.
He says there's been a 30 percent increase in the number of tests this year.
At Midwest Justice, they conduct three types of drug tests including urine, saliva or a hair sample.
Typically, Pruente said employers are looking for marijuana and alcohol, which he said often leads to cheating.
On any given day, 75 to 100 people take a drug test at Midwest Justice. Every week, Pruente said on average, three people are caught cheating.
"To me it's a sign of desperation,” said Pruente.
When it comes to cheating, many have tried every option from diluting, substituting, or adulterating their urine sample. Others have tried pushing their test date back, or even buying products that promise to detox the body’s system of drug use.
"The confrontation in the bathroom is normally a pretty straight forward one, 'Hey this isn't your sample, so provide a legitimate sample, or go,'” said Pruente.
If he catches someone cheating, Pruente said he fills out an incident report and notifies the employer.
It’s still up to the employer whether to hire the applicant.
For those who continue to test positive, Pruente suggests seeking help from an addiction specialist.
Linda Anderson-Petty founded Challenges Incorporated, an out-patient treatment center in Overland Park, Kansas.
"I'm seeing in my office an increase in marijuana induced depression, anxiety and schizophrenia,” said Anderson-Petty.
Currently, Anderson-Petty believes nearly 25 percent of her clients have a marijuana addiction. While many of them are not being drug tested for employment, she said those who are, are trying to cheat.
"If you're spending a lot of money to beat your urine specimen, to 'beat your screen' as they say in the streets, then you have a problem,” said Anderson-Petty.
"It's a shame that anybody needs to either die of the disease or not get help,” said Pruente.
Cheating on a drug test can also lead to a lot of trouble. Although Federal laws do not make cheating illegal, some state laws do. Currently, over a dozen states have anti-drug test cheating laws, but Kansas and Missouri do not.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there are resources across the metro area who can help.