Urgent care operators who offer occupational medication services are advised to be on the lookout for illegal drugs when testing workers who take opioid medications for chronic pain. A new report from Ameritox Ltd. indicates that 10.4% of patients who are prescribed opioids to treat chronic pain test positive for at least one illicit drug. Marijuana was the drug identified most often, followed by cocaine, heroin, 3,4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA, better known as Ecstasy or Molly) and phencyclidine (PCP, or Angel Dust). Illicit substances were most commonly detected among Medicaid patients (16.4%). In its analysis, Ameritox noted that, “Understanding factors associated with the likelihood of positive urine testing for illicit substances may better inform strategies for using urine drug testing in the clinical management of patients on prescribed opioid therapy.” The study encompassed more than 450,000 urine samples given between January 2013 and July 2015.
Occ Med Providers: Test for Illegal Drugs in Workers on Opioids for Chronic Pain