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What are some of the foods and medicines that can cause positive drug results?


Whether you are getting into a new job sector or getting admission into a new university, drug testing is a must! Most employers or school authorities have strict policies regarding drug abuse, and they are, in no way, going to let an illicit substance user work with them. However, despite staying cautious and not using drugs, you may run into trouble through some food or medicines that you are probably taking. An all-source drug test will usually detect illegal substances, including marijuana, opioids, and other substances. However, it often comes across as a shock when you have been abstaining from such illegal substances all your life and yet getting a positive result!

Sometimes, some food and medicines can make you obtain false positives, and in such cases, it is recommendable to avoid consuming those on the day of testing. However, some company policies make it mandatory to have surprise check-ups. In such cases, it is recommendable to know the methods to dispute a false positive test. Let’s take a brief look at how you can end up getting a false positive.

Common cold and cough medications

Sometimes ETG on drug tests can turn out to be positive if you were prescribed cough syrups or medicines for a common cold. The ETG drug test is typically used to find out the presence of alcohol in the urine.

You can also get a false-positive result on PCP. It is a very strong hallucinogenic that is popularly known as “angel dust”. It became a serious concern in the 1970-1980s when its abuse was explicit. In modern-day medicines, OTC pain relievers can cause a false PCP alarm.

Some of the medicines to avoid during drug testing day are:

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)- It gives you a false positive case for both PCP and ETG drug tests.
  • Metformin (Glucophage)- false positive for amphetamine.
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)- It can provide false positives for amphetamine, methamphetamine, and even LSD.

Medicines for sleep

If you are currently undergoing any treatment for depression, ADHD, OCD, or even anxiety, you may run into a false-positive result. SNRI, short for “serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor,” is often used to treat patients with mental health diseases or issues. It can also turn out to have a false positive case, especially if you routinely took it even on the day of testing.

Foods to avoid on the day of testing

Some foods are best avoided on the day you have a drug test, or it might throw off your results. Poppy seeds baked into bagels or pastries are one of those. Different morphine or codeine can be found in your system if you have consumed too many poppy seeds. However, most baked items are thoroughly processed to ensure that no traces are found during the drug test.

If you have been taking quinine in tonic water, it is recommendable not to have it more than the prescribed amount, for that might fluctuate the drug reading test.

Disputing a false positive result

If you have been unfortunate enough to face a false positive result, then you will need to dispute the results. Otherwise, you might not be considered for the job position or get admission into the school you worked so hard for.

First of all, you will need to review any medications you may have taken in the past few days, and in case something was initially removed from the disclosure form, that should be taken into account.

Here are some things you can look into to dispute the positive results:

  • The specimen could have been contaminated.
  • The staff may not have handled the sample professionally or may not have worn fresh clinical gloves. Especially when ETG on drug tests is applicable, it is highly recommendable that the medical staff handles the specimen with care. Any sick person sneezing or coughing around it may contaminate it.
  • The facility needs to be clean to avoid any contamination of the specimen.
  • In case you were not allowed to review the labeled specimen before testing, there could be some mistakes too.

Thus, you need to stay very cautious before any drug test examination. Most all source drug tests are capable of recognizing nearly every known drug, including marijuana and alcohol. Thus, it is recommendable not to take anything the previous night that might even have the slightest possibility of getting a positive result. If you have been taking cough syrups daily and if the test was a surprise one, it would be recommendable to produce your doctor’s prescription or hire a good lawyer to file the dispute case.


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