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How to Fight a Positive Drug Test in the Military – 2 Things You Need To Do Now

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

how to fight a positive drug test in the military

Imagine: You are a service member and you have not passed the military drug test. What should you do? First, do not cry. Second, read this article.

You can learn how to fight a positive drug test in the military by reading for the next 7 minutes. We will take you through the necessary steps in two different methods:

  • Proving that there were errors in the collection and testing process
  • Proving that any drug was consumed unknowingly.

Rest assured that even with an army drug test failure, you still have a chance to save your military career. Continue reading for more details!

How to Fight a Positive Drug Test in the Military


Proving that the drug was not ingested consciously

A drug test can only be built against you if there is substantial evidence to declare that you have consciously ingested drugs. There have been many false positive military drug test results because of what service members eat and take into their bodies that are innocent consumption.

For example, certain components in over-the-counter pills, supplements, vitamins, and medications for PTSD, anxiety, or depression can surface as illicit drugs. Your case might just be one of these false alarms!

It is possible to counter and avoid all of the devastating consequences of a positive military drug test. To do this, you will need the help of a reliable attorney, who is equipped with expertise and experience.

After receiving the military notification of a failed drug test, disclose all information to your attorney so that he or she can represent you well. The military drug test results time frame is usually 3-5 days, so it is not too long of a wait.

Do not hold back on anything you have eaten or have taken into your body. The more information the attorney has, the better he or she can fight the positive military drug test result on your half.

Proving that mistakes occurred in the drug testing procedure

Another way that you can defend yourself from a failed drug test is by proving that there were mistakes during the collection and/or testing process. The military has a very stringent procedure in place to test for drugs in the urinal samples of service members, as follows:

  • The service member urinates in a container and submits said container to the test administrator. In this step, an observer stands by to make sure that there is no cheating.
  • The containers are arranged as batches and a chain-of-custody document is drawn up. This is a record of everyone involved in the procedure, starting from those in the previous step.
  • The batches of containers are moved to drug screening at the lab.
  • The samples go through an immunoassay screening to detect the presence of drugs. If a sample is found positive, which means that there are drugs identified, the sample will repeat this step once more.
  • If the second immunoassay screening is also positive, mass spectrometry or gas chromatography will be carried out to pinpoint what the substances are specifically.
  • Any drugs that are identified in quantities equal to or above the acceptable, predetermined threshold, the drug test will be positive.

Check out this video for more details:

Even though these steps are conducted carefully and strictly to make sure that results are accurate, errors do occur from time to time. There have been cases of samples being mishandled and/or mislabeled.

So, if there is evidence that there were any deviations from the standard procedure, your positive test results may be deemed unreliable and inaccurate. This will help counter any case against you.

With this defensive stance, you will again need the assistance of an attorney. He or she will be able to review and analyze procedures for any abnormalities. The strength of your case will not rely on you disclosing information but on your attorney’s ability. Therefore, it is very important that you select your attorney carefully.

Make sure that he or she has an eye for detail, is passionate, loyal, and someone you can trust. Then, your chances of successfully fighting a positive military drug test are higher.


By now, you should be aware of the two possible ways on how to fight a positive drug test in the military. Being more informed in this way can boost your chances of effectively defending yourself against a drug case. Hence, there is a higher chance of saving your military career.

Another key takeaway in this article is to get a good attorney, who will fight the positive military drug test on your behalf.

Hopefully, this has been helpful. If you have any follow-up questions or thoughts, let us know in the comments. We will do our best to respond! Also, if you think this could be of benefit to others, do share it!

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