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Positive Drug Tests - Everyone Talks About False Positives the 1st Time, But Scatter When the 2nd Positive Comes In...

I haven't had to deal with a lot of positive drug tests in my career, but the few I've dealt with have convinced me that there's a time-honored tradition with positive drug tests.  It goes a little something like this:

--Employee gets news of positive test.  Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.  Denial happensGasquet immediately from the employee.

--Employee gathers themselves (rallies around the Google search function), then comes back to you a few hours later with some possible reasons for the positive test - those could include - poppy seed muffin (ever wonder why they don't serve those in Kabul?  I forgot, they like to save the poppies for EXPORT...), second hand pot smoke, etc.

Here's a new one for the "It wasn't me, it was the second hand stuff" crowd.  You can now burn a positive cocaine test by making out with a junky model in South Beach.  Don't believe me?  Just ask Richard Gasquet via Sports Illustrated:

"While the 16 remaining players in the men's draw competed at Wimbledon on June 29, Richard Gasquet was a few miles from the All England Club, fighting for his career at a tribunal hearing. Three months earlier, the French player had tested positive for cocaine, triggering a two-year ban under the World Anti-Doping Agency code. In a sport with no guaranteed contracts and a short career shelf life, this was, potentially, akin to a professional death sentence.

But in a considerable upset, the International Tennis Federation's panel ruled Wednesday that Gasquet inadvertently took the cocaine. He was cleared to play after completing a 2½-month ban, which ended Wednesday. The three-person tribunal found credible Gasquet's defense that the trace amounts of cocaine had entered his system when he kissed a woman in a Miami nightclub.

"We have found the player to be a person who is shy and reserved, honest and truthful, and a man of integrity and good character," the tribunal said in its ruling. "He is neither a cheat nor a user of drugs for recreational purposes."

I kid you not.  It follows a predictable pattern related to initial positive tests.  The employee has reasons, and everyone likes him/her.  So, the pressure comes from the stakeholders in the company:

"Could it be that the poppy seeds caused it?"

"I've seen that model at South Beach. Sounds right..."

Depending on your policy or the agencies you deal with, you might have to have a hearing and subject yourself to the possibility of a workplace drug suspension being overturned, or at the very least, a termination being overturned, replaced by a suspension.

Here's the funny thing.   The first time the employee tests positive, many rush to his/her defense.  The second time they test positive?  Crickets.  No one comes to your office to talk about the poppy seed/junky model possibilities.

Just ask Jeremy Mayfield....



Of course, what's most often lost on those that administer and take drug tests is that they are pretty much low-level intelligence tests. Most common drugs that are tested for in these tests are easily removed from the system with a maximum of 30 days abstinence. Knowing you're out looking for a job and assuming you're reasonably put together, there shouldn't be any reason other than stupidity that one gets caught on a drug screen.

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