I've been on Methadone for about 3 years and now I have to take a drug test for a potential job. I'm not sure if I should be up front with them or if I should just wait to see how the results of the drug test turn out. I'm worried that if I test positive for Methadone that they company won't hire me, even though it's illegal to discriminate against me for being on methadone. My counselor says that not all places even specifically test for methadone so it may not matter. I have a friend who is also on methadone who has had issues with not getting hired after taking a drug test. One place told him he tested positive for morphine and even though he had told both the company and the drug testing company about the methadone ahead of time, the drug testing place told him that the only way he could test positive for morphine was if he had done morphine. I'm not sure if the place just didn't know what they were talking about or what. My counselor says that all opiates come out of body as morphine and there are ways to test for the combining element that deciphers whether it is vicodin, percocet, oxycontin, heroin, or whatever. I've also heard that methadone won't come up on a drug test unless they specifically test for it. My friend has also had issues getting hired after the company finds out he's on methadone. Even though the drug testing place isn't legally allowed to tell the company what medications you are taking as long as you have a prescription, somehow the company still turned him down and blamed it on his backround check which should be clean according to my friend... this place was Wal-mart, the same place I'm being interviewed for. How is one to know if the drug testing facility broke the law and told the company information about you when the company tells you that you're not being hired for another reason? I'm not sure if I should tell the drug testing facility about the methadone and that I have a prescription before I take the test or if I should wait until I get the results and then tell them I have the prescription. My counselor tells me that it depends on the facility that I go to as to how specific and detailed their drug test will be.
19 May 2011
Unfortunately drug testing is not all that accurate, there are human errors, bad test kits, and other factors that can affect the results. I would suggest that you thoroughly read all paperwork regarding the test as it may say or ask for a list of all meds you take, if it does, you may be penalized for not disclosing that you are rx'ed methadone, and that might not be good. Bring your rx with you and thoroughly read the paperwork. Best of luck, patti
19 May 2011
I'm not sure. I agree with Patti that if they ask you you should tell them, but I'm on the fence with telling them if they don't ask. Just because they don't usually give a reason for not hiring someone and if pressed for a reason they could easily just say they found someone better suited for the job. It's not right but even with a prescrition people can discriminte against you for taking methadone.My brother takes bi-polar meds and he doesn't tell anyone at work what or why he takes anything because when people don't understand an illness or mediccation it's very easy to make judgements. Does the job require driving or operating heavy machinery? There maybe a legality or liability issue with narcotic use and in that case then upfront disclosure would be a smart thing to doc. I would bring a note from your doctor stating why you're on the methadone and also your prescription just in case you do show up psoitive. That way it looks like you weren't trying to hide any thing. I hope this was helpful. Good luck.
19 May 2011
I'm agreeing with Mel. But I agree with parts of what Patti say too. Look at the paperwork carefully and see if it states you must disclose what you are on. If it does not then dont say anything until it comes up in your urine. They may not even test for it. It is not true that everything opioid comes up as morphine. Metabolites for oxycodone wont show as morphine and I dont believe methadone does either. My company tests for morphine and at the time I took OxyContin and I passed because OxyContin does not show as morphine and they did not test specifically for oxycodone. Morphine, codeine and heroin all come up as morphine derivatives. If your urine comes up as positive for methadone then disclose you are prescribed it. It will also depend on your companies drug policy and how it is written. Do they ban ALL controlled substance use or just illegally obtained substances.
Some places require a Drs letter stating you are taking a medication and why. Some do not allow any meds that could make you drowsy especially ones that have you operating heavy machinery or driving. My husband works in transportation and is not allowed any meds that can impair at all be they prescription or not. See if you can look into WalMarts drug policy ahead of time and be sure you read all the small print on your drug screen paperwork. I would not disclose ANYTHING I did not have to. Just because they say they dont discriminate doesnt mean they wont. They wont come out and say that is the reason but it doesnt take much imagination to come up with another reason. Even a reason as simple as another guy was more qualified than you-well that extra qualification could be the fact that you are on methadone and he is not!! I am going to add a link to a Mayo article about urine drug screening. Just dont freak out more on what causes false positives!
19 May 2011
Yes, I agree with Patti and Dazoobaby on this. Your counselor is wrong in that all opiates produce the morphine metabolite. The only thing I can add is honesty may be the best policy. Read all the fine print in the companies drug policies. Also, methadone is tested for separately, not grouped in with all other "Opiates." If you do not disclose the fact you are prescribed Methadone, MAY be grounds for not hiring you. On the other hand, if you don't disclose it, and IF you are tested for it, and it shows positive, the MRO (Medical Review Officer) by law has to call you first (NOT the potential employer) with the results and will ask if there is a medical reason for methadone to be your system. That's where the honesty part is vital. I do wish you the best of luck.
19 May 2011
I pretty much agree with all of you. Of course I have a big problem with being honest all the time!!! My husband says Im to honest sometimes. LOL. But it the methadone doesn't show up ok, but if it does you have a script, but they can find a reason not to hire you. If they ask are you on any meds I would be honest and say yes this is what I'm on. BUT thats just ME! Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
24 May 2011
Yes methadone has to be specifically targeted in a drug screen it doesn,t show up on the "dipstick" tests,, although a sample sent to a lab can show it if the look for it... it depends on the criteria of the employer or who ever has set for their need to know..If Methadone is prescribed to you, and you are worried, just wait and see what the outcome is, if the catch it, then whip out the prescrition info... If wal-mart don't like it they will just turn you down... wallyworld has a reputation of finding anything to terminate you anyway... I have freinds that work for them. One is on roxycodone,,she wasn't at her first hire but has since be prescribed and as far as I know she is still there. Most employers probably aren't concerned unless you are driving, operating dangeous machinery etc. just don't be on the NOD at work!!! good luck... this info comes from a 14yr EX methadone patient. Been off it for 2 1/2 years. my info is fairly valid but not to be taken for law!!! good luck LONGLINERZ
28 May 2011
hello, always tell the drug testing clinic about ALL your prescriptions. i was nervous and lost a job at a hospital for not telling the testing office i was taking methadone,fearing i may lose my job. but its the exact opposite. the testers are either to say you passed or failed,and if failed for what. never are they to disclose what you are prescribed. that would get them sued and put out of business pretty quick. and for the most part its for insurance reasons for the testing and if you have a prescription, than that covers their butt better.testing weeds out the loose cannons that are going to come to work and get hurt. such as people on street drugs and unprescribed drugs. this makes the insurance companies give bigger discounts better coverage ect.. . its more of a business decision than personal. NO WORRIES,tell the clinic take the test.
31 May 2011
Airka5984, Good Luck with that!! I took a drug test at my Suboxone clinic and tested positive for methadone. I haven't ever taken methadone!!! But do you think they believed me? Probably not. it isn't the first time I've tested positive for a drug that I am not taking. I take Suboxone, nothing else!!! Drug test are not reliable!! I have tested positive over and over again, and I have not been taking anything!!! My best guess would be that they will have a problem with you taking methadone even though you have a legal prescription for it. I'm sorry, they just don't want to listen to reasoning for it. I would wait and see if they test specifically for methadone. if they don't, then don't tell them. If they do and you test positive, then discuss it with them. NIK
23 Jun 2011
Your counsler is right about one thing... every facility has different types of drug screens. However,your counselor misinformed you that methadone shows up as morphine on a drugscreen. I have been on methadone for 9 years now, and have had many job interviews that required me to take a drug screen, and not once has methadone showed up as morphine. Morphine is an opiate, where methadone is not. They are in 2 totally different drug familys, therefore, are going to be in 2 totally different columns on a drug screen, period. If your friend failed any drug screen for morphine, than chances are very good that, he or she, did some morphine at some point in the weeks following the drug screen. The only problem I have ever had with a drug screen, in the whole 9 yrs I've been on methadone is, I failed for benzos, which I do not take.
The positive test was sent back to the lab, gcms, and came back with a report that said it was a false positive due to high levels of an over the counter night time sleep aid( tylenol pm). You don't have to tell a job your on methadone, if you don't want to. But, you run the risk of failing a drug screen for it, and after you have failed, most places don't want to give you a chance to explain. Its really a hard thing.I have found that a lot of ppl and jobs are very particular when it comes to methadone. Its almost just down right discrimination, in my opinion. If you tell a job ahead of time that you are on methadone, sometimes they wont even call you back. It sort of a catch 22.
- Methadone Information for Consumers
- Methadone Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Methadone (detailed)
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