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  #1  
Old 09-23-2008, 04:16 PM
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Question Excuseable reasons for failing drug test?

If a person has their children removed from them for failing a drug test and says that it was because they were taking non-prescription cold medicine, could they get their children returned to them? I am talking about if this person's children were removed from them before because of a drug addiction problem and they again have failed a drug test during a home trial period. How likely is it that the cw or even the judge will believe that they weren't using again.

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  #2  
Old 09-23-2008, 04:51 PM
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Typically a drug test can tell you which drug came up positive, it is unlikely that most will coorelate with an over-the-counter cold medicine but if it did they may give them the benefit of the doubt. WHen I worked for an Addiction Treatment Service we instructed all clients that were required to Pbt (blow in tube for alcohol level) to abstain from ALL medications and if they needed to take ANYTHING they had to get approval and produce the bottle and take it in front of personell.

Drugs are different than alcohol in that they are not found in many day to day products so it is even less likely that a "dirty" test were to come from cold medicine.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2008, 05:43 PM
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No way would a non prescription OTC cold medicine yeild a positve drug screen.
This is a VERY common excuse and while I understand why this person would want to deny and justify, it simply is not possible. Especially given their past history.

I have heard just about every excuse under the sun for people having tests come up dirty,
The only way a cold medication would yeild a positive test is if it were a prescribed medication for instance codiene based but NEVER an OTC.
Do you know what the test showed positive for? Opiates,ect?

As I always tell my patients, "Tests don't lie, people do" It would be better if the person just came clean with the truth and then get the services they need so that it does not happen again.

Mommy2fiveplus,
I too work in an out paitient substance abuse clinic(methadone) and we use both oral swabs ad uas (piss quizes). I find the tests to be accurate.

EZ

Last edited by EZ2Luv : 09-23-2008 at 05:47 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2008, 05:46 PM
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Most drug test will tell exactly what drug is showing up and those drugs aren't in OTC cold medicine. Usually a drug test is looking for meth, marijuana, heroine, cocaine,etc. Most people who try to say that type of thing think they can pull the wool over the eyes of the judge and the CW because that's what they have been doing all their life. It won't work for them this time.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:07 PM
stevenstwin stevenstwin is offline
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I'll bet you I know where the cold medicine myth comes from! Lot of Olympic athletes (Silken Laumann from a number of years ago) have failed sports "drug" tests due to the Ephedrine in cold medications - but they aren't testing them for illegal drugs! They are testing them for performance enhancing stimulants! I think these people here about that, and somehow figure it is an excuse for "regular" drug tests.
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2008, 06:31 PM
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Ephedrine and Ephedra are no longer used anymore in many medication, So that is a moot excuse these days. Not to mention a test would have to be specifically looking for that particular drug for it to show. Those test are usually ordered by doctors in a medical enviorment.
Most addicts use the cold medicine excuse too because many prescription medicines like Tussinex (cough medicine) IS in fact a narcotic as is codiene based cough and cold medicine. There is also a prescription Robitussin that has codiene.

I could sit here all night and post about the reasons I have heard for having a positive test I have to admit these people are pretty creative in some of their excuses.
I am sure the test was able to detect exactly what the drug was. See there are different "excuses and reasons" for different drugs detected. Since it was the cold medicine excuse, my guess is the test showed positive for opiates.
EZ

Last edited by EZ2Luv : 09-23-2008 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:36 PM
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Sorry guys, but I have to disagree with you on this one. If an OTC cold remedy contains ephedrine, it can show up as a "positive" for amphetamines on a tox screen or drug test. It all depends on the sensitivity of the lab test that is being used.

ETA: False positives can also be caused by cough syrup containing dextromethorphan, OTC diet pills and supplements, and eating poppy-seed rolls (which cause a "positive" result for opiates.)
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Last edited by RavenSong : 09-23-2008 at 06:42 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2008, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EZ2Luv
Ephedrine and Ephedra are no longer used anymore in many medication, So that is a moot excuse these days.
EZ


I think the point is that ephedra is no longer used..??!!
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2008, 06:46 PM
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Raven,
The only way that can ever happen where Ephedrine would show positve is if that is the speciic drug they were looking for. Not tests that are used outside of a hospial enviorment. Those test(full toxicology panel) are very expensive too. Not to mention there would have to be a significantly large amount because the drug has a very short half life (meaning it doesn't stay in the body long).
In all my years(too many to admit) of working in this field, never has this happened.



Ephedrine is derived from any of several species of the genus Ephedra. The plant is known as ma huang. In 2005 many companys that make these cold medicines replaced Ephedrine with phenylephrine HCL( a synthetic drug), with would not yeild a false positive. This was done because Ephedrine was a main ingredient used in producing Meth.

Last edited by EZ2Luv : 09-23-2008 at 07:01 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2008, 07:06 PM
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List of OTC/Prescription Drugs Resulting in False Positives

I'm including the link of a website that shows a table of the over-the-counter drugs, as well as prescription medications, that can cause a "false positive" in drug tests. This is a HUGE problem right now, one that has been written up in all the major newspapers, including a June 28, 2008, article in the Los Angeles Times.

Also, EZ, I have to disagree with you on the drug screens. It is the cheaper lab tests that show the false positives. The problem right now in the field is that hospitals and/or employers are NOT required to conduct a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS) on the same sample. The GCMS is expensive, but it should always be used to confirm a positive drug test that is being disputed, IMO.

Local Anesthesia--Drug Testing

ETA: The website link is safe ~ it belongs to a dentist named Dr. Spiller.
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Last edited by RavenSong : 09-23-2008 at 08:00 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-23-2008, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenSong
Sorry guys, but I have to disagree with you on this one. If an OTC cold remedy contains ephedrine, it can show up as a "positive" for amphetamines on a tox screen or drug test. It all depends on the sensitivity of the lab test that is being used.

ETA: False positives can also be caused by cough syrup containing dextromethorphan, OTC diet pills and supplements, and eating poppy-seed rolls (which cause a "positive" result for opiates.)

Regarding the "poppy seed" one would have to take MASSIVE doses... pounds of seeds to test positive.

These lab tests are designed to filter and flag for illegal substances.

I have never seen a "false" positive in years I've had my employees test for drugs. I have seen "dilution" in urine where copius amounts of water is consumed with the hopes that the substance will be flushed out. It just alerts me to issues.
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2008, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzyq18
Regarding the "poppy seed" one would have to take MASSIVE doses... pounds of seeds to test positive.
Not sure where you got your information on this one, but a lot of people, including chemists, would disagree with you. The amount of poppy seeds contained in one bagel can cause a "false" positive reaction in a drug test for up to 48 hours after ingestion. Even the U.S. Federal Prison system recognizes this problem. As a condition of parole, all federal prisoners are required to abstain from eating anything containing poppy seeds.

You might want to take a look at this Snopes article. The website is the big "myth buster" on the Internet:
snopes.com: Poppy Seed Drug Test Results
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  #13  
Old 09-23-2008, 08:26 PM
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I have to agree with suzy here. I have been working as nurse in an out patient methadone clinic where we run random test and never have I seen any test come back with a high percentage(enough to constitute a positive) on a substance that was false. As I said we do oral swabs, where I can see a local anesthetic like novacaine reading a positive for cocaine(that is why we always ask before administering the oral swab if any dental work has been done)but NEVER ever a urine test.
Those test readings come back with percentages of substances, it isn't just a pass fail test.
We have had the urine be retested and the test still came back the same.
Also, I could maybe give a tad of probability, but based on past history I am hard pressed to believe this was a false positive.
Like suzy our lab can flag just about anything . There have been all kinds of things done to have a test appear negative. That is all the more reason to cast doubt and any tampering is an automatic positive.

I do wonder though if the person who this thread is about , which drug the test showed. Was is it comparative for their drug of choice?
Honsestly, I have seen cases where the person swore up and down that the test was wrong, but when the report went back to the PO it was still a violation.
If it were a case of employment drug screening where the person did not have a history of addiction, it might be somewhat convincing, but many addicts have tried this methdod of denial and got no where.
Raven, we are just going to have to agree to disagree here. We can link each other to kingdom come, but nearing two decades at the same job I simply cannot agree. My experience tells me otherwise. I was even asked by one girls probation officer and I could not in good conscience tell him the test was a false positive.

EZ
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  #14  
Old 09-23-2008, 08:56 PM
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EZ, I agree that we must agree to disagree, lol... I respect your position immensely ~ as you know, your opinion means a lot to me whenever we're talking on a thread about drug addiction. Personally speaking, I get really sick of addicts who try to fool the tests ~ I have a couple family members who take great pride in doing just that.

I was just merely speaking as someone who was educated and trained in chemistry. Also, I discussed this issue not so long ago with a dear friend who heads up the New Mexico State Forensics Laboratory, where they do umpteen drug tests per day. The problem with false positives is NOT present in the more expensive screens and tests, such as the GC-MS...it's in the cheaper tests that are usually used as a "first" screen.
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Last edited by RavenSong : 09-23-2008 at 08:58 PM.
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2008, 09:35 AM
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The volume of poppy seeds you'd have to eat is pretty staggering for it to cause a positive for opiates on a drug test. We're talking like 6 or 7 poppy seed bagels in an hour before you get a hit. A single roll or even a big slice of poppy seed bread/cake is not enough. (I'm basing this off a Ted Allen food test show I saw on TV this weekend. Clearly that makes me an expert.) ;D
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