If you are a medical doctor practicing in a hospital or clinic, you probably performed a drug test on at least a quarter of your patients even though the discussion of drug testing can be somewhat uncomfortable for both parties. There have been cases involving those who are resistant because they have something to hide. Having that conversation might make patients comfortable to be forthcoming about whatever their hiding. That’s why as a patient it’s always good to be honest with your doctor(s) when they ask if you have been consuming any alcohol or other drugs (over-the-counter, prescribed, or illegal).
The cold hard fact is that drug, tobacco, and alcohol abuse kills more than 500,000 Americans each year. They die as a result of overdoses, accidents, illness, and other causes. As a result, this causes more Physicians who prescribe pain medications to increasingly ask their patients to take urine drug tests and sign written agreements that they will not misuse prescribed painkillers. For those who are reading this article that are medical doctors, this isn’t anything new to you, but for the people who are not, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has a quick reference guide offering advice on how medical physicians are to screen for drug and alcohol abuse in general medical settings. Overall, the best way to protect ourselves from the dangers of drugs is to simply not start in the first place.
It’s safe to say that every doctor has his or her own way of doing things that work best for them and their patients. Some like to screen their patients for drug use whenever they schedule lab work or before prescribing certain medications. Sometimes after the medicine is prescribed, doctors will drug test their patients to see if they are taking the right amount. There’s a certain level that is supposed to show up in the lab work if the person the medication has been prescribed to have been taking the correct dosage. Yes, part of the time the doctor is looking to see if the patient has been taking anything else that might or has been causing conflict with the medicine, such as alcohol and tobacco.
Granted as a doctor, you know it’s usually a sign if a patient experiences mood swings, anxiety issues, and psychotic disorders, then he or she might be abusing drugs, but you need to know for sure so you can make the best diagnosis as possible. The reasoning behind that might include the ability:
- To keep watch on patients who acknowledged drug/alcohol addiction and want to get clean.
- To determine if the patient who has acknowledged abuse of one substance is also secretly abusing other substances.
- To see if there are any side-effects (mentally or physically) caused, or worsened, by drug use.
Now appears the issue of the method; which technique is the most accurate and dependable? Making this decision is just as important as taking the test itself. Which drug test is more convenient? Where can you find the right kind that will test for the most common drugs of abuse? Do you want to test for alcohol? I can tell you that Rapid Detect, Inc, can help answer those questions and any others that may pop up in your mind. Along with that, we offer a variety of CLIA Waived drug tests that you can view and order right from our website at your convenience! We’ll be discussing some of those products in this article to help you become more familiar with the options available.
Once you go to our website, on the left side you can see a column with a lot of different categories listed, click on the “CLIA Waived Tests” to view the tests currently available. As you may see, we offer a wide assortment of urine drug test kits, a useful tool in pain management that can assist in diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making. For a long while, urine has been the preferred biologic specimen for determining the presence or absence of most drugs. Here’s a quick rundown comparison of each product that we offer:
- E-Z Integrated Key Cup – is a fully self-contained drug screening cup for detecting drugs and drug metabolites in urine. With this drug test, you’ll be able to detect at least 3, but not more than 6 drugs of abuse with confidence. The tamper protection features can ensure the integrity of both sample and results. The E-Z Integrated Key Cup is a split specimen test that is not only easy to use, but is easy to administer because of its compact, oval shape front, and squared back. The fully integrated design eliminates the handling of the urine. The collector can activate the test by inserting the key into the side of the cup, thus eliminating donor manipulation. The E-Z Integrated Key Cup is very convenient for both male and female patients to be tested with.
- iCassette Drug Screen Test Pipette – is a simple one step immunochromatographic assay for the rapid, qualitative detection of drugs. The CLIA Waived version of this drug test cassette is available in 2, 3, 4, & 5 panels. If you use this type of device, you’ll experience a more convenient urine drug test that has the ability to display a sharp line while offering an easy-to-use and read procedure, allowing for fewer mistakes than most other urine drug tests on the market today. Utilizing a pipette device (dropper), it takes a small urine sample, not more than 3 drops, into each well. Afterward, you have to wait at least 10 minutes before the results to show up.
- Noble One Step Cup – is an in-vitro diagnostic drug test for healthcare professionals and point of care (POC) sites. There is no urine handling or instrumentation. Being FDA approved, it comes with a built-in Adulteration test that will check for pH, Specific Gravity, Creatinine, Nitrate, & Oxidants. The Noble One Step Cup can detect up to 12 drugs of abuse (BZO, BAR, COC, THC, mAMP, OPI, MTD, TCA, OXY, MDMA, PCP, & AMP) at the same time. The administrator has to replace the lid making sure it’s screwed on tightly before placing the cup on its side to activate. After the test has started, you just wait 5 minutes before the results can be recorded.
- Noble Split Specimen Cup – is an integrated split specimen cup and one of the most effective drugs of abuse urine tests on the market. The Noble split specimen cup has a patented key operated trigger system that allows the collector to transfer 2ml of the urine specimen into the separate testing chamber. The way this device is designed will eliminate urine handling and donor tampering, providing a unique and efficient approach for on-site drug testing. The CLIA Waived version of this cup is available in either the 4 or 5 panels and may have the option of Adulterant testing built-in. A temperature strip is located on the back of the cup for quality control purposes (urine specimen should be between 91 and 98 degrees when checked within 4 minutes of collection). Operating this cup is fairly simple: The donor has to remove the cap while the key is held by the technician; the donor then provides the sample before screwing on the cap tightly. The Technician dates and initials the security seal prior to placing it over the cap. Then, the cup is placed on a flat surface with the key inserted all the way (you may hear a clicking sound). Finally, peel off the label to view the results and after 5 minutes, you can view and photocopy the results to keep for your records.
- ToxCup – is a Clia Waived test that detects up to 14 drugs of abuse making it perfect for healthcare professionals including at point-of-care sites. It will detect Amphetamine (AMP), Barbiturates (BAR), Buprenorphine (BUP), Benzodiazepines (BZO), Cocaine (COC), Ecstasy (MDMA), Methamphetamine (mAMP), Methadone (MTD), Opiates (OPI), Oxycodone (OXY), Phencyclidine (PCP), Propoxyphene (PPX), Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCA), and Marijuana (THC). This drug test is meant for in-vitro diagnostic use only. To use this test, just replace the lid tightly after the sample is collected and tilt the cup on its side to activate it. You can verify the quality of the urine sample by reading the temperature strip located near the bottom of the cup and the results will be located on the top of the cup (lid) 5 minutes after the test has started.
- AmediCheck Cup – is a self-contained, easy-to-use urine drug test that will detect the presence of multiple drugs with laboratory accuracy. This FDA Approved, in-vitro diagnostic test cup is intended for over-the-counter (OTC) consumer use, including but not limited to concerned parents, to detect the presence or absence of drugs or their metabolites in a urine sample. It will detect up to 12 drugs of abuse (AMP, BAR, BZO, COC, mAMP, MDMA, MTD, OPI, OXY, PCP, THC, & TCA), comes with a temperature strip near the bottom to verify freshness of the sample (should read between 90-100F), and has a leak-proof lid! This test is great for getting parents and loved ones talking about drug use.
NOTE: Faint lines DO indicate negative results. The shade of color in the test region (Drug/T) will vary, but it should be considered a negative result whenever there is even a faint colored line. Any indication of a line (even faint) is a negative result.
Now comes the moment of truth if you are the patient abusing drugs. After the lab results are shown to the doctor, he or she may come back and ask you “How many times in the past year have you used an illegal drug or used a prescription medication for nonmedical reasons?” You better tell the truth because the facts aren’t going to lie. Unfortunately, prescription painkiller overdoses have been on the rise over the last decade or so. Drugs of abuse affect the brain by either slowing down the actions and reactions (depress) or it speed up actions and reactions (stimulate). Drugs such as marijuana (active ingredient THC), opiates (such as codeine, morphine, heroin, and alcohol) are depressants while amphetamines and cocaine are stimulants.
In the midst of a prescription opioid overdose and abuse epidemic in the U.S., it wouldn’t be a bad idea to drug test your patients, although you may have to consult your legal team to see what the laws are in your state (you don’t want to violate your patient’s rights). Another thought into all this is what are the advantages with urine drug testing? Well hopefully we can help answer some of those questions by putting it into perspective, such as:
- The fact that it’s non-invasive
- With the right sample amount, you can’t go wrong.
- Whatever drugs and their metabolites found in the urine sample are usually stable (often present in higher concentrations than in other biological materials too)
- Drugs can remain detectable in urine for relatively long period of time
- The existence of metabolites provides further evidence of drug use
- Analysis relatively simple because of absence of proteins and cellular material in urine
- Drug levels may vary depending on fluid intake and time lapse since drug intake
- Urine sample may be difficult to obtain if test subject is catheterized
- Urine specimens can be manipulated or substituted if not properly supervised (again, check your local / state laws because direct observation may be considered as invasion of privacy)
- Urine may be unstable if not properly handled and stored
Emergency department visits for prescription painkiller abuse or misuse have doubled in the past 5 years to nearly half a million, but overdose deaths are only part of the problem. For every death that involves prescription painkillers, hundreds of people abuse or misuse those drugs. That’s partly why many states have responded by developing their own versions of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), which digitally store controlled substance dispensing information and make those data accessible to medical personnel (doctors, nurses, etc), pharmacies, and law enforcement officials.
It’s very important that doctors pay attention to who they prescribe medications to because that can help prevent drug (and alcohol) abuse or in worst case scenario, an over-dose. Research has shown there are some groups of people who are particularly vulnerable to having a prescription drug overdose:
- People who obtain multiple controlled substance prescriptions from multiple providers—a practice known as “doctor shopping.”
- People who take high daily dosages of prescription painkillers and those who misuse multiple abuse-prone prescription drugs.
- Low-income people and those living in rural areas.
An alarming fact is that people on Medicaid are prescribed painkillers at twice the rate of non-Medicaid patients and are at six times the risk of prescription painkillers overdose. One Washington State study found that 45% of people who died from prescription painkiller overdoses were Medicaid enrollees. Let’s not be fooled here, doing nothing is doing something. What that something does is up to you, the doctor, nurse, or other medical personnel. Don’t contribute to a negative statistic; get serious about drug testing now. If we would drug test more patients on a regular basis, something similar to a physical or blood lab work, imagine slowing down the number of overdoses or the results from that action.
Let Rapid Detect, Inc, help you with this. Again, we offer a fine variety of CLIA Waived tests that can be a huge benefit to your practice and possibly save the lives of not only your patient but anyone else who may be affected. Call to speak with one of our friendly knowledgeable sales consultants about any of our products we sell weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm CDT at (888) 404-0020 or send an email to [email protected] anytime. As always, we thank you for reading this and appreciate your business!