Toxicology Expert Discusses False Positive in Employee Drug Test

    This case involves a quality control technician who worked at an automotive manufacturing plant in Idaho. She arrived at work sweating, shaking, and stammering, which aroused suspicions from her supervisor. She was sent to an on-site clinic for a drug test, and subsequently tested positive for amphetamines. As a result of the positive test result, she was immediately terminated. The worker subsequently claimed that her medications for ADHD, as well as other medications she had been taking at the time for a cold, were causing the test to show these results. An expert was retained to review her test results, and compare them with the list of medications she claimed to be taking and determine whether or not those medications could have corresponded to her subsequent positive test result for amphetamines.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Are you familiar with the metabolites involved in the urine toxicology of methamphetamine?
    • 2. Could a person on methamphetamine have a positive urine toxicology?

    Expert Witness Response E-022427

    I am quadruple board certified in Medical Toxicology, Occupational Medicine, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine. I am full-time faculty, as an Assistant Clinical Professor at a major medical university. I am the Medical Director for the Occupational Health Service at a major medical institution. I am very familiar with metabolites involved in the urine toxicology of methamphetamine. I have interpreted over 1,000 urine drug screens in my carrier. I am a certified Medical Review Officer (MRO), and have been providing urine drug interpretation for the Department of Defense since 2004. I consult for the Department of Energy on urine toxicology screening and interpretation. In addition, I am board certified in Medical Toxicology and Occupational Medicine. There are prescription and non-prescription causes for positive urine results. Review of the screening methodology and confirmatory testing would help with that. Also the chain of custody should be reviewed to determine if there was any possibility of tampering or adulteration. 

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