The Changing Scenario For A Shy Bladder Drug Test!

The Changing Scenario For A Shy Bladder Drug Test!

Shy bladder syndrome is bad enough in any “normal” situation. But what about when you have to pee to order for a mandatory drug test! A paruretics worst nightmare but one which, for many, is a reality.

Just what are your rights as a paruretic in this situation? What should you do when you are faced with the need to provide urine for a drug test but you know you’re going to struggle because of your shy bladder? And exactly what are the laws in relation to this?

First of all, don’t despair. Given that urinary drugs tests are mandatory for many you are certainly not the only one in such a situation.

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When Can You Expect A Drug Test?

There are a number of scenarios which may require a urine based drugs test:

  • Employment context urine test. Millions of people are forced to undergo drug tests as a requirement for either getting or keeping a job. This applies to both public and private sector employees.
  • Sporting context. The well publicised random urine or obligatory testing for performance enhancement drugs.
  • Criminal and justice system either when a suspect or a convicted criminal. Drug testing is a growing focus in order to detect and control the supply and use of drugs in prisons.
  • Education. A growing trend for the random testing of students for various reasons – in particular sporting and extra-curricular.

This is not an exhaustive list but covers the majority of scenarios.

Shy Bladder And The Drug Test

As I said, a urine drugs test is a paruretics worst nightmare. It’s hard enough to pee in a public restroom at the best of times. With an added pressure of a controlled environment and an absolute requirement to produce a specimen for testing and anyone suffering from shy bladder syndrome is not likely to come up with the goods!

One would expect there to be laws and rules in place to protect the genuine paruretic? Otherwise surely it’s a form of discrimination against a “disability”? Yet the law disagrees … at least at the present time.

US Regulations

The most important relevant legislation in the US is the: Urinalysis Drug Tests & Disability Discrimination Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This is the first the first comprehensive civil rights statute for people with disabilities in the world. It’s certainly a big step in the right direction … as long as Paruresis is recognised as a disability.  There lies the problem! It’s not clear-cut but those suffering from a shy bladder are continually confronting a belief that they are NOT suffering from a valid, recognised disability.

To formally satisfy the courts that Paruresis constitutes an official disability it must be clearly demonstrated and proven that shy bladder creates an impairment (i.e. inability to urinate). For the purposes of the ADA this proven impairment must then qualify as a disability and it must be demonstrated that the condition “substantially impairs” at least one major life activity.

In other words – you can make the claim but it’s by no means certain (unlikely we think) that your condition will be recognised. And so you will not be protected under ADA.

That doesn’t seem fair at all. We all know that it’s a genuine issue and all we’re asking for is to be provided with an alternative solution to satisfy the testing.

UK Regulations

Here in the UK there is a little more flexibility and recognition. But again, this flexibility is almost “discretionary”  and dependant on individual cases.

For example, the following guidance has been given to all Mandatory Drug Testing (MDT) personnel directly involved in drugs testing in prisons:

Some prisoners have a psychological condition called shy bladder syndrome. This prevents them passing urine if they are observed or pressurised.

The problem may or may not be linked to other, more serious, psychological problems. It may be more common among young offenders than among adult prisoners. If a prison officer suspects a prisoner cannot provide a sample because of this problem, there are two possible approaches:

a. The prisoner must be allowed more time at the toilet without the time pressure to provide an immediate sample and a reduced level of observation.

b. If this fails, the prisoner, after a full strip search, may be provided with a sample collection cup and allowed to provide a sample in compete privacy in a cell with internal sanitation. Water must be blued and the flush must not be accessible from inside the cell.”

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What Can You Expect When You’re A Victim Of Shy Bladder?

Of course it is difficult to provide the urine sample because as one suffering from Paruresis, it is impossible to pee on demand – let alone urinating to order in a toilet that isn’t in your home and when in the presence of people monitoring the test. And all this with the additional pressure that we HAVE to produce a sample!

When you take the current laws of discrimination the paruretic is at the mercy of the understanding of those responsible for the testing and whether they regard shy bladder syndrome as a disability or not. Take things further and you’re then at the mercy of the courts. You’re going to have to legally prove the disability.

As the condition is not well publicised or spoken about not many people at the testing centers are very understanding. Especially since they have never had to face the anxiety that you associate with the need to pee. And unfortunately, you might face discrimination because of it…

But, the pressure is on for the scenario to change! The International Paruresis Association are lobbying hard for the condition to be recognised and for subsequent reform. Likewise the UK Paruresis Trust are building awareness. Watch this space as we believe it’s only a matter of time before things change for the better.

What Are The Alternatives To A Urine Test?

Alternatives to a shy bladder drug test include:

  • Saliva test.
  • Sweat patch.
  • Hair samples.
  • Blood testing.

All of these methods can detect illegal drug usage or the presence of illegal drug in the system. None of these pose a problem to sufferers of Paruresis. You can provide samples voluntarily for all these tests. You can request one of the above alternatives but you’re by no means within your rights (just yet) to DEMAND an alternative.

What If I Still Have To Provide A Urine Sample?

This, I’m sorry to say, is the likely case right now. You need to be prepared for this result. Realistically there’s two options available:

  1. Use a catheter in order to provide the sample to order. This is not going to be that pleasant but will get over the issue. It involves you learning how to insert and use a catheter (a thin tube which is inserted into the bladder via the urethra) to extract the urine as required.
  2. Learn to overcome your paruresis through one of several treatment programs. This is not going to happen overnight but it CAN be achieved in every case – with a little patience and commitment.

We strongly recommend that you look to treat the condition. This represents the best way for the long term.

Shy Bladder Drugs Test – Conclusion

Regulations are still discriminatory (in my opinion) when it comes to a shy bladder drugs test. I am however, hopeful that the increased pressure from the international organisations and the increased awareness will eventually bring on a change. Until then though we can only ask for an alternative method of testing or an improved environment providing the required degree of privacy … and hope!

I’ll keep you informed!

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Whilst there’s no overnight miracle treatment and there’s nothing you can particularly do if your drugs test is imminant you CAN treat paruresis. That’s why I strongly suggest that you look for a short term way around the drugs testing whilst seeking out perminant treatment for the condition.

How To Make Yourself Pee For A Drugs Test

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- Simple to follow, step-by-step format
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