Expert Corner: Are False Positives in Drug Tests Common?

Expert Corner: Are False Positives in Drug Tests Common?

Expert Corner QuestionHere’s what happened. I just finished a treatment program cause I’m an alcoholic. I was moving from the center to a sober living facility but I have to take a piss test first. The guy there gives me a really cheap-ass test. I take it and he says I came up positive for oxy. I haven’t taken oxy in like two years. Docs gave me naltrexone and Wellbutrin to go with Lexapro. Would those affect the test? I’m going to take a real one tomorrow but now everyone thinks I’m relapsing and another friend from rehab just OD’ed. I’m on the floor at a friend’s house but I’m not gonna drink. Are false positives on drug tests common?


Elevate Expert AnswerFalse positives can definitely happen on instant UA tests, but they are fairly rare, generally. The best thing to do in this situation is: ask for the urine to be sent to a reputable lab where the liquid is broken down and read chemically in a much more thorough process than an instant UA test. It would be able to say what was in the urine – whether it be the other meds, Oxy, or something else entirely. It sounds like they are already planning on doing that sort of follow-up screening (which is what typically happens in the event of a positive UA test), so I wouldn’t get too worried yet. That test should be far more accurate and detailed.

Dan Manson, Elevate Addiction Services PresidentAnswered by: Dan Manson
Elevate Addiction Services President
Disclaimer: The Expert Corner is a place for an open, honest discussion about addiction that cuts through the buzzwords and clichés to bring you real, unfiltered answers. However, Dan’s responses are not intended and should not be taken as medical or psychiatric advice. Keep the conversation going by sharing your own thoughts or submitting a question to Dan.

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