Thursday, January 24, 2013

Avoiding a false positive on the Epik Drug Test

According to the Epik Coordinator on Facebook, a lot of South African applicants get false positives at the drug test at orientation because South African flu/cold medicine and over-the-counter pain medicine contain small amounts of morphine and other such banned substances. So I did some googling for all the things that might cause false positives in a drug test.

The most detailed list I found was here.

The ones that jump out immediately to me are things like Vicks inhalers, ibuprofen (often used to treat menstrual cramps), nasal sprays, Ritalin, diabetes, tonic water, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (like Voltaren, which also contains ibuprofen), antibiotics, sleeping pills, night-time cold medicine, cough medicine,  poppy seeds and codeine-based pain-killers. This is not everything though, so I seriously recommend you check the ingredients in your prescription meds against the info at that link.

My plan is to just not take any medicine except birth control until after the medical check.

In the meantime, here are some non-medical home remedies:

Colds and Flu
Eucalyptus oil dripped in the bath or in a mug of boiling water, and inhaled, clears your sniffles. Don't ingest it. It has the same effect as vicks vaporub, and is one of the ingredients in vicks vaporub.
Honey and lemon in a mug of hot water soothes the throat and kills the germs.
A Polish friend of mine swears by orange juice spiked with vodka.
Fruit and veggies.
Probiotics as a preventative measure.
Saline nasal rinse - I get sinusitis and dust allergies so often that this has become my go-to for the sniffles, as it works out cheaper than popping pills all the time.

Treat the cause - tension, tiredness, dehydration... Avoid banging your head on things. Sorry I can't be more helpful here.

Inflammed muscles or joints
Wrap yourself in bubble wrap before leaving the house
Frozen peas to keep the area numb
A warm bath
Massaging the tissue with tissue oil or massage oil

Sadly I can't recommend anything for broken legs or pneumonia. And hopefully I won't contract either of those ailments in the next three weeks. If I do, well... Time to man up.


  1. I only know of one person who failed the drug test. And that was because he was a moron who did weed like a week before leaving for Korea. And even then, his school let him take another test a few weeks later to prove that he hadn't had the stuff while in the country, and he was fine and stayed. Unless you are doing drugs, I don't think this is really something to worry about.

    1. Thanks, good to know. Because after standing around in train stations for hours yesterday (see today's post) inadequately dressed for sub-arctic temperatures, I have a bit of a sniffle.