Last updated: May 29, 2023
Employers really wouldn’t ever have a reason to add caffeine to the company drug test so it may seem silly to ask if you can drink coffee before a drug test. If you’re among those who thought so, we’ve got news for you. Coffee has been linked to popping a false-positive test result for methamphetamine.
Can you believe it?
If you’re an avid coffee drinker and have a drug test looming, there’s no reason to be alarmed though. The false positives were a rare event. Moreover, they occurred back in the early days of drug testing—the ’70s and ’80s—when tests were far less sophisticated. It’s said that drinking massive amounts of water was enough to get anyone past the test for a time.
That’s not the case anymore thanks to continuing advances in drug testing technology and the ever-increasing sophistication of laboratory equipment. That’s good news for coffee drinkers, but bad news for drug users. It keeps getting harder and harder to falsify a drug test.
A few false-positive possibilities
While it’s not possible for your morning cup of joe to mess up the outcome of your test, there are a few things that might.
- Poppy Seeds—It’s “guesstimated” to take at least 3 tsps in a sitting.
- Mouthwash—The ethanol content causes the problem. It’s a form of grain alcohol.
- Antidepressants—Drugs, such as Zoloft, can be mistaken for benzodiazepines on some drug screens.
- Antibiotics—It’s a rare occurrence, but Rifampin, used to treat tuberculosis, might show up as an opiate.
- CBD Oil—The level of THC contained in CBD products could reach traceable levels.
- Antihistamines—The antihistamine, Diphenhydramine, might show up as PCP.
- Weight loss pills—They curb your appetite but are similar in make up to amphetamines.
- 2nd hand marijuana smoke—If you’re around someone who smokes a lot your test could produce traceable levels of THC.
- Coca tea—It’s made with the leaves of the same plant that produces cocaine, so…
There is one more thing though
Drinking coffee before a drug test isn’t going to cause any type of false positive for drugs on any of the three employee drug tests on the market.
- Urine drug test
- Oral fluids, otherwise known as the mouth swab, drug test
- Hair follicle drug test
However, drinking coffee—or any beverage, including water—could interfere with a urine drug test result.
Negative dilute test results
A urine drug test is deemed as a negative dilute when no drugs are detected in the specimen but the creatinine levels are out of the normal range. That happens when there is too much liquid in the body to be processed correctly.
Employers who are notified that an employee received a negative dilute drug test result often allow the employee to retest. If it’s a Department of Transportation (DOT) drug test, it must be an observed test. That doesn’t sound fun, but it could save someone their job.
Positive dilute drug tests nearly always result in immediate termination of employment.
Two myths busted
Now you know for sure that drinking coffee before a drug test isn’t going to cause a positive result for amphetamines if you have to take a drug test.
You’ve also learned that drinking a lot of anything prior to providing a urine sample isn’t going to flush out your system. But, you might wind up with a diluted test result. It’s best to get a good night’s sleep the night before so you won’t be tempted to down the pot so you can wake up.
What do you think?