Warriors In The Criminal Defense Arena

What substances may produce false positives for drugs?

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2021 | Drug Charges |

A drug conviction can do a lot to up-end your life. You may serve time in jail, lose job opportunities and your ability to compete in a sport, and possibly have issues buying insurance. However, you might prevent these undesirable outcomes if you find that a recent drug test you have taken has not produced the correct result.

Drugs.com explains that drug tests may have a 5 to 10% false-positive rate, so you cannot rule out the possibility that a test you took was not reliable. Taking medications and even eating some foods may result in a false positive.

Common medicines that produce false positives

Many kinds of medicines can throw off a drug test. Generally, the more common types involve drugs you take for a cold or allergy such as antihistamines and decongestants. Some people have also registered positive for illegal drugs because they took medicine like antipsychotics and antidepressants to handle mental and emotional problems.

If you sustain an injury, you might need medicine for pain like analgesics. You may also have contracted an infection and require antibiotics. Unfortunately, sometimes pain medications and antibiotics skew drug test results. You might not escape an unreliable test result even if you opt for an over-the-counter drug since some over-the-counter medicines may also register false positives.

Poppy seeds

It is possible that eating a roll or a pastry with poppy seeds might produce a false positive for opioids. This is because some poppy seeds contain opiates like codeine and morphine. Fortunately, many labs raise their opiate measurement standards to account for poppy seed opiates, but it is still something to keep in mind if you take a drug test not long after you have had a meal.

Seek confirmation of test results

If you have taken an at-home drug test or a test at an employer’s office, you should consider having a more comprehensive test like a lab test confirms the results. Also, be sure to discuss any medications you have recently taken before a test. The test administrator may take your medicine or diet into account and adjust the test, change it or even delay the test. These steps may prevent you from encountering legal trouble on account of an inaccurate drug test.