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Methadone & Drug Test-Please Help!
Methadone & Drug Test-Please Help!
Hello everyone I am new to the site, but am in dire need of help. I am crying right now b/c of my anxiety over taking a drug test this Friday.
I have been on methadone maintenance for 4 yrs. I have slowly taken cuts and am down from a high of 120mgs to 50 mgs. I have not used an illicit drug in over 2 years. I have weekly priveledges, meaning I only have to go to the clinic once a week - that is how seriously I have taken my recovery and being on methadone. I have used it for its true purpose - to get my life back together. I am planning on being off within 12-18 months, slowly tapering.
I have worked so very hard and am graduating college in May. I just got a job offer working in social services. I have to take a drug test on friday at Quest. I am terrified that they will be testing for methadone. I have the requisition form with the drug test code on it. It look like a 5 panel, but I am not sure. The code is 35692N SAP 5-20 W/NIT....does anyone know if that particular screening includes methadone? I pray that it doesn't b/c I do not think that I will be able to keep my job....I am not sure, I have the letter from the clinic, and even if they can't fire me, I have a feeling they will give me a hard time about it. I am not a person on here trying to get over on anything, I just want to continue with the successes in my life and I am afraid I will not be able to do that.
Please let me know if any of you know of what this test might be for, or any other information you could help me with to find out. I called Quest and they wouldn't tell me what the test is for. Isn't that my right to know?
TIA everyone and God Bless....
First of all....the worst possible thing to do is TO NOT TELL them about the methadone. If you don't tell them and they DO test for it they will assume it is illegal use and immediately tell your employer...you may be able to clean up the mess, but they will know about your treatment.
HOWEVER, if you just tell them you are legally prescribed methadone at Quest when you go to do the test--and show proof in the form of a letter from the clinic or a takehome bottle--they CAN NOT TELL YOUR EMPLOYER THAT YOU ARE ON IT. The drug test will simply say "negative for illict drug use" and nothing more. If you are legally prescribed something the lab doing the testing can not tell your employer about it, only if you don't have a prescription. IF they did tell your employer it would be just like your Primary Care Doctor calling your work and telling them you have herpes....it's a breach of confidentiality. The place doing the testing is working for YOU, not your employer.
go to the screening, tell them about your methadone use when you go to give the sample BUT DO NOT TELL YOUR EMPLOYER if you don't want them to know. If the testing place tells your employer after you tell them your legally prescribed this medication, they will be breaking regulations and HIPPA laws and you can sue them--not the employer, the company doing the lab test. They know this so they won't tell your employer unless they are really stupid.
Then, even if they did tell your employer you could sue them as well as keep your job because your employer can NOT NOT NOT fire you or not hire you because of methadone prescription or addiction history.
Last edited by clinilab; 04-01-2009 at 11:53 AM.
PS-congratulations about getting a job and graduating, by the way.
You should be proud of overcoming addiction and utilizing methadone is not something you need to be ashamed of. It helped you get where you are today and that is all that matters. It's not something you need to tell everyone....it's none of their business...but it's not something you should feel like you need to keep secret at any cost. You have rights. Methadone is a legitimate form of medical treatment and you can not be denied work, a place to live or any other god given right as a citizen of this country.
Walk into this test tall and proud of the courage and strength it took to not only get a handle on your addiction, but to have gotten through it and THRIVED!
Thank you so very much for your responses clinilab. You have helped to set my mind at ease and it has enabled me to retreat and rethink my attitude towards this whole thing.
I am proud of myself, my accomplishments, my recovery. But, I agree, that not everything is for everybody and I do not want my employer to know that I am on MMT. They do know I am in recovery but, it has been an advantage to me in this situation. I work at an agency where many of the clients are in recovery. Upon hire, I was very staightforward as to why I decided to go into social services, my life experiences and recovery being some of the main reasons. They were thrilled that I had overcome addiction and felt that I would be a good example and would be able to give hope and inspiration to the clientele.
But, no client is admitted if they are on MMT, since the agency considers it "maintenance" and not "abstinence" (that is their policy). So, you can see why I am reluctant to have my personal information come to light... I detest the stigma attached to MMT. I am the same person who has been so highly praised by my employer, whether I am on MMT or not. I am still responsible, dependable and qualified.
I called my counselor this morning to make sure she has a letter ready for me tomorrow, as that is when our monthly appt. is scheduled for anyway - and that was before I read your response to my post! I was thinking that same thing - that if I give the testing center my letter, stating that I am prescribed the drug, then how can they say that I came back positive for an illicit substance? And yes, they would be remiss to violate any HIPPA practices, and I highly doubt they will tell my employer. THANK YOU SO MUCH for clearing that up for me.
I will certainly walk into that center with my head held high and with the confidence that I have earned. I cannot thank you enough for your words....
Methadone treatment does NOT make her un-eligible for hire. It may be their policy not to admit people on methadone, but that doesn't mean they are allowed to NOT HIRE people or FIRE PEOPLE on methadone.
See story below--
EEOC Sues Pittsburgh Drug Clinic for Terminating Employee for Positive Drug Test
Posted by Molly DiBianca On June 21, 2008 In: Cases of Note , Disabilities (ADA) , Drug Testing , EEOC Suits & Settlements
Email This Post | Print this Post
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed suit under the ADA against a Pittsburgh drug-treatment center. The suit, which is brought on behalf of a former clinic employee under the Americans With Disabilities Act, alleges disability-based discrimination. The employee, a recovering drug addict, worked full-time as a counselor at the clinic when was terminated when she tested positive for methadone in a random drug test.
The Greenbriar Treatment Center in New Kensington, is alleged to have fired the employee despite EEOC Sues on Behalf of Methadone Userher claim that she had a legal prescription for the methadone, which she'd been receiving through a treatment program since 2002. She was later berated by her former boss, who told her that she "should be ashamed of herself." The EEOC contends that the termination was unlawful discrimination against a person with a disability.
This employee settled out of court for money and found a new job.
Drug treatment facility to pay fired counselor
Post-Gazette NOW - February 5, 2009
A drug treatment facility that fired a counselor who was on methadone is paying her $20,000 to settle a federal disability discrimination suit »
See more on...
where: Greenbriar Treatment Center
what: business · lawsuit
This is the same situation you are in. She was working for a rehab facility that didn't consider methadone treatment a viable form of recovery...however they decide to admit patients, doesn't mean they can not hire or fire you for the same reason. It would be similar to terminating a patient for being on antidepressants. At the same time, i wouldn't want them to know either.
I work in healthcare. I fought my back to work after being "found out"....and I am still working five years later. My ability to do the job is what really matters, not what medications I take.
ALSO, where I live the state just made it so that rehab centers can not discriminate against people on methadone or suboxone if they want any grant money to run their programs.
Last edited by clinilab; 04-03-2009 at 08:17 AM.
Let us know how you make out, ok?
I'm curious to know how you do as well. Good luck and God bless.
I am not a dr. My statements are based on years of experience and related education. Consult with the professional of your choice regarding matters of concern.
Clinilab i have a question for you. I am in the same situation kind of as Serenity. I went to school for phlebotomy and now i had an interview at a Hospital that i hope i get and there is one thing that is messing me up. I got to Pain Management for my back and they perscribe me Methadone. I take 30 mg's a day and i KNOW it will come up on the test that i a going for. Someone told me to tell the Ocuaptional health person that my Dr. perscribes me that and they can do nothing about it, is this true? Please Help!
in the same boat
I am in methadone treatment also and have been clean from all illegal drugs for 1yr 6 months. I was arrested in April of 09 and I got myself into treatment immediately and have stayed clean since. As part of my sentence I lost my license for 6 months and have just gotten it back so I am trying to find work now.
I have a job interview with a certain computer repair company tomorrow. I was honest on the application about the arrest but I don't want to have to tell them I am in MMT if I don't have to. I know they will test me and I am sure that the Methadone will show up but I just wasn't sure about what my rights to privacy were in this situation, I will of course have a letter from the doctor at the clinic but I didn't know whether or not I have to tell them why I am on methadone. For instance I could be on it for pain management as opposed to drugs treatment.
But if what clinilab is saying is true then I wont have to explain myself at all, which is even better.
I am also concerned about how thing are going to look on the criminal background check. You see I was driving the car for my dealer at the time we were arrested and therefor found guilty of "conspiracy possession with intent" that is the only Felony on my record. Since the drugs he had on him where not in my car but actually on his person outside of the car I wasn't found guilty of possession with intent myself. There was a small amount of heroin in the car that I was found guilty of possession for but it wasn't enough for a felony instead it was a misdemeanor possession charge and a misdemeanor paraphernalia charge. I don't think they can actually see the misdemeanor charges so the criminal check should really just show the conspiracy felony charge.
I don't mind telling them my whole story if needed but I would rather not. I was thinking about just saying something to the effect of " I has a friend in the car who had drugs on him and I didn't know until we were arrested". Then again maybe I should just be honest about the whole thing. What do you guys think? I really need this job cause I am not making any money right now and living with my parents at age 33 is getting old.
Hey I am an addict too. I had been using since i was 13 yrs old and i am 29. My wife left me dec 20th 2011 after i destroyed her too. She hadn't crossed over yet and was able to stop. After the initial shock and I realized I was at my 2nd rock bottom, I went to my dad and told him everything. Thats the 2nd time I have had to sit my dad down and say hey i been shooting dope. I used it all but i found myself in a place of opiate dependency. I started the methadone clinic on january 2nd. I also started going to NA meetings. Please Please no matter who tells you they can't be apart of your life, even someone as close as your spouse that was supposed to be there no matter what; you are not alone. Most people think the group thing is for sissies or the weak minded. It is the exact opposite. Its for those of us that are strong willed and that don't like a pitty party. Even the help line is full of other addicts like yourself. I called and they didnt act all "so whats wrong why would you want to do that let me help you." Just normal people hey "whats up, bla bla bla lets get together" we didnt even talk about why i called, but by the time it was over i wasn't in my head anymore. AND THATS THE POINBT AND THE HARDEST TO OVERCOME. I am all ready stepping down off the methadone and going for complete abstinance. Methadone is great but once you have been off the opiates for a couple of months, I urge you to step down so you don 't form another dependency. God speed to you all and I pray you all can accomplish great things.
Under federal law it is illegal for the lab administering the drug test to diclose patient information on legal substances in your system. where everyone gets confused is people abuse medication, pop hot, then get caught expecially on lab test. If someone has a rx for lortab and they take morphene and the lab test busts them because they always got away with it on panel test an opiate is an opiate which is the biggest mistake users can make. When your in pain management, like me, been there fore a few years myself. It is important to take your meds as directed and use over the counter meds recommended by your prescribing physician to help with the spikes. When you go to take your DT you will sign a release o0f medical information to the employer. This is only to disclose if they fin d things that isnt supposed to be there. Even if you are going to work for a hospitol and they are using there lab to administer the exam, usually it is space leased out to a seperate company. For example at Mid south ear nose and throat has an office and inside that office they have a lab run by duckworth pathology . even though they are in the same building they are seperate corporations that have got together to piggy back off each others practice. Think of it like a mall for healthcare. I hope this helps . . . be honest with the lab
Originally Posted by Cpttech