Testing hair for drugs can give a more complete history of drug use, as the hair makes a longer-term record of drug exposure. If you want to detect recent drug use, specialists recommend testing the hair close to the scalp. Drugs used in the past can “be found in hair that has grown out.” While blood tests can give the most accurate drug test results, it is unlikely for employers to order them. 

In any case, employees should do several things to prepare ahead of their drug testing. 

Disclose Medications

There are several prescription and over-the-counter medications that can cause trouble for people who need to be drug-tested. Certain weight loss supplements, antidepressants, antibiotics, antihistamines, HIV medications, and antipsychotics drugs can cause false-positive drug test results. 

Under the direction of a physician, candidates for drug testing may be able to temporarily halt or reduce the dosage of medications that put them at risk for false-positive drug test results. If not, to rule out illegal or inappropriate drug use, candidates will have to disclose the use of prescription medications to the testing facility.

Additionally, some states allow medicinal use of CBD, with a very limited allowance of THC. Depending on the dosage and frequency of use, this can lead to a positive marijuana result in a drug test. In these cases, it is crucial that candidates disclose the legal use of CBD prior to having a drug test. More often than not, employers cannot deny candidates a fair work opportunity due to the use of medicinal CBD use. 

Prevent False-Positive Results

Medications and unconventional drug therapies like CBD aren’t the only variables that can produce false-positive results in a drug test. Foods and beverages like coca tea and poppy seeds can render positive results if consumed shortly before a drug test.

Cocaine is made out of the coca leaf. Poppy seeds contain morphine and codeine. Both of these can lead to false-positive drug test results. For a full day before the drug test, candidates should avoid poppy seed goods. On the other hand, the detection window for the coca leaf can last up to 36 hours following consumption. 

Don’t Drink Too Much Water

Being hydrated is important, but drinking too much water right before a drug screening can cause trouble. Since most drug screens test urine, consuming large amounts of water or diuretic beverages can flag your urine specimen for dilution. A diluted urine specimen is an issue because it prevents the labs to perform an accurate drug screen. In preparation for a urine drug screening, be sure to consume a regular amount of water. If you require high water consumption throughout the day, try to schedule your drug screen for the morning. 

Even though drug testing for pre-employment can be inconvenient, there are ways that candidates can prepare to ensure it goes smoothly. At Soteria Screening Laboratories, we can help give employers peace of mind that they are hiring reliably sober employees. If you have any questions before your drug test, you can visit our website or give us a call!

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