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How to overcome a positive drug test in the military

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2021 | Military Law

As a military service member, having a drug test come back positive is serious. A positive urine drug test could put your military career at risk, but you do have the right to defend yourself.

When you have a urine sample taken that comes back with positive results, there are many parts of that process that need to be questioned. For example, some of the things you will want to ask about are:

  • Which methods were used to take the urine sample
  • How the urine sample was stored or protected while in holding
  • Which forensic procedures were used to test the urine
  • Which lab and what lab procedures were used to test the sample
  • Which medications or combinations of medications could result in false-positive results
  • If you may have innocently or unknowingly ingested a drug or other substance

If you are a person with good military character, then that fact can also be used to help you.

Which kinds of drugs may lead to false positive results?

False-positive results may happen with certain drugs, such as if you take:

  • Antihistamines
  • Antibiotics
  • Decongestants
  • Some kinds of over-the-counter medications
  • Antipsychotics
  • Analgesics
  • Antidepressants

These commonly produce false-positive results based on an immunoassay test. Using a secondary test, such as a GC-MS, may help specifically identify the compounds to determine what is causing the positive result.

Some more specific drugs that often create false-positive test results include:

  • Bupropion
  • Topical cocaine anesthetics
  • Coca leaf tea
  • Diet pills
  • Hemp oil
  • Ibuprofen
  • Sertraline
  • Venlafaxine

All off these are legal drugs that you make be taking for a medical condition. It is unfair for your military career to be put on hold or threatened as a result of these medications producing a false-positive test result.

If you’re facing allegations of a positive drug test in the military, don’t delay in defending yourself. It’s important to go through the different ways that the test could have gone wrong, so that you can build a defense and show that the test was not accurate. The right defense could help you avoid a court martial and many other penalties you’d otherwise face.