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7 Things That Can Affect Drug Test Results

Whether you're a student, athlete, or starting employment at a new company, you're likely to be drug tested at some point in your life. But everyone who is drug tested should be aware that some other substances can affect the test, creating a chance of inaccurate results. In fact, there is a 5% to 10% chance that your test results yield a false-positive. Conversely, there's a 10% to 15% chance that you'll receive a false-negative result.

While drug test results are typically accurate, anyone taking a drug test should be aware of variables that could interfere with your test results.

1. Antidepressants

People who suffer from depression should know that there's a slight chance your pre-employment drug test could come back positive if you take antidepressants. The chemical structure of antidepressants can sometimes mimic that of other drugs. Wellbutrin, Prozac, and Desryel can show up as amphetamines for your drug test, while Zoloft is liable to appear as a benzodiazepine. 

In this situation, the best thing you can do is let your technician know which antidepressants you're taking. To be safe, double-check that your antidepressant use is on your record, and bring your prescription bottle. Many people are concerned or self-conscious about disclosing their antidepressant use and mental health status, but it's better to stay on the safe side. Plus, your drug test technician isn't legally allowed to share your medical information with your employer.

2. Cough Suppressants and Sleep Aids

If you're suffering from a runny nose or cough, you might want to hold off on taking any cough suppressants before your drug test. Cough suppressants, also known as antihistamines, contain ingredients that could cause a false positive.

People who have taken cough suppressants containing the sleep aid diphenhydramine, such as Benadryl, might be at risk of testing positive for methadone or PCP. There is also a stronger counterpart of diphenhydramine called doxylamine, which is the active ingredient in Unisom. Like diphenhydramine, taking doxylamine before your test could also lead to a false positive for methadone.

3. Diet Pills

If you're on a weight loss journey, be aware that prescription weight loss pills can cause a false positive. Adipex is a weight loss drug that is typical prescribed to patients for 6 to 12 weeks to suppress their appetite. The active ingredient in Adipex is phentermine, which mimics the chemical compounds in ADHD medications like Adderall.

If you're taking diet pills and don't have a prescription for an amphetamine-based medication, let your health care provider know before proceeding with the drug test.

4. Pre-Workout Supplements

Many people who work out regularly boost their performance with legal pre-workout supplements. These pre-workout supplements come in the form of powder, gummies, and pre-made sports drinks. 

While these supplements are generally safe to consume, users should remember that the FDA does not regulate supplements. And some pre-workout supplements contain active ingredients that can show up on drug tests as stimulants like amphetamines or methylhexaneamine.

If you're taking pre-workout supplements and know you have a drug test coming up, avoid a false positive by double-checking that your supplements contain none of these active ingredients.

5. CBD Oil

Cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil, has many health benefits and is gaining popularity for its ability to reduce inflammation and improve depression and anxiety. Although CBD comes from the cannabis plant, there is no THC in pure CBD oil, so it cannot cause intoxication and is perfectly legal to purchase. However, low-quality CBD products may still contain THC.

A 2017 study concluded that 1 in 5 CBD oil products are inaccurately labeled and contain THC content higher than they recommended .3%. These research findings mean that even if you don't feel intoxicated from CBD oil, your drug test results could return positive for THC. To ensure you never have a false positive for CBD, always purchase a high-quality supplement that is pure CBD oil.

6. Poppy Seeds

Did you eat a poppy seed bagel before your drug test? If so, your results might return positive for the painkillers morphine and codeine. Poppy seeds come from the seedpod of opium poppies. During the extraction process, they become coated in opium extract.

Pharmaceutical companies also use opium extract to create morphine, heroin, and codeine. So although processing should remove up to 90% of poppy seeds' morphine content, you may still test positive for up to 60 hours after consuming a product containing poppy seeds. Your best bet is to stay away from poppy seed pastries and teas before your drug test.

7. Baby Soap

It is common for hospitals to drug test newborn babies, primarily if the mother has engaged in high-risk behaviors, gone without prenatal care, or given birth prematurely. However, some babies were testing positive for marijuana when there was no evidence of drug use.

A 2012 study concluded that certain baby soaps that healthcare workers were using led to positive test results. The soaps that caused false-positive results for marijuana include:

  • Johnson & Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash
  • J&J Bedtime Bath
  • CVS Night-Time Baby Bath
  • Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash
  • Aveeno Wash Shampoo

If you're the parent of a newborn or toddler who is likely to be drug tested by authorities, you might want to avoid these soaps.

Countrywide Testing

Drug tests can be daunting, especially as a positive result can affect your career and your future. If you have an upcoming drug test or want to ensure that your system is free of illegal substances, Countrywide Testing can help.

We are an online retailer of drug and alcohol testing and lab services. Our products include pregnancy tests, medical supplies, multi-panel drug tests, and more. We work with a SAMHSA, ISO, CLIA, and CAP licensed laboratory, so you can rest easy knowing your samples get processed by a government-trusted facility.

Don't let your next drug test take you by surprise. Shop our store now or call us at (469) 356-8607 to conduct your own drug test and know what substances are in your system.

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