Why did you have a false positive for cocaine?

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Friday, June 3, 2016

Most people feel a bit nervous when being given a drug test in Florida, even if they haven’t used drugs before. The fear is that the test is somehow going to come up positive anyway, causing all manner of legal and employment-related problems.

This fear isn’t entirely unfounded. False positives do happen. If you’ve tested positive for cocaine and you think it’s a false reading, there are a few reasons why it could happen.

  • Drug testing labs aren’t always well run and well maintained. Some experts have noted that kitchens in restaurants have more government regulations.
  • Tests have been carried out and some labs performed poorly even when they knew they were being tested. In other cases, samples were sent in under disguise so as not to tip the labs off, and they did even worse.
  • You could have come in contact with many things that could lead to a positive reading for different drugs — not just cocaine — which include over-the-counter medications, foods and other things that are perfectly legal.
  • Prescription antibiotics have been linked to false positives when looking distinctly at cocaine. These antibiotics include both ampicillin and amoxicillin, which are widely used.

Don’t assume that the results of the test have to stand. You have legal options and rights even when you’re accused of using illegal drugs. You may be able to ask for a re-test — though some experts warn that these don’t always change perceptions created by the first inaccurate test. Still, it’s crucial to know what you can do to set the record straight.

Source: Independence Institute, "Drug Testing: Shaky Science May Nullify Good Intentions," David B. Kopel, accessed June 03, 2016

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