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Mother sues after failed drug test for eating poppy seeds was sent to CPS

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On March 11 ABC News reports that a first time mom is suing a Pittsburgh hospital after a failed drug test was sent to child protective services. She claims that officials have defamed her, violated her doctor-patient confidentiality by turning the failed test over to a child welfare agency, and used the test that comes with instructions that specifically state that it is only for medical testing purposes.

Rachael Devore says that it took her awhile to figure out what could possibly have made her have a positive drug test until she came home from the hospital and was slicing bread when she noticed the poppy seeds in it. Then she remembered having eaten the bread the day before she went into labor and was admitted to the hospital.

Drugs like heroine are made from poppies, therefore, can result in a false positive on a drug test if you eat poppy seeds. Devore's attorney says that there is no grounds for the hospital to even have done the test because she was a model patient and didn't exhibit any signs of being impaired before or after the birth of the baby. When the drug test came back as an "unconfirmed positive" which the test manufactures have even included the following warning that states;

"These results are to be used only for medical purposes. Unconfirmed screening results must not be used for non-medical purposes (e.g. employment testing, legal testing)."

After the hospital passed on the drug test to the child welfare agency, she was rudely interrupted the next day while breastfeeding and it was demanded of her to tell the agency all about her drug use. They also blatantly disregarded the fact that the baby's urine test came back clean and wasn't experiencing any withdrawal symptoms.

The caseworker passed on the case to a Child Youth and Family caseworker who demanded that Devore sign a safety plan that claimed that she would have to give up her parental rights to the father if she was using drugs. She was made to undergo random drug testing, and an appointment was scheduled to review the case for July 5. CYF checked the house several times, and always found it to be free of drugs, so they eventually stopped making her do random drug tests, however, they still haven't officially released the case.

While the Devore family is very lucky they didn't take the baby, this behavior just goes to show that the things you eat can affect several aspects of your life that seem trivial until someone makes a big deal of them.

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