Drug screenings are ever common in the work place. They’re designed to keep the business and other employees safe from legal harm. However, drug screenings are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. This means that there are medications out there right now that, while perfectly safe to use and may even be prescribed by a doctor, can trigger a drug screening and result in a false positive. This means that it could hinder someone from getting a job, or affect the emotional toll of a person. It can also affect your health and overall fitness to get a false positive.
As a result, you need to be open about what medications you take as prescribed by a doctor. Don’t hide anything from employers or those giving you the drug screening. This way, if there is a false positive for some reason, you are less likely to suffer the consequences for it. Such consequences can include losing your job, even if you didn’t do anything wrong.
Common drugs such as antibiotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, certain OTC products, decongestants for colds, and analgesics can all cause false positives in a drug screening. (Source) These drugs have similar effects on the body that drugs that drug screenings look for. Another weird fact? Eating poppy seeds (like those on a lemon poppy seed muffin) can lead to a false drug positive for up to three days in some cases, depending on how much you eat. They show up the same way a drug would.
However, you still need to take drug screenings. Your work will require it from you and refusing to do so can lead to a whole lot of trouble. So, if you are taking some prescribed drugs that could cause false positives, what can you do?
Again, as mentioned before, be open about what your doctor has prescribed you. Another way to help is to take your own drug screening test at home. The best screening tests are home testings kits because they are cheap and affordable. They can also help you see what you might be getting into at a surprise work evaluation and drug screening.
You need to be careful in the medications you take. Listen to your doctor’s advice, but also tell them if you’re concerned about a drug that you’ve been prescribed. They may be able to help you find an alternative, or be able to write you a doctor’s note to further prove that you’re innocent and not taking anything you shouldn’t be taking.
The purpose of drug screening tests is to keep everyone as safe as possible (as well as take care of the business legally), but false positives are very real and are something we need to think about as we take these tests or as we give these screening tests to our employees. Just make sure you’re always cautious, you’re open, and that you know what you’re getting into as you take a drug screening test.
Image by Micah Baldwin