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Family Physician
Family Physician, Board Certified MRO
Category: Drug Testing
Satisfied Customers: 12816
Experience:  Medical Review Officer - Physician Trained and certified in drug test interpretation
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I have to take a pre-employment drug screening test and have

Customer Question

I have to take a pre-employment drug screening test and have a legal prescription for Celexa (40 mg) once per day, Xanax (which I have been taking 0.5 mg 4 times a day) plus I take 2 hormones (I am in menopause). I do not drink alcohol or do any illegal drugs. I am concerned that on my pre-employment drug test slip they gave me today, it does mention Benzo down as one of the choices which they can test for. I have had a very rough year so that is why I am on the Celexa and the Xanax but it does not impair me. I have been unemployed for 7 months so am very excited about getting this job. I am worried that if they know I take Xanax, they may fail me on my drug test. I thought as long as I have a legal prescription for these medications, that as long as I tell the lab, will I pass the drug test and will they disclose what I take to the potential employer?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Drug Testing
Expert:  Family Physician replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your question:

What type of job is this?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It is working as a server in a family restaurant waiting on people.
Expert:  Family Physician replied 5 years ago.
Thank you:

Drug testing is done to identify (and deter) the use of illegal drugs (cocaine, marijuana, PCP etc.) and the abuse/use of drugs without a valid prescription. They are NOT used to identify people who are legally using prescription medications.

An employer would face significant legal issues if they were to deny employment based on a positive drug test when the medication was legally prescribed to the perspective employee.

There are of course exceptions for medications that would be expected to cause safety concerns in some occupations (airline pilot, crane operator, etc). I can see how this employer could make a claim that you would be a risk to yourself or others by using this medication.

I really would not worry yourself about this drug test since you are using this with a valid prescription.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the response. I am still concerned though because you mentioned the employer could make a claim that I would be at risk to myself ot others (about the Xanax specifically). I see a Psychiatrist every 3 months to check in with him (I have been suffering from depression the past year (my 18 year old daughter decided to have nothing to do with me and I have been a good mom overall, I lost my job in April and then got bit by a Rottweiler 5 days later and could have bled to death. And I have been looking for work for 7 months. So, hence, that is why I am taking the medication. I was thinking when I go to the lab, I should take my prescribed medication in their bottles to show them it is a prescribed medication so that they can see. What is your opinion on this? Also, what if the employer denies me employment even though I have a prescription? Is there anything I can do? Thanks.
Expert:  Family Physician replied 5 years ago.
The industry standard for urine collections does NOT include recording prescriptions. Typically verifications of prescription use are performed by a medical review officer (MRO) - a physician trained in the interpretation of drug test AFTER the drug test IF a medication is identified.

If the employer denied your employment based on a drug test that was positive only for a prescription drug you could consult with an attorney or your state department of labor.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Do I need to tell the lab the medications I am taking and show them my bottles still just to make sure they have this information? Also, I believe they are not allowed to disclose this to the employer (about meds I am taking) Can you clairfy?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Expert:  Family Physician replied 5 years ago.
Generally the lab does not need or want this information because the testing is done exactly the same no matter what medication someone is taking.