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False positives detected in European drug test study

As Maryland residents know, being drug tested and having a positive result for marijuana may cause problems in a job or have negative repercussions in other ways. A recent study shows that erroneous results may be possible when hair testing for marijuana. The study was performed in Germany by a forensic medicine institute located in Freiburg.

The majority of drug testing is done through the use of a urine test. However, other methods, such as testing of the follicles of the hair, sweat or saliva are performed. According to the study, a false positive may be detected if the individual being tested was exposed in certain ways to another individual who might have used marijuana. This includes physical contact with the individual's hands or sweat or being around marijuana smoke. One problem is that metabolites in marijuana that are used to detect its presence may remain in the hair follicle for a lengthy amount of time.

False positives may have repercussions in various ways. A worker who is drug tested may lose a job if the test comes out positive. In addition, accusations of drug use in child custody cases may lead to ordered drug testing. A parent may be affected by false positives and might lead to a loss of custody or denial of visition rights. A report by one drug testing company said that over 210,000 drug tests resulted in false positive results in the U.S. in 2014, excluding child custody.

If a child's parent has been drug-tested during a child custody or visitation hearing and believes that test resulted in a false positive, it might be advantageous to seek legal advice. An attorney may assist by reviewing the procedure, chain of handling the testing material and mount a case to challenge the testing results.

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