Poppy Seeds Can Cause Drug Test Failures

May 2, 2011 at 3:00 am 3 comments

By Chad Upton | Editor

Poppy seeds are tasty, especially on bagels or in muffins and lets not forget about cakes either. But, poppy seeds can cause serious situations that might make you think twice the next time you see poppy seed encrusted baking. There are many documented cases of people losing their jobs or even their children because of drug tests with false-positive results.

Poppy seeds are oilseeds that come from the opium poppy. Although the seeds are not used in creating opiate drugs such as morphine or codeine, they do contain a small amount of opiates. If a person consumes enough seeds in the 48 hours leading up to a drug test, they can test positive for opiates in their system.

US federal prisons test inmates for drugs and therefore, they do not serve food containing poppy seeds within the prison. Prisoners on furlough, who are allowed to leave the prison, are forbidden from eating poppy seeds, so they can’t use it as a defense if they do test positive for opiates.

Because there have been so many false positives, testing standards were updated in 1998 to allow a higher amount of opiates before it is considered a positive result. This was done reduce the number of false positives from poppy seeds. Some labs still use the old standards and some medical journals claim that the new standards can still report false-positives in certain cases.

So, if you are at the mercy of drug testing, you might want to avoid poppy seeds entirely.

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Sources: Snopes, Wikipedia (Poppy Seeds, Opiate), Poppies.org

Photo: Johnson (cc)


There are a lot of unpleasant opiate withdrawal symptoms that an opiate abuser will have to deal with to finally eliminate the drug from his system.

Entry filed under: Food and Drink. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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