6 Potential Reasons for a Drug Test False Positive

Updated on January 4, 2023

If you do not use drugs, you probably have no reason to worry about an upcoming drug test, but sometimes false positives can occur even for individuals who are drug-free. For example, did you know that eating bagels or using mouthwash could increase your chances of a false-positive drug test result? Check out these reasons why you might encounter this situation. 

1. Weight Loss Pills

If you take weight loss pills, it can lead to a false positive on drug tests. Diet pills contain ingredients that fall into the category of amphetamines which are stimulants that people often use to treat ADHD and as a study aid to stay awake. If you do not have a medical reason for using amphetamines and they show up in your results, it could be a red flag.

2. Breakfast

Do you enjoy eating poppy seed bagels? If so, you are far from alone, however, doing so can also increase your risk of a false positive drug test. Most poppy seeds that people use for food come from the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, as do common drugs such as morphine, codeine, heroin and oxycodone. Find out how long do poppy seeds stay in system if this is a concern for you.

3. Mouthwash

Mouthwash can be a great solution to keeping your mouth and teeth clean and feeling fresh, but it can also contain amounts of ethanol that can trigger drug tests for alcohol. Because ethanol is a form of simple grain alcohol, the traces found in even a morning mouthwash amount has the potential to trigger a false positive breath, blood or urine drug test.

4. CBD Products

Due to the passage of the 2018 Farm, cannabidiol is legal in all 50 states. Many people use it for pain and stress relief. CBD comes from the hemp plant, a relative of the cannabis plant that produces marijuana. Although CBD does not make you high, some CBD products do contain amounts of THC that could trigger a positive drug test result for marijuana use. 

5. Coca Tea

Do you enjoy drinking coca tea? As a popular folk remedy in Peru and other places in South America, coca tea comes from the same plant that cocaine originates from. If you regularly consume the tea, stop drinking it for at least three days before an upcoming drug test because consumption can impact a test for up to 36 hours after your last sip.

6. Medications

Medications can be another potential reason for someone to fail a drug test. Be mindful of taking any type of prescription or over-the-counter drugs right before taking a drug test. False-positive-prone medications vary from cold and flu remedies such as Sudafed to anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, some antidepressants and others.

Failing a drug test can be stressful for anyone, but the experience can be particularly frustrating if you have not (knowingly) consume drugs. If you have consumed any of the items on this list and you have an upcoming drug test, consider contacting the test administrator or a doctor for guidance.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.