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Positive Drug Test for consumption of Poppy Seeds!

Following on from the post titled ‘Poppy Seeds or Poppy Cock’; regarding the BBC report on a positive drug test due to poppy seeds, I thought I would follow up with an example that occurred recently with one of our clients.

The company required a urine point of care instant screen with laboratory confirmation testing for non-negative results. One particular employee had a non-negative screen result for the opiates drug group and had not declared any prescribed medication that would be consistent with the result.

However, he did declare that he had been sprinkling poppy seeds on his breakfast cereal for the past 3 weeks! This was noted at the sample collection and the sample was dispatched to the laboratory for confirmation drug testing.

The laboratory result was confirmed as positive for the opiates drug group but consistent with declared dietary intake. Poppy seeds do not break down into the same metabolite as Heroin within the opiates drug group, so misuse of a controlled drug was also ruled out.

Our advice? If you work in a safety critical role and are subject to regular random drug testing, avoid consumption of poppy seeds if possible. Whilst this might seem like an intrusion into your private life, it will save you a whole lot of hassle and prevent temporary suspension from work!

For any advice on drug and alcohol testing related issues, please give us a call on 0800 988 7107.

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