Synthetic urine bust not so humorous

The news that law enforcement had arrested several people for selling synthetic urine was met with a collective chuckle across

the area.

Five people were arrested in May for selling synthetic urine at smoke shops in Lake Charles and Moss Bluff. Others were cited

at area convenience stores for also selling masking agents.

While it comes as little surprise that drug users will take whatever steps necessary to beat a drug screen, it was shocking

that masking agents were being sold so brazenly.

Even more shocking, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said, was that buyers came into the stores during the sting operation

and pleaded with detectives to allow them to purchase masking agents for the next day’s drug test.

Humorous as the raid may have sounded, there’s a dangerous undertone ­— the prevalence of drug use in the working environment.

Mancuso said that drug-masking

agents were being purchased, then resold in the parking lots of local

industries. That’s disconcerting,

not just considering the future of economic prosperity Southwest

Louisianians have been told is on the horizon. Nearly all

area residents have a family member or know someone who works in

local industry, whose safety would be at risk because of

someone else’s choices.

Most of the plants take safety very seriously. Mancuso urged them to up their game on drug testing and be knowledgeable of

the many ways in which drug users attempt to pass tests.

Those who want to pass the drug tests have plenty of options at their disposal. It’s a cat-and-mouse game in which drug users

are always trying to stay one step ahead of the drug tests. Detectives said hand warmers are sold with the synthetic urine

to make sure its at body temperature, and fake appendages are sold to use during drug screens.

The recent raid did its part to take some of those options off the table.