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What happens if you fail a doctor's drug test?

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AnArmyVeteran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 01:45 PM
Original message
What happens if you fail a doctor's drug test?
What if you test positive in a urinalysis for something like marijuana? Can the doctor immediately stop you from getting any additional medication? Can he contact pharmacies and block all remaining refills on an ongoing prescription? My doctor gave me the drug test and then ten minutes later wrote out a prescription. Do they check the results of the test at the office or do they send them away to a lab to be analyzed? I was able to fill the prescription but now I'm wondering if there is a system in place where the doctor can notify all pharmacies to prevent any future refills.

What are a person's options when this happens? I understand that even over the counter medications like Motrin and other OTC drugs can give a false positives for use of marijuana. Can a person be forced into a rehab program before getting any future medications they need to control pain? Where do the results of these drug tests go? Are they released to the government or every other doctor you might want to see and ignore your HIPPA rights?

I've been seeing the same doctor for six years and this is the first time I have been tested. When he explained the reason for the test he said it was to protect himself and his license. He also said it was mandatory every six months. To me it sounds like a racket where millions of people are subjected to drug tests, each of which cost $150 per test. No wonder medical costs keep rising when needless and expensive tests are mandated by either the state or federal governments and take away time from doctors schedules to have to administer drug tests and related paperwork instead of spending their time trying to help their patients.

Does anyone have any ideas on this subject? Just a week before I was randomly drug tested I attended a Jack Johnson outdoor concert and I smelled a lot of pot in the air. Even the people directly behind me were exhaling a lot of smoke my way. I didn't smoke any, but I did get a lot of second hand smoke. I didnt even drink because I was the designated driver. I didn't have an option to move because the concert was a sellout and it wouldn't have mattered anyway since pot smoke was everywhere anyway. What's strange is everyone entering the concert was searched and anyone with any empty cups, water bottles, drinks, food or umbrellas had them seized, but obviously not pot because every third person at the concert was smoking. What a bizarre country we live in.

Thanks for your advice/help in advance. After I was drug tested it made me feel like I was in a police state where I had no rights. I also felt very violated.

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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ihave no answers to your queries. I do have a lot of concern for you.
Texas is notorious for doing things that benefit the big drug companies, so your notion of the doctors there deciding on this "drug test protocol" that will make the Big Pharma people millions of dollars sounds about right.

Texas was always mentioned as the prime example of a state that allowed for hundreds of thousands of its teenagers to be locked up inside mental health facilities until mom and dad's insurance policies ran out.

I hope other DU'ers cna answer your questions.

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cyr330 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. Interesting
I've NEVER heard of an MD performing a drug test to protect himself/herself. Normally, when you are hired by an employer, or you have some kind of accident, you may be required to do a drug test, but I have NEVER, NEVER, NEVER heard of an MD insisting on one just for his/her own records. Furthermore, your medical records are PRIVATE, and they are protected by HIPAA. Have you signed any kind of statement that gives your MD permission to transmit any of your results to a 3rd party?

By the way, I am an RN, and I work in a California hospital. This sounds terribly fishy.
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. My thoughts exactly
I've never heard of such a thing, and I'm still trying to come up with one good (or even half-assed) reason to do it. Does the Dr have the authority to share the results of the test with any other entity? For what purpose? Is he supposed to call the cops if a patient tests positive for something? Or tell the insurance company, who can then drop the patient? I have no idea... :shrug:
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drmeow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. While I agree that this is fishy
I do know that there have been cases of MDs being prosecuted as drug dealers because they were giving their pain patients the medications they needed to stay pain-free. The idea was that there was no way anyone would need that much of a narcotic pain killer for that long so they must have been selling it and the MD was in on it. I was working for a research group studying fibromyalgia, RA, and OA and there were discussions among the research team about MDs who were afraid to prescribe narcotics out of fear. I'm not saying that is the case here and I'm not sure about a drug test being a way to protect the MD.
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cyr330 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Oh I agree. . .
but I've never heard of an MD performing a "random" drug test-- one that tests for marijuana, etc. Have you?
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drmeow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. The script was for
pain meds - narcotics presumably. That's why I thought it might be a CYA situation. Regardless, it certainly needed more dialogue between the MD and the patient.
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cyr330 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. However. .
I just realized that patients who undergo "elective" surgeries such as bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) may have to undergo a drug test and psychological test, but I can't think of too many instances in which this would occur.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. I'm a retired RN and it sounds extremely fishy to me, too
and I'd try to find a new doc. While a doc prescribing CNS depressants might be legitimately concerned about the additive effects of pot, that is the sort of thing that he should cover in patient counseling before prescribing such a drug, not fishing for it after the fact in a patient who is walking, talking, and obviously surviving any such combination.

This is nuts. Find a new doctor.
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AnArmyVeteran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Thanks for writing.
I didn't sign any contract with the doctor prior to initial treatment over 5 years ago. But I was told in order to get a refill of my pain medications I had to give a urine sample which I did because I had to have my prescription refilled. I didn't sign anything at the time of the drug test but after I peed in the drug test cup and gave it to them I received a renewed prescription with two refills as has been the norm for the past five years.

I live in Texas and laws here are very right wing so I'm sure they aren't the same as in California. I started seeing thus pain management doctor over 5 years ago when I had a different insurance company. Three years ago i had to change medical plans and this doctor wasn't part of their network. But I continued to see him because he knew my medical history and he had injected my back periodically with steroids to reduce the pain. Because he is not in my current medical plan I am 'cash pay' so I pay more to see this doctor but his office is only 5 minutes away from my house and the nearest pain management doctor who is in my plan is 25 miles away.

Over a year ago I thought of switching to an in-plan pain management doctor, but the doctor I saw sounded more like a district attorney than a doctor and I refused to sign a contract with her. At that time it was a matter of principle because she made me feel like a criminal instead of a patient. Any doctor can look at my x-rays and MRIs and easily see why I am experiencing severe pain so I didn't understand the heavy handed attitude that in-plan doctor had. She questioned everything about me except my symptoms, severity of pain and frequency of pain. Hell, she didn't even touch my body. Like I said, I felt like I was on a witness stand being cross examined by a prosecutor rather than listening to a doctor concerned with treating my pain. After I left I complained about how that 'doctor' made me feel and that I would not ever want her to treat me in the future. I further stated I could not trust a doctor who could not trust me.

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Baalath Donating Member (90 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I think you doctor is doing the right thing to check on you.
Addiction is a horrible thing and they need to be careful, even though they know your pain is real.

Feel better!

hugs
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. OK, pain management docs are different and there are liability issues
and some of them will require pee tests to make sure there are no metabolites from drugs they're not prescribing.

Had this been a GP or internist, my recommendation would be to find another doc. Since this is a pain management specialist, it changes things considerably and he does have a legitimate reason to monitor your pee for other drugs. Liability is one issue. Your long term survival is another.
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Could it be a test to make sure you are taking the meds?
Instead of selling them? :shrug:
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-22-10 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. The DEA has gone after Doctors
they put a doc in jail who was prescribing pain meds - in a manner that was fully fitting for the patients.

however, they determined that they were allowed to infringe on patient privacy and determine courses of treatments for medical issues about which they have no knowledge.

because of this, one of this doctor's patients died.

others had to endure excruciating pain from traffic or work accidents.

...and because the DEA went after one doctor who was prescribing medications legally and within bounds for treatment, other doctors are afraid of being prosecuted by the DEA.

This is yet another example of the draconian police-state tactics of modern America - where officials with no medical knowledge are allowed to cause suffering in others in order to justify their jobs.

sick, but true.

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v05/n1136/a06.html

http://opioids.com/offshorepharmacy/deapaindoc.html

this story is also included in a recent documentary about cannabis and the war on drugs. Patients of Dr. Hurwitz talk about his case and the aftermath. The DEA killed at least one person in an attempt to deny that person reasonable health care.

If you could see the harassment visited upon inmates for no reason other than intimidation and, frankly, sadistic shithead cheap thrills - you would cry.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
4. Is this your personal physician? Why would he be doing such
a test in the first place? Or is this some sort of regimented clinic you are forced to attend?
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Baalath Donating Member (90 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
6. You didn't mention what you are being treated for by your dr.
But from what you are saying, I am wondering if you are being treated for pain. If you are, did you sign a contract with your doctor for that treatment? It is common / standard to do so before you enter into treatment for pain.

If you did sign such a contract, it spells out what happens if you violate the contract. Usually it is just the doctor will ask you to leave the practice at the worse case.

Even if you haven't signed a contract, it sounds like what is going on and that is why your doctor needs to do a drug trust to proctect themselves if they are rx'ing narcotics for you.

I have never heard that about OTC making false positives for pot. I am not doubting you, I just have never heard that.

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LiberalLoner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I agree, the ONLY way a doctor would ever do this, is if he were prescribing
narcotics long-term.

If he is prescribing you narcotics long-term and you are under a contract for this with your doctor (this is normal in pain management) then he is doing what he has to do.

If he is only prescribing you medicines that are not commonly abused, then he has no reason at all to do this. And I would find another doctor ASAP.

As to the false positives - almost unheard of. Very very rare. And in the rare occasions they do show up, the next thing is to do a second test which is much more specific and accurate (and lots more expensive) to verify the results of that first test. It is almost impossible for that second, more accurate test, to be wrong.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
14. I don't know very much about
what shows up in a urine sample, but I'm under the impression that a week after being at the concert you described there shouldn't be any marijuana left in your system. Heck, even if you'd gotten stoned out of your mind, it should have all been metabolized before the week was up.

In any case, the doctor should be sharing with you the results of the drug test. Especially if he has any concerns about what you're ingesting recreationally, or outside of what he's prescribing.
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OrangeGrapes Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-29-10 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. Actually, cannabis stays in the system for about a month
That is, if there were direct exposure, not second-hand. You are right about the concert; it's very unlikely that second-hand exposure would cause a problem, especially in the (assumed) open space of a concert where the smoke disperses rather quickly.

As for the test, I have no idea, but it seems odd.
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digginya62 Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-11 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
19. Pee testa in Texas
I was in "Pain Management" in Texas in 2006 and was
Forced to take a Drug Test or NOT get My Pain Meds. I felt
violated but I took the test and passed. I do wonder how this
information is used if one were to show "Other
Drugs" in their system. I think your DR. does have a
right to check but how the resulting information might be
used is of great concern to me!

 digginya62
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