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A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16291
Experience:  Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
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When employees are randomly tested for opiates (urine

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When employees are randomly tested for opiates (urine sample), does the positive test result specify WHICH opiate, under the SAMHSA guidelines? In other words, if a patient is taking oxycodone prescribed by his physician, will the employer assume or suspect that the employee is using something illegal or non-prescribed, such as heroin, morphine, or oxycontin?


Welcome to Just Answer and thanks for your question. If the screening drug test is positive, it only is positive for the drug class (opiates, amphetamines, etc.). Any positive test is then supposed to be sent to a lab for analysis via GC/MS where the exact nature of anything in the urine is revealed. Employers aren't supposed to "assume" anything. Once the GC/MS analysis is run, if there is a positive result (for anything), the medical review officer from the lab will get in contact with the employee to obtain information about any prescription drugs the employee is taking. If there is a legitimate prescription, then the report sent to the employer specifies the drug test result was negative. GC/MS can distinguish between metabolites of drugs to tell exactly which one was taken.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Therefore, if I notify the lab rep when I provide the sample, that I am prescribed oxycodone by my physician for migraine headaches, when the urine tests positive for opiates, that should be the end of it, is that what you are saying? I intend to be honest and up-front about it, but there has been a lot of conjecture and conflicting information floating around at work, as this random testing has recently been established and begun as of last week, and I not only wish to avoid any issues, but more importantly I was afraid of my reputation being tarnished unfairly and without reason, considering the fact that I have been under the Doctor's treatment and care for this, for many years without any problems, obviously.

Thank You for your assistance

No, that isn't the way it works. Even if you speak with the lab rep/phlebotomist when you provide the sample, the rules will still be followed and the Medical Review Officer (MRO) will contact you. I would not tell the person who takes the sample anything. There isn't even a space on the sample asking you to list what drugs you are taking. Since you have a prescription, you don't need to do anything but quit worrying until the MRO calls you. You can then provide the information to the MRO physician who will check the information and report to your employer that you had a negative drug test.

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