Anyone Can Fail A Drug Test
Remember the episode of “Seinfeld” that had Elaine failing a drug test due to poppy seed muffins? Eating as little as a teaspoon of poppy seeds — less than the amount on a poppy seed bagel — can produce false-positive results on tests for opioid abuse, says Dwight Smith, MD, of the VA Medical Center in Black Hills, S.D. It is funny on Seinfeld, however, it’s not so funny in real life. It is not so funny because many employers are insisting on drug tests for successful applicants.
Did you know that drug tests return false positives as often as 10% – 30% of the time?
Over-the-counter cold remedies such as Codeine and Vicks Formula 44-M can produce a false positive for heroin. Advil can show up as marijuana. And NyQuil can give you a false positive for amphetamines.
Don’t lose out on a job opportunity because of a false positive drug test!
The following is a brief list of some indicators for false positive drug tests. In some cases, a drug test may report the presence of illicit drugs, although none were taken. While this is not common, no test is 100% accurate. Lab errors account for some of the mistakes, but most false-positives may be attributed to over-the-counter drugs and foods that can affect the test.
|If you take or eat:||You could test positive for:|
|Ibuprofen||Marijuana, barbiturates, or benzodiazepines|
|Hay fever remedies||Amphetamine|
|Hemp food products**||Marijuana|
*Large amounts of poppy seeds—for example, a pastry filled with poppy seeds—would need to be consumed to cause a positive test. However, sophisticated testing can discern poppy seeds from opiates.
**Hemp oil is eaten for its supposed nutritional benefits.
If you are mistakenly found positive for drug use, evaluate whether you have taken any substances known to cause false-positives.
At New Drug Testing, we can help you to prepare and obtain the knowledge necessary to avoid falling into this trap. We will also perform a thorough pre-employment drug screen as part of our process of keeping you out of the false positive trap.