You finally have an outstanding career opportunity. It is the type of job you have always wanted, with good pay and chances for advancement. You have all of the requirements on your very polished resume. You aced the meeting with the Human Resources interviewer. The only thing standing between you and your dream job is the results from your pre-employment drug testing. You thought, no problem there, you don’t do illegal drugs. But then you received a call from the employer’s HR assistant that they would not be able to offer you the position. Somehow your drug test came back positive for illegal substances. This has to be a false positive in drug testing, so what can you do about it?

Ask for a retest.

Statistics show that 5% to 10% of screens come back with false positive results. Some employers have a policy set up for retesting anyone who gets a positive result on a pre-employment drug test. If this employer does not have that in the Drug Testing Policy, you may have to pay for the retest. If you really want this job and know that this result is a false positive on the drug test, pay it. Consider it an investment in your future. Request that they use a different type of testing. Do not ask for a retest if the results are correct. Even if you can get clean enough to pass this test, it will show up at some point.

Consider Your Prescription and Over the Counter Medications.

Several types of prescription medication can cause a false positive in drug testing.

  1. Diltiazem: Prescribed for high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation
  2. Metformin: The most common treatment for diabetes
  3.  Labetalol: Treatment for high blood pressure
  4. Ritalin: Prescribed for ADHD
  5. Tramadol: Pain treatment
  6. Phentermine: Prescribed for weight loss
  7. Oxaprozin: Written for arthritis pain
  8. Venlafaxine, Quetiapine, Sertraline, Trazodone, Amitriptyline, Bupropion: Taken for depression
  9. Omeprazole, Esomeprazole, Pantoprazole: Taken for GERD
  10.  Levofloxacin, Ofloxacin: Antibiotics for infection

Over-the-counter medications that could cause false positives in drug testing.

  1. Dextromethorphan: Ingredient in Robitussin, Delsym, other cough suppressants
  2. Diphenhydramine: Antihistamine found in Benadryl, Tylenol PM, Advil PM 
  3. Doxylamine Unisom, and other over-the-counter sleep aids
  4. Ibuprofen, Naproxen: Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory pain relief

If you are taking one of these medications, contact the employer and let them know. They may ask for verification from your physician or pharmacist. 

Where Have You Been and What Have You Been Eating?

Eating a large number of poppy seeds can give you a false positive result on a drug test for opiates. Also, consuming hemp and CBD products can show false positive results for marijuana on drug testing. Furthermore, some researchers believe that exposure to someone smoking marijuana can cause a false positive from secondhand smoke. However, other researchers strongly disagree on this. They claim you would need to be repeatedly exposed to a great amount of smoke for it to show up in the drug test.

Handle the Issue Like a Professional

The most important thing at this point is that you stay calm and professional. Do not ruin your opportunity by behaving inappropriately and yelling at the HR personnel. Do not say their testing is bogus and you are calling your attorney or anything like that. If they wanted to hire you, they still want to. Show the company that you are the right person for the job. When you face adversity, you address it head-on. You do not get angry or behave irrationally. You present the facts and remain calm. That will gain you their respect and another chance at that job.

At Soteria Screening Laboratories, we offer 4 types of testing. If you get what you believe to be a false positive result on a drug test, we will work with you and the employer to ensure you get the correct results. diabetes

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