Sorry for the long post, but I considered this a public service announcement.
Since moving to Kissimmee, Florida life has been great, but not without its stress. The weather is phenomenal. The balmy weather makes it so easy to hop in the car, short drive, and I am at a Disney par. I love that!!! I have spent many days just strolling through the various parks, trying to experience everything. On average at the end of those days I have walked about four to five miles. My feet hurt by bedtime LOL.
The stressful part, however, has been trying to find a job to fund those adventures. With two kids and a mom depending on me to support them, I was stressed. I did not want to dip too far into my savings, because that money is for me to buy a home this year hopefully. I managed to stay out of that fund, but my regular account took a major beating LOL Finally, I got an offer for a job that I wanted. I was so incredibly relieved.
So, time came for the dreaded pre-hire paperwork and physical. Twenty-three pages to fill out. Some poor tree sacrificed its life so that I could get a parking decal and benefits. Went in first thing in the morning for the physical, fully expecting a drug screen. This is almost the norm for any job nowadays, especially in healthcare. Everything going fine, then she says I have to do a breathalyzer test!!! Uh oh I had just binged watched White Collar, and with all the wine drinking they do, I had a glass of wine the night before LOL ok I know one glass of wine, drank over fourteen hours ago would not show up, but I still felt my blood pressure go up. Guess what…it was zero LOL. I laughed. Now time for the urine screen. Only worry there was trying to remember not to flush.
Then came the results. The nurse doing the test said “it’s positive for THC” what’s that? THC is the psychoactive part of marijuana. She was saying my urine test was positive for drugs!!! I thought she was joking at first. When I realized she wasn’t, my blood pressure spiked, my pulse raced, and my mind went into shock. I said run it again. I have never done drugs in my life. She did, and second one said positive as well. I was in shock and near tears at this point. I felt humiliated, as I protested, saying it was wrong, I was innocent, in my head I knew she had probably heard all of that before. I demanded better testing, my integrity was being attacked, and my career was in jeopardy. She sent the test results and the urine out to a real lab for further testing. I left barely holding it together, bawling once I was in car.
All the way home I kept trying to think of how this had happened. I never have done anything. I am completely boring. The glass of wine was my first in over five years. I thought since I sleep with window open, did somebody outside smoke and I breathed it in while sleeping? Did one of the small local restaurants I have been to use it in a recipe as a prank? How did it come up positive??? So, I hit google as soon as I stopped crying.
I had no idea, but it turns out those urine drug screens they use in emergency rooms and doctor’s offices are notorious for giving false positives. All because of simple, everyday items people consume. So, I thought I would share what they are.
Cold medicines: a lot of them have pseudoephedrine in them which will give a false positive for amphetamines.
Tonic water: also known as quinine water, can lead to a positive result for opiates.
B2 (riboflavin): since some riboflavin comes from hempseed oil, it can show traces of THC.
NSAIDs: these are common, over the counter, pain meds. Examples are Ibuprofen (Motrin), and naproxen sodium (Aleve). Treating pain at home can lead to a devastatingly false positive for marijuana, barbiturates, or benzodiazepines.
Poppy Seeds: Eat too many of these and you might test positive for opiates like opium and codeine.
Snack bars: Some contain hemp seeds, which again could lead to them saying you are positive for THC.
It was the Motrin and Aleve that got me. All the Disney walking, and sore feet, had me talking some on a daily basis. I was also taking a multivitamin, and a multi B vitamin since those are good for stress. Those added up in my system, and were detected with the test. For three days, I suffered and fretted, waiting for the results to clear me. When they called me, and said I was cleared I was so elated and vindicated. I made sure they knew it was the common, legal medications that had turned against me. My integrity was once more intact. If you want the link to the web page that gave me hope for those days here it is.
So now I can joke about my so-called drug problem. I joke how it’s been eight days clean and sober with my family. If you must do a urine test in your career, make sure to tell them all the medications you take, even if they seem inconsequential to you. They can have a big impact. I can tell you this though, no more Aleve or Motrin for me. I am totally Tylenol now. I even went out and got a bubbling foot bath and Epson salts to help after park days LOL.