shopify analytics

False Positive Drug Test

False Positive on your Drug Test | What to do

There are several things you want to avoid that can cause a false positive on a drug test. The last thing you want is for it to seem that you had a substance in your body that you didn’t. If you were trying to hide such use, a false positive can also set off lots of red flags and needless worry.

If you are in need of immediate assistance to ensure you can get around an upcoming urine test, see here: Help Me Pass.

Before you go …See Brief Video Below on Substances that Cause False Positives

False Positive Drug TestA ‘false positive’ means that the drug test laboratory work detected a controlled substance in your urine or blood, depending upon which test you were subjected to -even though you are completely ‘clean.’  There are certain substances, referred to below, that, if in your system, could appear as something else. 

This situation can become an anxious one, if you know you’re clean and especially if you know you are ‘borderline and trying anyway to pass a drug test.

Medications and Herbs
You may be surprised to discover that various types of medications and herbs can trigger a false positive on a drug test. This includes over the counter products, as well as prescription medications. Even some of the herbal products out there can cause such a result. Products you may regularly take for headaches, to control diabetes, and even weight loss products may have ingredients in them that you didn’t realize would affect your drug testing results.

If you are subjected to any drug test, you want to fully disclose anything you have used. You may need to provide information about when and how often you used it and the dosage. This can be tricky too, if you are using prescription medications you ordered online from a pharmacy without a prescription from your doctor. For example, the use of a common antibiotic called Amoxicillin can easily cause a test result similar to that of someone that uses cocaine.

Too Little Creatinine
The body produces creatine, and excretes creatinine. However, if you are trying to flush various substances from your body, it can also reduce the concentration of creatinine that is normally in your urine in higher concentrations. When the drug test is done, if there is too little creatinine, that could trigger what is, in effect, a false positive. This is a red flag to the tester that you have been doing something to try to cleanse your system.

Most of the time when someone is taking opiates, it isn’t to get high. Instead, it is to help them feel better. For example, cold medicines are a common culprit. If you take medication to help you sleep that could also result in a false positive on your drug test. Nyquil is a common aid when you need to rest and you don’t feel good. Yet it can show up on a drug test the same as methadone for the first couple of days after you use it.

Poppy Seeds
Many people don’t know it, but poppy seeds can cause that result too. If you consume lots of breads or other products with them you may be clueless. Keep this in mind if you may be subjected to any type of drug test.

False Positive Drug Test | What to Do

Challenge it, by all means. Request another re-test.  many testing procedures use ‘split samples’ where one half of the sample is frozen and stored.  However, if the first sample tested came in positive, it’s likely the second will also.  By now you are probably seeing the importance of disclosing any legal substance you’ve had lately, just to take them out of the equation.

If you have found any of this information to be useful, please ‘Share’ it, and/or ‘Like’ it so others can find it too. Social buttons found on each page. Thank you for spending some time here.
Drug Test: False Postives

You may also like:
False Positives: CBS News
U.S. National Library of Medicine: Drug Screening

Image credit: San Drino

8 Responses to “False Positive Drug Test”

  1. David Jerczak says:

    Hi Penny –

    Sounds like you got a raw deal. It is difficult to imagine any lab not sophisticated
    enough to allow Nyquil to interfere in a urine screen.

    Best of luck with your job hunting and thanks for your inquiry.

    Dave J.

  2. Penny says:

    I once lost out on a job because I’d had a bad cold the night before (or was it 2 nights?) and took NyQuil for it. I got treated like a damned drug addict. I should have sued. Defamation of character, slander, and incompetence (what kind of lab can’t tell NyQuil from codeine or cocaine?!) They don’t give the benefit of the doubt when you’re a minority. And in New Jersey (probably everywhere, though, not just “Joisey.”)

  3. David Jerczak says:

    Michelle –

    There is a mechanism whereby you can challenge the results of a drug screening,.. The procedure may vary between authorities having jurisdiction.
    Ask whatever authority you’re dealing with how to challenge it.

    If the stakes are high enough (it sounds like they are) -you might want to obtain legal counsel.
    Because of many false positives encountered because of poppy seeds, many (not all) jurisdictions have raised the threshold of detection to avoid the problem.

    See this explanation by Snopes, last updated July 7, 2013: Urban Legends

    Best of luck with that.

    Dave J

  4. Michele says:

    I am having a dilemma and was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. My son has to take random tests on probation with urine. All have been negative as he does not use drugs nor drink alcohol. Last Wednesday he took the test like he always does the only difference is they called him 5 days later to say he has tested positive for opiates. I know for a fact he has not touched any kind of opiate, however doing reasearch we now believe 100% it was from ingesting an everything bagel with poppy seeds. I always thought that was a myth but believe me it’s not. Here is the dilemma….he is going to get violated unless we can find some way to prove that’s what caused the positive. We have called labs to see what test can be done and they all say we are just office workers and the lab workers don’t take calls. I will pay for a hair test ect…to prove this. Does anyone know what test can be done or who I could talk to that would have in depth knowledge about this subject? I see this has become a common problem with drug screens and there should be something in place to prevent this situation. Any help or advice would be great! Thanks

  5. David Jerczak says:

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Rob.

    I agree. By all means, challenge it. Demand a retest.
    Bring in your attorney.

    After all, we’re talking about your livelihood being on the
    line -not to mention your sterling reputation.

    There are cases on record where people won hefty settlements after
    being fired for, what turned out to be, poppy seeds or the like.

    Police officers, firefighters are on record as being let go, only
    to be re-hired several months later.

    If you’ve been ‘dabbling’ and fail the test, challenging it probably
    can’t hurt and might help. maybe it’ll get you a re-test.

    Thanks for spending some time here, Rob. Kindly do me a favor and
    ‘share’ this with a Facebook friend -or, even a Tweet would be sweet. :)

    Dave J

  6. Rob O. says:

    I think the best posture when you fail a drug test is that of righteous indignation.
    Deny it.

    It worked for OJ Simpson.


  7. David Jerczak says:

    Hi Sean –

    Ah, the old poppy seed or, Papaveris fructus, as the scientists call it. And, yes there is herbal tea containing Mr. Papaveris Fructus -so, I concur with your findings. Steer clear of that type of herbal tea. It’s too bad because there are so many great baked goods out of NYC with poppy seeds.

    Sometimes the cut-off is intentionally high for this substance to avoid the false positives that do occur.

    Dave J

  8. Sean A. says:

    I like to eat prosciutto and provolone on a poppy seed roll. It cost me a job, as I was denied on the basis of the poppy seeds showing up in my urine sample. I should have sued.

    Beware the poppy seeds. Beware the herbal tea.

    Sean Alverado
    West New York, NJ

Leave a Reply

© 2012 How to Pass a Drug Test. All rights reserved.