9 Ways You Can Test Positive For Drugs

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Several years ago, a Seinfeld episode had Elaine taking a urine test so that she could accompany her boss on a business trip to Kenya. When her urine test showed up positive for opium, it took a while for her to figure out it was because of the poppy seeds she ate that were on her favorite bagel. Many people probably wondered if that could actually happen in real life and the answer is yes, it can. In fact, a woman who had her newborn baby taken from her for testing positive under similar circumstances sued the hospital and won.

If you are interviewing for a new job, or must submit to a urine test, for any other reason, you may want to avoid the following items until after you pass it. While these items may or may not give you a false/positive reading, it’s best just to refrain to avoid unnecessary complications.



Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, and was found to provide false/positive results in urine tests. Participants in a study were given doses beginning at 400 mg per day up to 1200 mg per day. The person who took the highest amount of ibuprofen showed cannabinoid, which is found in marijuana, in their urine. Other participants ended up with what appeared to be barbiturates in their urine. Barbiturates can be found in sleep medications as well as in drugs prescribed to treat anxiety.


2. Over-the-counter cold medications

There are actually some medications you can pick up at your local pharmacy that have ingredients that could lead to a false urine reading. There are some antihistamines that have brompheniramine in them and this could make it appear that you have taken methamphetamine. A study from 2008 showed that use of a Vick’s inhaler showed up as a positive substance reading for amphetamines. The ingredient that caused this is called levomethamphetamine, however newer improved drug tests are now able to differentiate so it is no longer a problem.

Continue to Page 2

PrevPage: 1 of 4Next