Laboring mom tests positive for opioids from eating bagel

Poppy seed bagels

A Maryland woman is blaming her false positive test for opiates on the breakfast she ate hours before giving birth. I was sitting in the bed.

Elizabeth Eden, a woman from Maryland, USA, had gone into labour on April 4 this year when a doctor at St Joseph Medical Centre informed her about the positive results of the test. "And I said well can you test me again, and I ate a poppy seed bagel for breakfast and she said no, you've been reported to the state", says Eden.

She recalled learning in a school health class that poppy seeds, which are derived from opium poppies, can create a false positive for opiates because they may contain trace amounts of morphine, but not enough to get a person high.

"We don't typically educate patients, and it's a really good point that people probably should know that if you use poppy seeds before you have a toxicology screen that it could result in a false positive test", Rossiter-Pratt explained.

"If you eat a poppy seed roll, it could give rise to a positive result on a urine drug test for morphine", Professor Johnston told the BBC.

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Eden said the debacle meant her newborn daughter, Beatrice, was held at the hospital for an extra five days.

Arefa Cassoobhoy, medical editor at WebMD, explained to Mic.com: "The poppy seeds don't have the drug in them, but both poppy seeds and opium come from the same seed pod, so depending on processing, the poppy seeds might have residue on them that could trigger a positive drug test".

Eventually the situation was resolved and authorities closed Eden's case.

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment writes that until food manufacturers reduce morphine levels in poppy seeds, it advises against excessive consumption, particularly during pregnancy.

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