Nobody want's to get a positive drug test, and most people will claim the test is faulty, or it must have been something they ate, over the counter medication or any number of reasons why they may have tested positive...and it could be.
However, false positives can occur. Tests are not 100% accurate (they are over 99% accurate) and some over the counter medication can provide false positive - common medications, such as Ibuprofen, Prozac, even some blood pressure, pain, diet pills or anti-depressants can cause false positives, so it is important before the test, to ask the subject to write down any medications or supplements they have taken in the last week, including dosages or amounts.
For a more complete understanding of what medications can result in a false positive test, click here.
So, first advice is to remain calm, do not accuse and give the benefit of the doubt.
If the subject tests positive for one of the drugs, and refuses to accept the test results, and has no explanation as to why the test is positive, then conduct the test again. You can do the test immediately or shortly after, but no more than 1 hour is advised.
If the subsequent test is still positive, then then next options depend if this is a Home, School or Work related test and what the possible outcomes could be.
If this occurred in a drug rehab (where positive tests are normal), then we use the urine sample we have collected and sealed with a security label, and send the sample to a hospital lab for more detailed analysis, but this is a very rare occurrence.
In the case of a employment - either current or potential employment and the positive result could end in termination or not getting a job, then the person is well within their rights to get legal advice and you need to consider that in any decision that results.
If someone tests positive for a drug test, and acknowledges they have a problem they are struggling to deal with, there are options available. The focus of any drug test should always be provide help and support for the individual - this could be one of the most traumatic experiences of their life, and may just be a trigger to use even more drugs.
Teenagers often lie and hide their drug use, manipulating parents who don't want to think that their child is abusing drugs. We deal with families every day in this situation, but there are better sources of information out there. We recommend WebMD and articles such as this.
For employees it's usually a much better option to send a valued staff member to rehab to deal with their problems and come back a motivated and thankful person, than terminate and recruit a new unproven person. We always advise that as the first option.
Many people struggling with addiction do not publicize their addiction. What may have once been a social thing, often becomes self-medication for underlying mental health issues, and whilst they may have tried a hundred time to quit, its not always that simple...or safe.
In my experience, Doctors, unless they are addiction specialists, are more likely to prescribe medication for anxiety, depression or sleep problems, often compounding the problem with more addictive drugs, without really dealing with the underlying reasons. This is not uncommon, and many of these prescription mediations can even harder to stop.
There are groups like Narcotics Anonymous almost everywhere in the world, and they can be a useful first step to understand they are not alone and can often provide resources and sponsors to help. But NA and AA are not for everyone.
Inpatient Rehabilitation centers, in my opinion are the best option. Rehabs that can manage the detox and withdrawal of drugs, and work on the underlying reasons is a safe and controlled environment. Rehabs these days can be resort-like facilities and more affordable than you might think.
Full disclosure is that we own rehabs and these rehabs were the genesis for this website and sharing our knowledge, but this website is not meant to promote our rehabs, but give an idea of what type of rehab is available, whether is tax-funded, Salvation Army or Lanna Rehab. Explore all options available to you.
If we can help or you have questions, please contact us.