Drugs test , further testing , false positive

Status
Not open for further replies.

nc12345

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2015
Messages
21
Hi guys had anybody had a false positive when they have taken the drugs test ?
The medical centre said I should know by the next day , a week had passed so I called them and they said it has been sent away for further testing. I'm guessing a false positive has come up and they need to clarify. I know I'm clean but it's a worry all the same . Has this happened to anyone else just to put my mind at rest ?
Thanks in advance
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

kaine19

Member
Joined
8 Nov 2015
Messages
179
Location
Lancashire
I've heard false positives can be quiet common. Not sure on the train tests but in General. Especially if people take fat strippers or eat certain foods etc.
 

nc12345

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2015
Messages
21
Thanks for the reply . I have looked up the meds I'm on which can give a false positive so I'm guessing when this happens they need to confirm this with a more advanced test.
 

TheEdge

Established Member
Joined
29 Nov 2012
Messages
3,911
Location
Norwich
False positives are fairly common and they are normally confirmed away by further testing. The most common false positive is opiates but tests have been developed that can easily tell apart opiates from heroin, morphine and meth from those from a poppy seed bun that can also lead to a false positive.

If you are hiding nothing then you'll be fine.
 

AndrewE

On Moderation
Joined
9 Nov 2015
Messages
3,895
I know someone who went for a random test with his whole team in a civilian police support role (he is team leader), and was the only one to fail!

When he was called in he was quizzed on his diet, and the moment he said "I have a slice of toasted poppy-seed bread each morning" they burst out laughing and sent him away.
Before hearing that I thought it was an urban myth.
A
 

sfxdude

Member
Joined
27 Dec 2014
Messages
91
False positives are fairly common and they are normally confirmed away by further testing. The most common false positive is opiates but tests have been developed that can easily tell apart opiates from heroin, morphine and meth from those from a poppy seed bun that can also lead to a false positive.

If you are hiding nothing then you'll be fine.

Interesting.
 
Last edited:

nc12345

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2015
Messages
21
Cheers guys I will hopefully keep you posted with some good news later in the week
 

OpsWeb

Member
Joined
14 Oct 2014
Messages
149
The lab initially do a very basic drug test which tests for your bodies response to drugs. The test is quite broad spectrum and tbh isn't the best test but its catches 90% of illegal / prescription things.

It also can create a fair amount of false positives. A follow up urine/blood test can be run through an specific analyser which can give a definitive answer. The test takes longer to process and is more expensive (hence why they don't do it first).
 

beany

Member
Joined
17 Nov 2015
Messages
53
There was a myth busters episode on the subject of poppy seeds and drug tests.
The conclusion was that poppy seeds DID cause a fail of drug test.
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,400
Location
Between the parallel lines
They certainly do. A rail industry colleague of mine was recently taken off safety-critical duties for 2 weeks for that exact reason.
 

nc12345

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2015
Messages
21
Hi tsr
Once they done further tests was he cleared ?
Cheers for all the feedback guys.
 

oxoneil

Member
Joined
22 Jan 2014
Messages
235
A prison official also tested positive after taking a test after an inmate was claiming a false positive, also from poppy seeds I seem to remember.
 

nc12345

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2015
Messages
21
All cleared turned out to be over the counter co codamol I took for a head ache a week or so before the medical.
Thanks for all the replys
 

ComUtoR

Established Member
Joined
13 Dec 2013
Messages
7,638
Location
UK
You may want to change the thread title.

This highlight the importance of declaring all medication and the sensitivity of the testing. The test correctly identified codeine in your system and they acted accordingly.

Good result in the end. What's your next stage ? Medical is usually one of the final steps :)
 

James_D

Member
Joined
30 Oct 2015
Messages
65
Location
Sunderland
Yep, i dont doubt all this. I had a similar experience previously with a false positive from supermarket paracetamol and they thought I might have been doing a bit of the old Columbian marching powder!
 

185

Established Member
Joined
29 Aug 2010
Messages
4,121
Last year was involved with a suspended employee who had a false positive (opiates) from co-codamol - four months earlier he had informed his manager and HR had stated it was safe to continue as he was on light duties. The testing agent contractor used at the time was Mediscreen UK - and this was not the first time a false result was returned despite the agent being told of the medication taken. I think another big TOC use them, but we use someone else now.

Had my first (unnannounced) D&D last month, in 19 years in the industry. I was hoping this would be an indicator that I am a wild, extravagant and interesting employee, however the DCM then spoilt this dream after mentioning I was their fifth choice - the other people they had initially picked were all either sick, on holiday and one of them suspended. :(
 

welshjpc

Member
Joined
31 May 2013
Messages
89
Location
BBK
I recently passed my medical for my current non rail job, I believe these are set to NHS standards. Do the private medicals work to the same sensitivity levels? I'm not worried either way but if this is the case then my upcoming medical for LM will be a doddle :D
 

ralphchadkirk

Established Member
Joined
20 Oct 2008
Messages
5,750
Location
Essex
Last year was involved with a suspended employee who had a false positive (opiates) from co-codamol

That's not a false positive, that's the test working entirely accurately. Codeine is an opiate.
 

Bayum

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2008
Messages
2,546
Location
Leeds
That's not a false positive, that's the test working entirely accurately. Codeine is an opiate.

From what I understand, if opiates are disclosed to work then whilst blood/urine is being tested then this is supposed to be taken into consideration when the sample is being tested and codeine should have been matched and then eliminated from further testing.

Could have been that the sample wasn't checked further at the time I guess.
 

ComUtoR

Established Member
Joined
13 Dec 2013
Messages
7,638
Location
UK
From what I understand, if opiates are disclosed to work then whilst blood/urine is being tested then this is supposed to be taken into consideration when the sample is being tested and codeine should have been matched and then eliminated from further testing.

For us, you are not allowed to take co-codamol and any codeine in your system is a failure. We declare drugs and you are then removed from duties.

When you declare medication it is taken into account but it will still show a positive result. It is the level that is considered. They know about absorption rates etc and can tell if a result if from normal medication levels or potential abuse. It would never be eliminated as that is open to abuse and that you could always say that it was co-codamol or some other over the counter medication.

Any indication of drugs is a failure. Typically people will get retested and you will need a clear result.
 

Bayum

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2008
Messages
2,546
Location
Leeds
For us, you are not allowed to take co-codamol and any codeine in your system is a failure. We declare drugs and you are then removed from duties.

When you declare medication it is taken into account but it will still show a positive result. It is the level that is considered. They know about absorption rates etc and can tell if a result if from normal medication levels or potential abuse. It would never be eliminated as that is open to abuse and that you could always say that it was co-codamol or some other over the counter medication.

Any indication of drugs is a failure. Typically people will get retested and you will need a clear result.

But the quote I took was based on a positive result in an employee who had informed their manager and HR and told they were able to continue.

In either case, whilst it's a positive result, you are able to eliminate particular drugs from systems based on a number of systems, not just their half life. Someone taking OxyCodone and regular oramorph for instance would show up as a positive, but should it be needed, you are able to work out which was in a higher concentration or whatever. So you are able to eliminate particular drugs from tests in that they can be ruled out if looked at closely. How would ingestion of poppy seeds in bread be separated from ingestion of opiate drugs for instance?
 

ComUtoR

Established Member
Joined
13 Dec 2013
Messages
7,638
Location
UK
How would ingestion of poppy seeds in bread be separated from ingestion of opiate drugs for instance?

The level of the drug in the sample is what is being measured.

You also have different tests. The initial test where you get a simple urine dip will detect a presence of a drug but not the level. (subject to test sensitivity) Many drugs have a threshold to which you would "fail" (much like a breathalyser)

Drug tests can be very sensitive and rightly so. You are often advised to not consume anything that can cause a positive result.

My drug tests have all been urine and sent to the lab and I've never had an on the spot test (dip) for anything other than diabetes.

The railway takes a very strict stance on drug policies and any result is a failure. We are simply not allowed to take anything without prior notice so any positive result is treated quite harshly.

Its important to state that declaring medication will not eliminate a specific drug from your test. They will scrutinise it further.
 

theageofthetra

Established Member
Joined
27 May 2012
Messages
3,291
As others have said there are many common over the counter or prescription drugs which are simply not allowed in safety critical roles on the railway. I would have thought that anyone applying for a job in it would have checked before taking a medical if that far through recruitment.

I have a friend who lives in Canada who could not believe you can get Co-codamol and other pain killers so easily in the UK. She bought several boxes to take home! Off topic but you need to very careful with drugs that are common here are strictly illegal when travelling abroad- particularly to Middle Eastern and some Asian countries.
 

TheVicLine

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2012
Messages
415
Location
Liverpool
I was told in the past don't take any medication that starts with a 'co' as you will fail the D&A test.
A lot of the stronger cold/flu medicine bought over the counter can also cause you to fail the test too.
 

Mojo

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
7 Aug 2005
Messages
18,799
Location
0035
I was told in the past don't take any medication that starts with a 'co' as you will fail the D&A test.
A lot of the stronger cold/flu medicine bought over the counter can also cause you to fail the test too.

I would respectfully suggest that the reason for not taking such medication is that it could potentially cause drowsiness or other side effects that could put yourself, your colleagues and your customers in danger, rather than because you might fail a D&A test!
 

kelv

Member
Joined
20 Feb 2015
Messages
249
Location
cheshire
I was told in the past don't take any medication that starts with a 'co' as you will fail the D&A test.
A lot of the stronger cold/flu medicine bought over the counter can also cause you to fail the test too.

Does Flu-jab ? I've never had it but have considered it as 1 of my kids had the 1 that is inhaled & it was very effective (100% to be honest) & it also seemed to stave off all of the colds that go around the schools from 1 pupil to another, possibly because her immune system was boosted.
 

ralphchadkirk

Established Member
Joined
20 Oct 2008
Messages
5,750
Location
Essex
Does Flu-jab ? I've never had it but have considered it as 1 of my kids had the 1 that is inhaled & it was very effective (100% to be honest) & it also seemed to stave off all of the colds that go around the schools from 1 pupil to another, possibly because her immune system was boosted.

A flu vaccination wouldn't cause you to fail a drugs test. It also wouldn't protect against colds.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top