This is a summary of an article by Gary Reisfield from the University of Florida. We encourage you to read the full article for more detail.
Opioids Drug Testing
Poppy seeds do not contain enough opiates to cause someone to get high. But consuming certain foods with poppy seeds can cause someone to fail a urine drug test – specifically for morphine or codeine.
What are poppy seeds?
They come from a species of poppy plant called Papaver somniferum. “Somniferum” is Latin for “sleep-bringing,” which hints that it might contain opiates – powerful compounds that depress the central nervous system and can induce drowsiness and sleep.
There are two main uses for opium poppy. It is a source of the opiates used in painkillers, the most biologically active of which are morphine and codeine. Its seeds are also used for cooking and baking.
Poppy seeds themselves don’t contain opiates.
Can you get high from eating poppy seeds?
Practically speaking, you cannot eat enough poppy seeds to get you high. Furthermore, processing dramatically decreases opiate content – for example, by washing or cooking or baking the seeds.
Do poppy seeds affect drug tests?
Poppy seeds don’t have nearly enough opiates to intoxicate you. But because drug tests are exquisitely sensitive, consuming certain poppy seed food products can lead to positive urine drug test results for opiates – specifically for morphine, codeine or both.
Under most circumstances, opiate concentrations in the urine are too low to produce a positive test result.
Test results are reviewed by a specially trained physician called a medical review officer. We have an article here that talks about the importance of a medical review officer in your drug testing program. Unless the physician finds evidence of unauthorized opiate use, such as needle marks or signs of opiate intoxication or withdrawal, even relatively high concentrations of opiates in the urine that produce positive test results are generally ruled to be negative.
James P. Randisi, President of Randisi & Associates, Inc., has been helping employers protect their clients, workforce and reputation through implementation of employment screening and drug testing programs since 1999. This post does not constitute legal advice. Randisi & Associates, Inc. is not a law firm. Always contact competent employment legal counsel. Mr. Randisi can be contacted by phone at 410.494.0232 or Email: email@example.com or the website at randisiandassociates.com