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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18135
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Do hospitals test for Suboxone with new employees

Customer Question

Do hospitals test for Suboxone with new employees?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 6 years ago.

Most hospitals (and other employers) do not specifically test for Suboxone, unless there is a reason for them to be concerned. The usual test for opiates will look for morphine and its derivatives, so Suboxone, which is synthetic, is not typically detected by this test.


Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18135
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
Dr. D. Love and 2 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Family Physician replied 6 years ago.
If you are using Suboxone under the direction of a physician, with a legal prescription, then your employer would be prohibited by law (the ADA) to use this legal use against you in pre-employment testing.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
As a registered nurse with a problem with addiction to vicodin after a very large surgery a year ago, I sought help and found suboxone to prevent withdrawels; For which my doc has encouraged me to stay on it and wean only "very slowly." I have been taking about 4mg QOD; I am very concerned that some hospitals are getting keen to its use with addiction to narcotics being such a rampant problem, especially among nurses... Therefore my worry is that I apply to the "ONE" hospital that has started to test for it and that it would be detected and that I would be reported to the "board," even though I have never "diverted" drugs from the units in which I have worked- As well, I DO have a legal prescription for it, but I don't want to start off a new job that way, with "why are you taking suboxone?" you know? I would prefer to go through the accelerated, painful wean off of it quickly so I could be assured that it was gone just in case- So my point, after all this is that ARE YOU SURE they don't test for it or are there SOME that are starting to? I recently have a couple new job interviews with some very reputable hospitals and I will go through whatever I need to to make sure there is no issue...Thanks SOOO much...
Expert:  Family Physician replied 6 years ago.
Individuals with a history of drug or alcohol addiction are protected from discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as long as they are undergoing treatment OR have completed treatment for addiction and they are not currently using illegal drugs.

Since the medication is being prescribed for you by a physician, you would appear to fall under the protection of the ADA.

Most reputable employers use Medical Review Officers (MRO) to review all drug test results. The MRO is responsible for reviewing test results and interviewing donors to see if there is a valid medical explanation for the identified drug (i.e. legal prescription use). If these is a valid prescription, then the test is reported to the employer as a negative.

Failing to hire an employee because they are using a legally prescribe medication would place the employer at risk for a lawsuit or EEOC complaint.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks so much- The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that there are people out there in the medical field that do still discriminate against drug addicts, even if they can't do anything about it, I don't want that "stigma" going into a new job- I've been a RN for 15 years and have seen heard the stories and the way people are "talked about"- you get my drift- So I'd rather wean off the stuff and postpone my employment and not have to deal with any of it- So my botXXXXX XXXXXne question, do they actually test fot the stuff, as I have heard "government agencies" and "SOME hospitals" are "starting to do...?"

I appreciate all your time and I will totally "accept your answer" and give you an awesome review, I just suck at computers and don't want to do it till I'm done talking to you cause I'm afraid I will lose access to you after that-

Again, thanks
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 6 years ago.

As I said above, most hospitals do not test for it. It is true that some employers have started testing for it. For example, if in a community in which there is more of a problem with recreational use of Suboxone, employers might decide to test for it. As the other expert noted, if you have a valid prescription, it still would not be held against you. However, if you feel that you would rather avoid that issue, you may need to discuss with your physician if you can perform an accelerated taper.


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