Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Tested for Illegal Drugs

Options

At our last office visit my MO gave me a print out of the previous week's labs. I didn't notice until I got home, but in addition to the usual labs, they tested my blood for cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and others, mostly schedule II drugs. Could this be something to do with Medicare regulations?

Comments

  • aprilgirl1
    aprilgirl1 Member Posts: 786
    Options

    If you are on Ritalin or a stimulant due to fatigue or adhd, this test might be required now. Idk if it is a new "rule". I would send a MyChart message and ask , just curious why the addl blood test for schedule II drugs? I'm interested to find out if it is Medicare regulations.

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 1,063
    Options

    I am in palliative care and testing for illegal drugs is SOC for pain management. My doctor told me that it is used both to protect the patient's health and make sure doctors don't get themselves in trouble by inadvertently causing adverse reactions. It also seems to be driven by the opioid crisis publicity; new standards for pain management were released by the Surgeon General in 2017. While it is not as prevalent in oncology, ASCO seems to have joined the initiative. I don't mind since my doctor is great at managing my meds and side effects.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32043770/

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328
    Options

    Thank you, aprilgirl and maggie for the responses. After thinking about it, I remembered the testing date. It was a couple of months ago and my MO had me sign a pain contract and I peed into a cup. (My blood was not tested.)

    At first I wanted to be offended that someone would think I was some kind of addict, and then I thought about it and decided the regulations are intended to protect medical providers and their patients, including the addicts. And I also concluded that if I wanted to see a world where we didn't stigmatize mental health and substance abuse problems, then I could start with my own judgey attitude and accept the tests. It's not like they're gonna find cocaine in my pee anyway, so let 'em test it.

  • iggymom
    iggymom Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2023
    Options

    I had one of those lab tests also recently and was surprised at the time. Then I realized that I was on a controlled drug, gabapentin, for sleep. Since I am on Medicare I figure the doctors are required to document that the substances they prescribe aren't being abused. Just a guess.

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328
    Options

    Yes, iggymom. I am remembering now that visit where my MO talked about testing patients. They test for drugs we should not be taking, but also for the drugs that we should be taking. I have a scrip for hydrocodone and they will monitor that I am the one using this med, and not giving or selling it to other people.