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  #1  
Old 01-25-2007, 12:25 PM
cher3 cher3 is offline
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Are there innocent things that can mess up a drug test?

I've heard about poppy seeds, but is there anything else? I have to take a drug test for the first time to start a new job. I don''t use any drugs but do take a couple of medications (synthroid, which I can't imagine would even show up, and bc pills.) I just don't want to be brought low by a cup of chamomile tea or something.
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2007, 12:31 PM
Litoris Litoris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cher3
I've heard about poppy seeds, but is there anything else? I have to take a drug test for the first time to start a new job. I don''t use any drugs but do take a couple of medications (synthroid, which I can't imagine would even show up, and bc pills.) I just don't want to be brought low by a cup of chamomile tea or something.
Years and years ago, when I managed a local fast food joint, we had a guy who would come in regularly and order his burger *on a bun without sesame seeds*. He would be very picky about it, too. One day, I struck up a conversation with him and asked if it was due to allergies and he explained that no, he was on parole and had to take weekly ( ) drug tests. His parole officer had told him that sesame seeds showed up as cocaine. I don't know the accuracy of this, but I am sure that someone will. Last time I had to take a drug test, though -- I should have failed it. I had been taking codiene that morning for a cold. The techs never asked what drugs, if any, I was taking -- and I forgot to mention it. I got the job, and no one ever asked me about my heroin addiction. I have heard more than once that most companies drug test only as a precaution, if you meet their criteria, but fail the drug test, they may still hire you, they just will be more prone to fire you at the drop of a hat. I don't know the accuracy of that statement, either. Wow I am useless...nevermind.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2007, 12:37 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Litoris
Years and years ago, when I managed a local fast food joint, we had a guy who would come in regularly and order his burger *on a bun without sesame seeds*. He would be very picky about it, too. One day, I struck up a conversation with him and asked if it was due to allergies and he explained that no, he was on parole and had to take weekly ( ) drug tests. His parole officer had told him that sesame seeds showed up as cocaine. I don't know the accuracy of this, but I am sure that someone will. Last time I had to take a drug test, though -- I should have failed it. I had been taking codiene that morning for a cold. The techs never asked what drugs, if any, I was taking -- and I forgot to mention it. I got the job, and no one ever asked me about my heroin addiction. I have heard more than once that most companies drug test only as a precaution, if you meet their criteria, but fail the drug test, they may still hire you, they just will be more prone to fire you at the drop of a hat. I don't know the accuracy of that statement, either. Wow I am useless...nevermind.
The opiate reading my have been low enough that it was below the threshold and considered a false positive.

Last edited by Joey P; 01-25-2007 at 12:37 PM..
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2007, 01:44 PM
Litoris Litoris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
The opiate reading my have been low enough that it was below the threshold and considered a false positive.
I would be inclined to agree that this may have been the case, if I were you and didn't know me. I have always lived by the credo of better living through chemistry and believe me, my levels should have been way up there due to: 1) I had taken the stuff that morning prior to the drug test, and 2) had been taking it for a week prior.
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2007, 01:49 PM
Duckster Duckster is online now
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Prohibited Substances - Poppy Seeds and Quinine

Registrants must avoid the use of non-prescription compound analgesics and cold medicine and narcotic containing substances such as poppy seeds. Poppy seeds can be found in baked foods such as muffins, cakes, breads and crisp bread. Such substances can result in a test positive for opiates. The Board will not accept repeat explanations that the ingestion of poppy seeds has resulted in subsequent positive screens. Such positive screens will be counted as positive.

Registrants are also to avoid ingestion of substances containing quinine, such as tonic water and bitter lemon. Quinine can potentially mask the presence of other substances on a urine drug screen.

The Board may take action in the case of registrants who persistently show quinine in their screens or have difficulty refraining from the ingestion of poppy seeds. This action may include either of the following:

1. Extended duration in present testing frequency.
2. An increase in testing frequency
DENTAL BOARD OF QUEENSLAND
POLICY #10
TITLE: Urine Drug Screening Program
REFERENCES: Health Practitioners (Professional Standards) Act 1999

Source: http://www.dentalboard.qld.gov.au/do...s/policy10.pdf
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2007, 02:21 PM
Don't Call Me Shirley Don't Call Me Shirley is offline
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The rarely-prescribed prescription weight-loss medication Didrex can cause a positive test for methamphetamine.

You have to eat a lot of poppy seeds to trigger a positive test for opiates. More than a normal person would normally eat.

It's not that unusual that a prescribed dose of codeine will not trigger a positive. It depends on the cutoff the lab is using, but a lot of times they set up the test so that it will only reveal when someone is abusing the drug.

Using codeine will generally not lead a testing agency to believe that someone is using heroin. Codeine will show up in urine as codeine, morphine, and hydrocodone. If you are using heroin, there will be another metabolite present, 6-monoacetylmorphine. That is only present when heroin has been used, so absent that finding the person likely used codeine.

Poppy seeds will show up in urine as codeine and morphine, but will not show up as hydrocodone or 6-monoacetylmorphine. Therefore, if someone has been using codeine, they generally will not be able to play the poppy seed card because their urine will contain hydrocodone (This is not a hard and fast rule though because it can take quite a while for the body to break the codeine down into hydrocodone). Similarly, 6-monoacetylmorphine in the urine prevents a heroin user from playing the poppy seed card. The only time the poppy seed card works is if the screen returns positive for only codeine and morphine. This is theoretically possible if someone has used codeine or heroin but it's not likely- it depends on how long after the drug use the person submitted to the test.
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2007, 02:33 PM
mks57 mks57 is offline
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The last time I took a drug test, they provided me with a list of things that could cause a false positive. They also gave me a form where I could list any prescription or OTC medications that I currently used. As long as the results could be explained by the information provided by the test subject, they were happy. They didn't expect anyone to change their diet or medications.

The Queensland Dental Board is a mindless bunch of jerks. If someone likes to eat poppy-seed rolls and drink Gin & Tonics, that should not result in grief from people who are too lazy to think and exercise a bit of judgement.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2007, 03:26 PM
neutron star neutron star is offline
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Possibly a stupid question, but I was wondering if the over-use of ephedrine (legal, OTC bronchodilator and stimulant) could trigger a false-positive for a more powerful, and much less legal, stimulant like methamphetamine, since ephedrine (or psuedoephedrine) are key ingredients in that drug.

The reason I ask is that I'm a naturally mellow and reserved person. I have a job interview and potential drug test tomorrow, so I've been known to take up to 200mg of ephedrine (4 times the normal dose) in such situations to appear more energetic and less shy to the interviewer.
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2007, 03:37 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don't Call Me Shirley
Poppy seeds will show up in urine as codeine and morphine, but will not show up as hydrocodone or 6-monoacetylmorphine. Therefore, if someone has been using codeine, they generally will not be able to play the poppy seed card because their urine will contain hydrocodone (This is not a hard and fast rule though because it can take quite a while for the body to break the codeine down into hydrocodone). Similarly, 6-monoacetylmorphine in the urine prevents a heroin user from playing the poppy seed card. The only time the poppy seed card works is if the screen returns positive for only codeine and morphine. This is theoretically possible if someone has used codeine or heroin but it's not likely- it depends on how long after the drug use the person submitted to the test.
But don't most drug testers start with just the basic 5; Opiate/Opiod, Amphetamine, Benzodiazapine, Cocaine, THC. If they get something over the threshold and you deny substance abuse or blame it on something else (prescriptions or non narcotic things) then they go and do further testing.
Of course the second round of testing will show more info.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2007, 03:55 PM
neutron star neutron star is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
But don't most drug testers start with just the basic 5; Opiate/Opiod, Amphetamine, Benzodiazapine, Cocaine, THC.
I think we'd need a qualified expert to attest to that. One drug test I took claimed to test for LSD, even though it is supposedly ridiculously hard to detect. I seriously doubt that they went to all of that effort, and suspect it was merely a scare tactic.

And the last drug test I took claimed to test for PCP (not very common these days), but not the more common Benzodiazepines (which I'm legally prescribed, so it wouldn't have been a big deal).

Paging Qadgop! You're needed in the GQ!
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2007, 04:05 PM
Don't Call Me Shirley Don't Call Me Shirley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
But don't most drug testers start with just the basic 5; Opiate/Opiod, Amphetamine, Benzodiazapine, Cocaine, THC. If they get something over the threshold and you deny substance abuse or blame it on something else (prescriptions or non narcotic things) then they go and do further testing.
Of course the second round of testing will show more info.
The lab we use automatically runs a confirmatory test on any presumptive positives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neutron star
One drug test I took claimed to test for LSD, even though it is supposedly ridiculously hard to detect. I seriously doubt that they went to all of that effort, and suspect it was merely a scare tactic.
I don't know how hard it is to detect, but I do know that whatever they look for in the urine degrades very quickly upon exposure to light. I rarely test for it, but when I do I have to wrap the specimen in aluminum foil immediately to shield it from light until it gets to the lab. If they didn't wrap up the cup after you peed in it, they weren't testing for LSD.
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  #12  
Old 01-25-2007, 04:13 PM
neutron star neutron star is offline
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They didn't (and I wasn't using it, for the record.) Just scare tactics like I presumed, I guess.
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  #13  
Old 01-25-2007, 05:09 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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I've been away from the drug testing profession too long to answer detailed questions at this point, but I'll bounce this stuff off a friend of mine who still does a bit of this sort of work.

But it doesn't take all that many poppy seeds to tip a test to the positive. A heavily coated bagel has been known to do it, as has a single serving of poppy seed torte.
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  #14  
Old 01-25-2007, 06:37 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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To quantify this discussion a little, I offer the following: a couple of my methadone patient friends have related tales of how in their bad old days, they would make poppy seed tea, and they said that subjectively, one pound of Dutch seeds (and Cecil says Dutch seeds are pretty low in opiates) was roughly equal to taking a 10mg hydrocodone tablet. I bet it wouldn't take much in the way of Australian or Spanish poppy seeds to make you fail a urine test.
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2007, 07:13 PM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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Proton pump inhibitors (popular remedies for heartburn, including Prilosec) can cause false positives for THC on drug tests.
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  #16  
Old 01-25-2007, 09:47 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don't Call Me Shirley
You have to eat a lot of poppy seeds to trigger a positive test for opiates. More than a normal person would normally eat.
Not true. They did this one on Mythbusters. One person ate a piece of poppyseed cake, the other had a couple of poppyseed muffins. Both tested positive for opiates on a standard drug test in 30 minutes, and continued to test positive for 16 hours after.
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  #17  
Old 01-25-2007, 11:40 PM
Chasing Dreams Chasing Dreams is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neutron star
Possibly a stupid question, but I was wondering if the over-use of ephedrine (legal, OTC bronchodilator and stimulant) could trigger a false-positive for a more powerful, and much less legal, stimulant like methamphetamine, since ephedrine (or psuedoephedrine) are key ingredients in that drug.

The reason I ask is that I'm a naturally mellow and reserved person. I have a job interview and potential drug test tomorrow, so I've been known to take up to 200mg of ephedrine (4 times the normal dose) in such situations to appear more energetic and less shy to the interviewer.
In the sporting world, I think your dosage of ephedrine may be a cause for concern because WADA has a limit of 10 micrograms per milliliter in your urine. Do workplace drug tests give a positive if you use ephedrine?

Better yet, we all seem to be discussing this topic as if there is one common list of prohibited drugs that employers test for but does this actually exist? Do employers generally follow the World Antidoping Agency Standards or do they use some other one? This topic could be considered moot unless there are some standards in place. I'm curious.
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2007, 06:10 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone
Not true. They did this one on Mythbusters. One person ate a piece of poppyseed cake, the other had a couple of poppyseed muffins. Both tested positive for opiates on a standard drug test in 30 minutes, and continued to test positive for 16 hours after.
Didn't Adam test positive for something like two weeks?
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  #19  
Old 01-26-2007, 12:59 PM
Madd Maxx Madd Maxx is offline
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The info that Duckster posted states that quinine could potentially mask compounds in your urine sample. Is that something that is commonly used as a masking agent, or is it just that it could in theory? Is quinine specifically tested for to see if the applicant is trying to cover something up, or does it take such large levels of quinine that would make it unreasonable to use as an masking agent?
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  #20  
Old 01-26-2007, 01:13 PM
Litoris Litoris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne Neville
Proton pump inhibitors (popular remedies for heartburn, including Prilosec) can cause false positives for THC on drug tests.
This is truly interesting. Prior to my weight loss surgery, I had a godawful hiatal hernia (congenital) that caused reflux bad enough to warrant taking 40mg Nexium twice/day. I was on that dosage (never listing it on any drug tests I took) for over 5 years and never once was turned down for a job.

Interesting note -- my husband takes ranitidine (sp?), a generic acid reducer and it must not have this effect, because he totally passed his urine test for re-enlisting in the National Guard.
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  #21  
Old 01-27-2007, 07:20 PM
GiantRat GiantRat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neutron star
Possibly a stupid question, but I was wondering if the over-use of ephedrine (legal, OTC bronchodilator and stimulant) could trigger a false-positive for a more powerful, and much less legal, stimulant like methamphetamine, since ephedrine (or psuedoephedrine) are key ingredients in that drug.

The reason I ask is that I'm a naturally mellow and reserved person. I have a job interview and potential drug test tomorrow, so I've been known to take up to 200mg of ephedrine (4 times the normal dose) in such situations to appear more energetic and less shy to the interviewer.
Careful, Neutron , you may inadvertently be participating in what's known as diversion of a controlled dangerous substance.

For US Dopers:
Actually, the sale of ephedrine was banned by the FDA in December 2003 (with enforcement beginning the following month - cite: http://www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/ep...lsummary.html), and consumers were warned against using ephedra-bearing products. Its synthetic cousin, pseudoephedrine, is a List I chemical regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration under the authority of the Combatting Methamphetamine Act of 2005, which was rolled into the USA Patriot Act (like everything else in the last 6 years).

To quote my favorite bumpersticker: "Who are the DEA, and why are they following me?"

Last edited by GiantRat; 01-27-2007 at 07:21 PM..
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  #22  
Old 01-27-2007, 10:41 PM
alterego alterego is offline
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Yes.
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