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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Urine test positive for coc after 27 days?

04/20/2006

Question:

My 15 year old son has experimented with both marijuana and cocaine. Very limited use. I purchased home drug tests hoping it would discourage his use. After testing neg, on March 5th he tested pos for marijuana and cocaine. He admitted to smoking pot laced with coke. 6 days later he was neg. for pot but still pos. for coke.I restricted him to school and home. On March 14th a test revealed pos for pot again and the coke had still not tested neg from the 5th. He admitted he had smoked with same friend what he believed was the same thing he smoked on the 4th. Again the pot tested neg 5 days later while the coke stayed pos. The third time he tested pos. for pot was March 21st after he did not come right home from school. Since that date I have not let him out of my sight. I can assure you he has done NO drugs. It is now 26 days and he still tests pos. for cocaine. I have had him to the doctor and confirmed the home drug test on March 28th. We also ran test for kidney and liver function, which were normal. We have run HIV screening, test for diabetes, and there is no amoxicilin or tonic water. He seems outwardly healthy except for sinus congestion and itch. when scratched it raises welts. Doctor blames this on allergy season.Let me again tell you I am positive he has done no drugs since March 21st. Where do I go from here? I know it is not normal but is it possible to test pos. for this lenght of time? At what point should he test clean? Should I press the doctor to do further testing? If so for what? Please I hope you can give me some answers. Everyone else wants to say he must still be using. I would rather not put him back in school before this is resolved. I grow increasingly more concerned as does my son that the doctor is missing something each day that passes and he still tests pos.I have not been able to get an answer to this question anywhere please help.

Answer:

Hello,

The answer may be easy, especially if he uses a Vicks nasal inhaler which gives a false positive test. The OTC drug kits are screens only and may give false positive results. A urine should be obtained by a method called "chain of custody" and sent to a lab for screening and confirmation. That will answer the question for once and for all. Cocaine does not stay in the urine for more than 4-5 days.

You will have to take your son to a professional laboratory where they do the chain of protocol method where it is much less likely that he can cheat and use someone else's urine. Blue dye should be in the water and water turned off to bathroom. Ideally a male family member could watch him give the sample by actually being in the restroom with him when the sample is collected.

Good luck. It sounds like the screen is most likely giving you a false positive.

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Response by:

Edna M Jones, MD, MRO Edna M Jones, MD, MRO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University