Employees who pass drug tests get to keep their jobs. Parolees who pass drug tests get to stay out of jail.
But some people are apparently going undetected, like former parolee Andy Bryan Wagner, who was arrested and put in jail again on Monday. His parole officer said Wagner was passing his drug tests, but Constable Frank Creath, who arrested Wagner, suspected all along he was using drugs and a device to cheat the urinalyses.
"They say necessity is the mother of invention, so apparently, that's the case here," Creath said.
The invention, available online, is a prosthetic penis attached to a syringe. There's also a version for females. The device pumps out synthetic urine or someone else's drug-free urine. The package includes heating pads to keep the urine at body temperature and it all attaches to your waist.
"It's realistic enough that it would've fooled anybody," Creath said. "This device would be very easily concealed with just a pair of pants."
Creath found the receipt for Wagner's $150 purchase in his home, along with a catalog of other items and their price tags.
Locally, it's very easy to purchase a variety of products to pass your drug test. In fact, I just walked into Dragon's Breath Gift Shop in Tyler and purchased a bottle of B-Clean for only $24.95 plus tax.
"Those are only even going to stand a chance if it's a planned drug test," Jana Morrison, a medical technician for DRL Labs, operated by ETMC, said. "Most of what we get are not planned."
Morrison says she can detect urine samples altered with drinks or other substances, but a device like the one Wagner allegedly used can only be caught by a close observer.
For employers like ETMC's Dilvio Miranda, it's frustrating to know some drug users are able to fool the system and stay in society.
"The more we try to prevent things like that, there's a lot of businesses out there, a lot of companies out there, a lot of people out there trying to find ways to beat the system," Miranda said.
While using those devices to fake a drug test is illegal, buying them is not. So as long as there is no law against them, there will always be a market for them.
In Smith County alone, there are more than 1,000 offenders on parole. Many of them take regular drug tests. According to the Texas Department of Corrections, a parole officer does stand in the same room as the offender giving a urine sample, but the officer is not required to search the offender or observe him closely.