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Question of the Day

Can the ingestion of poppy seeds cause a false positive result on a urine toxicology screen? If so, why?

Yes, it can! Poppy seeds contain traces of codeine and morphine. In fact, three hours after consuming just one poppy seed bagel, a person will have urine opiate levels of approximately 250 ng/ml. In the early 1990s, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) had guidelines with the cut-off for urine opiate levels at only 300ng/ml. As a result, many people, who had consumed large quantities of food with poppy seeds, had tested positive for opiates and were falsely accused of taking opioids. In recent years, the NIDA guidelines were changed and the cut-off for urine opiate levels was increased more than six-fold up to 2,000 ng/ml.