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What Can Cause a Positive Methadone Drug Test?

by Health Care Resource Centers Clinical Team

Some patients considering methadone treatment for opioid addiction wonder if it can show up on a drug test. Many employers require drug testing before hire or for current employees. If you want to rejoin the workforce as part of recovery, you may worry about methadone creating a positive result. Methadone does not come up on most drug screenings, and you have legal protection if it does. Discover more about methadone and drug testing.

Will Methadone Show up in a Drug Test?

Methadone does not show up on most drug screenings. As a synthetic opioid, it has a different structure from morphine and other semisynthetic opioids. Since opioid tests look for opiates that are more like morphine, they don’t detect methadone. Most laboratories don’t include methadone tests in their general screenings, either, so you have a low chance of it appearing. It will only show up in a test specifically meant to find methadone.

Can Poppy Seeds Create a Positive Methadone Drug Test?

According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, poppy seeds can trigger positive results in a test for morphine. Poppy seeds can become coated by or absorb opium extract during harvest. About 12 percent of opium consists of morphine, an opioid tested in many drug screenings. A test detects morphine based on a threshold. This means it shows a result when you have more than a specific amount of it in your body. If the test you take has a threshold below the amount of opium in poppy seeds, you could have a positive result.

Since the morphine in poppy seeds causes positive results, it will not come up as methadone on a test. It also doesn’t make a methadone test more likely to detect it in your system. However, since they can appear as morphine, you may want to avoid eating poppy seeds for a few days before your test.

How Does the Americans With Disabilities Act Protect Me From Discrimination?

Under the ADA, most employees receive protection from discrimination based on their prescription medication. Employers have very few justified reasons to deny someone employment based on medicine. In many cases, employers can’t even ask their employees about prescriptions like methadone. As long as you have legal permission to take methadone as part of medication-assisted treatment, you have ADA protection.

If you test positive for methadone during treatment, you have options. Your employer can only justify denial of employment or termination if they believe your medication could interfere with job safety. For example, police officers and factory workers may have performance issues that impact safety when they take methadone. Your opioid addiction treatment center can help you provide documentation and explain methadone’s effects on your job duties.

Start Methadone Maintenance at Health Care Resource Centers

Health Care Resource Centers (HCRC) has comprehensive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs with methadone and buprenorphine. If you need help on the path to recovery, we can provide compassionate care. We welcome all patients in New England to schedule an appointment at their nearest clinic by contacting us online.

Medically Reviewed By:

Health Care Resource Centers Clinical Team

Health Care Resource Centers Clinical Team

Health Care Resource Centers Clinical Team

The Clinical Team at Health Care Resource Centers is our team of physicians and medical directors within the organization. HCRC is a CARF accredited organization and has been providing addiction treatment services for over 32 years in the New England area.

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