A woman from Maryland was shocked to be told that she tested positive for opiates while she was giving birth, which almost made her lose her newborn baby.
The opioid epidemic in the United States is out of control, with hundreds of Americans dying each day because of it. The incident with the mother from Maryland, however, ended on a good note.
Woman Tests Positive For Opiates While In Labor
Last spring, Elizabeth Eden was in labor at the St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland when doctors came in and informed her that she tested positive for opiates.
"I was in labor. I was sitting in the bed. I was having contractions. I was on a Pitocin drip, and the doctor came in and said, 'You've tested positive for opiates,'" Eden said to WBAL-TV.
The cause of confusion was that Eden knows it was a false positive. She then recalled what she ate earlier that day, and thought that it had to be the cause.
Eden remembered that she ate a poppy seed bagel for breakfast, and she learned in a health class in school that consuming poppy seeds may result in false positives for opiates testing.
"I said, 'Well, can you test me again? And I ate a poppy seed bagel this morning for breakfast,' and she said, 'No, you've been reported to the state,'" said Eden.
Experts have previously confirmed that poppy seeds may register as opiates in urine samples if they were consumed within 48 hours of the drug testing. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, poppy seeds do not contain morphine, but they may become coated with, or absorb, opium extract during the harvesting process. Opium is the substance extracted along with the poppy seeds from the seed pod of the opium poppy after all petals have been discarded.
Poppy seeds have very little nutritional value aside from fiber, so people are simply recommended to stay away from food that contain them, especially when they know that they will be subjected to a drug test soon.
What Happened To The Woman's Baby?
Eden's positive test result for opioids was reported to the state, as per procedure. This caused her newborn daughter, named Beatrice, to be held in the hospital for five days, while a caseworker for the state visited Eden at home.
The situation was eventually resolved and the case against Eden was closed. However, understandably, it was a difficult time for the new mother.
"It was traumatizing," Eden said.