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Should I Be Concerned About a False-Positive Drug Test?

Having to take a drug test when starting a new job or due to probation may be nerve-wrecking. While you know you have not taken any drugs, you may be worried about what happens if it ends up being positive. Unfortunately, drug tests are not always accurate, and there is a possibility you can receive a false-positive. If you are faced with one of these circumstances, it may be helpful to have the experience of a criminal defense attorney on your side. 

Research from Boston Medical Center shows that between 5% and 10% of positive drug tests are false-positives. It should be acknowledged that the term positive can vary from facility to facility as there is a sensitivity scale. Different methods can also come with different levels of accuracy and sensitivity. These percentages should not scare you, but you should keep in mind that some items can give a false-positive result. There are a few things you can do to help ensure you get the correct result.

Always Tell the Test Administrator What You’ve Taken

drug testing

When you are being drug tested, it is important to give a complete history of all over-the-counter medications, prescriptions drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products used before the test. Common drugs like Prozac, Benadryl, and Sudafed are some of the many drugs that may give a false-positive result. Being upfront is the best thing you can do in case your medication or supplement gives you a false-positive result. 

MYTH: Secondhand Smoke Will Make Me Test Positive for Marijuana 

If you spend a lot of time around someone who smokes marijuana often, you may be worried that your contact high will make you test positive on your upcoming drug test. Worry not! It is extremely unlikely that the small amount of marijuana potentially consumed due to secondhand smoke will be enough to trigger a positive result. 

FACT: Poppy Seeds Can Give a False Positive Result 

You may have heard that poppy seeds can cause a false-positive result. It may sound silly, but it is true that poppy seeds contain small amounts of morphine and codeine. While most poppy seed consumption happens by eating baked goods and levels typically only remain traceable for one day, it is safest to avoid them when you know you will be drug tested. Interestingly, the authorities that mandate drug testing for federal employees actually raised their morphine cutoff (sensitivity) to reduce the number of false-positives from poppy seeds. 

I Got a False-Positive Drug Test, What Should I Do? 

If you received a false positive test, the first thing you should do is have a second, confirmatory test done. One such test is called Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry. This test will greatly decrease the chances of a false positive. However, you can still obtain a false-positive after the second test. Blood tests and hair follicle tests are also often used everywhere from Detroit to Lansing.  

Of course, the consequences of a false positive drug test can be disastrous. It may result in violation of probation, loss of job, or even jail time. If you find yourself in one of these unfortunate positions because of a false positive drug test, it may be helpful to have an attorney with criminal law experience on your side. Our experienced attorneys at The Kronzek Firm can help. Call us today at 866-766-5245 today for a free consultation!

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