In the American workplace, the vast majority of workers will have to undertake a urine drug test at one point in their careers. These tests will often dictate whether a person will be hired by an employer, which can cause a great deal of stress regardless of whether that individual has recently used drugs. Since becoming President of Medcomp Sciences in 2012, Brad Schaeffer has become aware of the degree of misinformation surrounding urine toxicology and its impact on the American public. For this reason, Brad Schaeffer of Medcomp Sciences hopes to set the record straight by discussing some of the most common questions associated with urine drug tests.
Number 1: If I Eat a Poppy-Seed Muffin, Will I Receive A False Positive?
This is perhaps the most common question asked regarding urine drug tests. In 1996, the popular sitcom Seinfeld featured an episode where one of its main characters failed a drug test at work after habitually eating poppy seed muffins. While poppy seeds along with morphine, oxycodone, and heroin are all derived from the opium plant, the poppy seeds themselves do not contain morphine and thus cannot produce a “high.” However, it is important to note that some seeds can absorb some of the morphine during the harvesting process and give the consumer a false positive. The chances of this taking place are highly unlikely, but many drug testing facilities still ask that patients not eat any foods that contain poppy seeds for three days before their testing.
Number 2: Can I Fail a Drug Test By Standing Near Someone Smoking Marijuana?
When submitting a urine sample for drug testing, sometimes patients will be concerned that they will fail the drug test because they have recently been around others who were smoking marijuana. This concern is understandable, as many doctors warn the general public of the dangers of secondhand cigarette smoke. However, it is highly improbable that being close to people smoking marijuana would be enough to trigger a positive drug test unless the individual is directly inhaling the marijuana or is in a tightly enclosed area with the smokers, such as a “hotbox.”
Number 3: Can Certain Medicines Create A False Positive on My Drug Test?
In the US, nearly 65% of all adults are currently taking prescription drugs. Unfortunately, some of the prescriptions on the market today can negatively affect a drug test’s results. However, while drug tests can pick up certain over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions, individuals can provide a list of medications to their doctor and lab technician to reverse the drug test’s false positive. Brad Schaeffer of Medcomp Sciences recommends disclosing any over-the-counter medicines that may affect your results before the test to reduce the chances of wrongfully failing the test.