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I failed my drug test twice~~!!!!
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moptop



Joined: 05 Jul 2005
Location: Gangwondo

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:56 pm    Post subject: I failed my drug test twice~~!!!! Reply with quote

What the heck can I do?!?!? I teach in Gangwondo, in a pretty small town. I took a bus 45 minutes to the nearest hospital that does the tests. They speak zero english. I need the test to renew my visa. I will be leaving to go back home at the end of july. I have 3 weeks to get this done, and my visa renewal processed, and it takes 4 days for results.

I had the first test done, for TBPE, and it came back that I had trace amounts of some kind of drug. I thought it must be some kind of mistake. I take medicine for allergies and asthma, but they didn't mention not taking these.

The second test I took came back with the same results. I asked if it could be my medicine, and they said it had nothing to do with my medicine. No one could explain what the drug might be, or why I am not passing this test. It is not a positive result, but not negative either. Now the lady that takes care of the results is telling me that she is sending the results to immigration by friday. I had a friend that speaks korean call and try to get some information for me, but he wasn't able to find out much more. Is it possible that they could deport me?!?!?!

I am going on Monday to a bigger hospital in Chuncheon, about 2 1/2 hours away in the hopes that there is someone that speaks english, or that they can do a test that excludes my medicine or at least explains that I am not taking illegal drugs.

I cannot just stop taking my medicine as one of them is an inhaled steroid, and the other reduces inflammation in my lungs. This is a really bad time of year for my asthma, and even with the medicine I have a hard time with the heat and humidity. Is it even worth it going all that way to have a possible busted test again?

I don't want to go to seoul as I would have to take at least one day, maybe two off school, it takes 4 hours by bus, and it will cost me a bundle between the tickets, hotel, food, and the test. No one seems to know why I can't pass this test. What the heck do I do?!?!? Any advice???
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cruisemonkey



Joined: 04 Jul 2005
Location: Hopefully, the same place as my luggage.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stop eating those poppy-seed bagles.
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captain kirk



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it's ridiculous there isn't some English speaking authority to contact to clear this up. And you've got to find that authority. Once you do it'll be easy. I think I saw on the forum asthma inhaled steroid medication sets off the drug test alarm. Those who set up the test know this. There's got to be someone to talk to in Seoul.

There's a poster on here called dr. love. He is a foreigner who translates and helps hospital affairs involving foreigner patients at a big hospital in Seoul called East-West Neo Medical Center.

Seriously, if you use the Dave's search function here put dr. love in as 'author' and press search. Then PM him.

If you google KNTO (Korean National Tourist Organization) they have a help desk/phone number. Those ladies have been answering questions for YEARS and are crack shot problem solvers.
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diablo3



Joined: 11 Sep 2004

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope you overcome this hurdle and stay a few years in Korea. I have asthma also and my asthma improved remarkably in Korea, with the exception of summer as you are concerned about. It improved so much that I take medicine seldomly and even my third summer in Korea did not make me tight chested or wheezy.
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bassexpander



Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Location: Someplace you'd rather be.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all honesty, if this is a true post, then I'd buy a ticket out of South Korea and run. Just run the heck out of here. Don't pass go. Don't collect $200.

The hospital is doing you a favor by waiting to turn in the tests. They're telling you, "We're giving you a chance to get out of here without a fine and jail time."

Immigration will absolutely NOT listen to you. They will see two failed drug tests, and that's it. What'cha gonna do? Spend millions in legal fees to try to prove your innocence? Ain't gonna happen.

I'd take advantage of this favor immediately.

Run.
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you with EPIK? Bring this to the attention of your regional coordinator who can convey it on to Chuncheon (or PM me) -- maybe they can intervene. Your situation isnt unique & false positives on this test are shaping up to be big headache.

Immigration doesnt want to see good teachers lost to errant technicalities. I'm sure theres a work-around.
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sojourner1



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Location: Where meggi swim and 2 wheeled tractors go sput put chug alugg pug pug

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bassexpander wrote:
In all honesty, if this is a true post, then I'd buy a ticket out of South Korea and run. Just run the heck out of here. Don't pass go. Don't collect $200.

The hospital is doing you a favor by waiting to turn in the tests. They're telling you, "We're giving you a chance to get out of here without a fine and jail time."

Immigration will absolutely NOT listen to you. They will see two failed drug tests, and that's it. What'cha gonna do? Spend millions in legal fees to try to prove your innocence? Ain't gonna happen.

I'd take advantage of this favor immediately.

Run.


You've got to be kidding.

This is not the only case of this happening with asthmatic teachers in Gangwon. I know another woman going through this right now too if this is not same person. I don't think this is the same person as this one is trying to renew while the other one has only been here 3 weeks and it's her 1st tour.

Someone such as James Chung might be able to clear the matter up as he speaks Korean and English fluently and is the head coordinator of the Gangwon EPIK in Chuncheon. I'm sure it's a misunderstanding as the hospital people probably don't even understand or know anything about drug testing and just need to be enlightened on how to analyze a drug test to individual needs such as accounting for prescribed medicines.
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sojourner1



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Location: Where meggi swim and 2 wheeled tractors go sput put chug alugg pug pug

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the deal with this site on double posting? Must be a server repeating when the site stalls out.
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Dome Vans
Guest




PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sojourner1 wrote:
What's the deal with this site on double posting? Must be a server repeating when the site stalls out.


It's simple. If yours is the last post then on the double post in the corner is a little blue X. You can delete the second post, leaving the first. Easy.
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Kikomom



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: them thar hills--Penna, USA--Zippy is my kid, the teacher in ROK. You can call me Kiko

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question: Do the hospitals doing these tests ask you for a list of your current medications? Such as on an intake questionnaire?

Every new doctor/clinic I've ever seen (not for this though), I have to fill out big forms listing meds and any illnesses, surgeries, complaints, etc. as part of establishing my medical record.
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moptop



Joined: 05 Jul 2005
Location: Gangwondo

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:41 am    Post subject: drug test... Reply with quote

Yes, I am with EPIK. I have talked to James Chung. I have even asked him if there is a teacher that can come with me to the hospital to translate my situation to a doctor. He is not available and he believes I should have no problem as he's sent other teachers there before for other reasons, and they have been fine. I have to say I am a little disappointed with the response I have recieved from the head office. He admitted to me that he doesn't know what to do in this situation. Understandable in a way, as these are new regulations. But they will be losing teachers if they do not understand what is involved with these new tests.

There are a lot of over the counter drugs that can give a false positive that I didn't even know about. And the teachers going for these tests have no idea that maybe they shouldn't be taking them. I have done a lot of research on the computer this weekend to try and find out for myself. Things such as NyQuil, ibuprofen, sudafed, Aleve (Naproxen) amoxicillin, and tonic water can cause a false positive!!!!!

I have been here for 4 years now. I have an English degree, an Education degree, a teaching certificate, and a TESOL certificate. I have put up with a lot in my years in Korea, but this takes the cake. It really looks like they don't want qualified, experienced, caring teachers here. I really feel like I am on my own. I somehow doubt the Gangwondo Board of Education will pay for my gas chromatography to eliminate my medicine. I cannot stop taking my medicine, so I may be out of luck, and out the money for a plane ticket, and out my severance pay. I, too, am starting to think this is a sign for me to leave, despite the financial hardship and strain to my relationship of being apart for a year. My fiance has to stay here to do the paperwork to bring our dog to Australia.

Thanks for all the advice, and I will keep watching this post for any other replies.

http://www.passyourdrugtest.com/false-positives.htm


Substances that can cause a false positive on a drug test:

THC - Substances or Conditions which can cause false positives
Dronabinol (Marinol)
Ibuprofen; (Advil, Nuprin, Motrin, Excedrin IB etc)
Ketoprofen (Orudis KT)
Kidney infection (Kidney disease, diabetes) Liver Disease
Naproxen (Aleve)
Promethazine (Phenergan, Promethegan)
Riboflavin (B2, Hempseed Oil)

Amphetamines - Substances or Conditions which can cause false positives
Ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, propylephedrine, phenylephrine, or desoxyephedrine
(Nyquil, Contact, Sudafed, Allerest, Tavist-D, Dimetapp, etc)
Phenegan-D, Robitussin Cold and Flu, Vicks Nyquil
Over-the-counter diet aids with phenylpropanolamine (Dexatrim, Accutrim)
Over-the-counter nasal sprays (Vicks inhaler, Afrin)
Asthma medications (Marax, Bronkaid tablets, Primatine Tablets)
Prescription medications (Amfepramone, Cathne, Etafediabe, Morazone,phendimetrazine, phenmetrazine, benzphetamine, fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine,dexdenfluramine,Redux, mephentermine, Mesocarb, methoxyphenamine, phentermine,amineptine, Pholedrine, hydroymethamphetamine, Dexedrine, amifepramone, clobenzorex,fenproyorex, mefenorex, fenelylline, Didrex, dextroamphetamine, methphenidate, Ritalin,pemoline, Cylert, selegiline, Deprenyl, Eldepryl, Famprofazone) Kidney infection, kidney disease, Liver disease, diabetes

Opiates - Substances or Conditions which can cause false positives
Poppy Seeds
Tylenol with codeine
Most prescription pain medications
Cough suppressants with Dextromethorphan (DXM)
Nyquil
Kidney infection, Kidney Disease
Diabetes, Liver Disease

Ecstacy - Substances or Conditions which can cause false positives
Ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, propylephedrine, phenylephrine, or desoxyephedrine
(Nyquil, Contact, Sudafed, Allerest, Tavist-D, Dimetapp, etc)
Phenegan-D, Robitussin Cold and Flu, Vicks Nyquil
Over-the-counter diet aids with phenylpropanolamine (Dexatrim, Accutrim)
Over-the-counter nasal sprays (Vicks inhaler, Afrin)
Asthma medications (Marax, Bronkaid tablets, Primatine Tablets)
Prescription medications (Amfepramone, Cathne, Etafediabe, Morazone,phendimetrazine, phenmetrazine, benzphetamine, fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine, dexdenfluramine,Redux, mephentermine, Mesocarb, methoxyphenamine, phentermine, amineptine, Pholedrine, hydroymethamphetamine, Dexedrine, amifepramone, clobenzorex, fenproyorex, mefenorex, fenelylline, Didrex, dextroamphetamine, methphenidate, Ritalin, pemoline, Cylert, selegiline, Deprenyl, Eldepryl, Famprofazone) Kidney infection, kidney disease
Liver disease, diabetes

Cocaine - Substances or Conditions which can cause false positives
Kidney infection (kidney disease)
Liver infection (liver disease)
Diabetes
Amoxicillin, tonic water

In the news...
Hair Tests catch more blacks than whites
Drug Tests Bring Worries Of Accuracy
ACLU complaints more than splitting hairs
Antibiotics Cause False Positives on Heroin Tests

Among the items reported as causing false positive test results are:
Pain relievers such as Advil, Nuprin, Motrin and menstrual cramp medications like Midol and Trendar. All drugs containing the widely used pain reliever Ibuprofen are known to cause positive samples for Marijuana. Non-steroidal anti inflammatories such as Naproxyn have cross reacted in blind tests. These are often prescribed for runners, sports injuries to joints, and those suffering from arthritis.

Syva labs has recently reworked its Cannabinoid test and claims to have eliminated this problem. But a Science magazine article (July 8, 1988) lists Ibuprofen as cross reactive. Under the new government guidelines THC testing levels will be reduced to 50 nanograms. Many more THC false positives can be expected in 1994.

Dristan Nasal Spray, Neosynephren, Vicks Nasal Spray, Sudafed, etc. and others containing ephedrine or pnenypropanolamine. Over the counter appetite suppressants which contain propanolamine. Most common nasal decongestants can cause a positive reading for Amphetamines. As the cross reactive list suggests at the back of this booklet, amphetamine false positives are the most common. Recent articles in the Journal of Clinical Chemistry ,Vol. 38 No.12 1992 and Vol. 39 No.3 1993 warn that medications containing chloropromazine, fluspirilene, and others may yield a positive when tested for amphetamines.

Vicks Formula 44M containing Dextromethorphan, and Primatene-M containing perylamine as well as the pain reliever Demerol, and prescription anti-depressant Elavil test positive for opiates up to three days. Even Quinine water can also cause a positive reading for opiates.

Poppy Seeds such as the ones on a bagel from your favorite deli, etc. The journal of Clinical Chemistry Vol.33 No.6, 1987 reports: "the quantities of poppy seed ingested in this study (25 and 40 g) may be expected to be contained in one or two servings of poppy seed cake. Therefore, poppy seeds represent a potentially serious source of falsely positive results in testing opiate abuse." Clinical Chemistry goes on to conclude: Not only is it difficult to distinguish heroin or morphine abuse from codeine, but dietary poppy seeds can give a strong positive result for urinary opiate of several days duration that is confirmed by GC/MS analysis".

Nyquil Nighttime Cold Medicine will test positive for Methadone up to two days.

Antibiotics. Certain newly developed antibiotics have cause positive samples urine tests. Ampicillin is suspect. Amoxicillin has caused positives for cocaine.

Diazepam tests positive for PCP as well as the ingredient in some cough medicines, Dextromethorophan.

Your own enzymes. A small fraction of the population excrete large amounts of certain enzymes in their urine which can produce a positive drug test. Dr. John Morgan of the Dept. of Pharmacology of New York City University writes: "A false positive test could occur in some individuals because they excrete unusually large amounts of endogenons lysozyme or malate dehydrogenase." Dr. Morgan judges that natural enzyme interference may run as high as 10% of positive samples.

Black Skin. This is not a joke! Those of African origin, certain Orientals, or pacific Islanders might test positive for marijuana. Dr. James Woodford, a toxicologist associated with Emory University labs hypothesized the pigment melanin which protects the skin from the sun, approximates the molecular structure of the THC metabolite to cross react on the marijuana urine test. Dark skinned Caucasians such as those from the subcontinent of India could also read positive on marijuana tests. The body eliminates some melanin in a dark person's urine sample.

Passive marijuana inhalation. If you attend a rock concert or ride in a car where marijuana is smoked nearby, even if you do not partake, the second hand marijuana that you might inhale may give your test a positive result for several days.
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moptop



Joined: 05 Jul 2005
Location: Gangwondo

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:00 am    Post subject: drug test... Reply with quote

I also want to repeat that the hospital insists that my medication has nothing to do with the trace amounts of some kind of drug that is in my system.

The second test, I brought my medicine, and my vitamins to the hospital, and they refused to look at them. They said it would be too expensive, and take too many tests, to test for all my medication. They couldn't even tell me what the trace of drug was!!!!
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Bryan



Joined: 29 Oct 2007

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: drug test... Reply with quote

moptop wrote:
The second test, I brought my medicine, and my vitamins to the hospital, and they refused to look at them. They said it would be too expensive, and take too many tests, to test for all my medication. They couldn't even tell me what the trace of drug was!!!!

They don't need to test your medications. They just need to look at the active ingredients of all of them (2 minutes with a knowledgeable doctor or pharmacist) and identify the ones that could be producing false positives. They are simply lazy.
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icicle



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Location: Gyeonggi do Korea

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP

I thought that you said in the earlier posts that you had got what they called not positive or negative ... meaning that you tested negative on the blood test but positive on the urine test ... Which is exactly what I did the first time around and I gather is not uncommon ... I was lucky enough to some through as negative on the urine test when they got me to repeat just that part of the test the second time around. Like you I had some medication I was taking which they did not even ask me about the first time I had the test. The first time I had taken panadeine (which is parectemol plus codeine) a few days before. I also have diabetes (which I had previously disclosed) and take a common diabetes medication plus some BP medication.

If the result that you have got is the the neither postive nor negative (normally a confirmed positive test will mean positive on both) and have got the same result twice then you do definitely need to find another hospital test who will do a more sensitive test than the usual one. I would personally be inclined to go to Seoul (despite the problems with that you gave) because you will have a better chance of getting someone who is relatively fluent in English.

The other things I would consider are ringing and speaking to the Seoul Metropolitan Government Medical Referral Service (MRS) on 010-4769-8212 or 010-8750-8212. I know that you aren't in Seoul but this is the service that we can ring to get advice and an appropriate referal to doctors/hospitals in English.

In this I would also consider taking the results with positive on one but negative on the other to immigration along with the details on your regular medications. I would ask the hospital to detail the specifics on the drug tests they have done and your results - rather than just saying you were positive on one and negative on the other. I would expect immigration to request the more detailed but more expensive tests that are available.

Your result at this stage is not strictly speaking positive.
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refikaM



Joined: 06 May 2006
Location: Gangwondo

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:47 pm    Post subject: drug test Reply with quote

I also failed the TBPE (?) urine test... All I got was a "false" positive report. As far as I know, the test doesn't specify which substance you test positive for... you just get a big POSITIVE on the report. The TBPE test is for several drugs (meth, opiates, etc..)... excluding marijuana. Anyway, I am not a drug user. I had taken ibruprofen, an herbal supplement, and a med for my occasional stress headaches within a couple days of the test. I had no idea these substances would cause a false reading.

So, my advice to all who are taking their tests... Be careful! This test is sensitive and there are many many many substances that can trigger false readings. Google "false positive drug test results" and you'll get a plethora of info. Methinks this is only the beginning a big problem for many folks...
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