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Author Topic: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something  (Read 651 times)

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Offline RobbyR

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How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« on: November 04, 2014, 10:21:48 PM »
Hey everyone I wonder if you can offer me some advice..Ive been offered a decent paying job in a call center. It will be my first real job in a long time. I have severe anxiety disorder and am on several medications for this. They help control my symptoms a good deal. One med I ambon is a low dose xanax usually .25 or less as needed. I am prescribed it and my prescription is current and up to date. Here is my question..I have to take a drug test within 72 hours for my new job. Of course I don't want my potential employer to know I have an anxiety issue, or what med I take. That's a privacy issue. They've sent me to LabCorp for my drug test which will probably be urine test. I do NOT do any illegal drugs nor do I some weed. The only controlled substance I use is the low dose xanax which I'm prescribed.

The last time I went to LabCorp for a drug test a couple years ago, I told the lady doing the test that I had a note from my doc stating I'm on a prescription medication which might affect the result but she refused to look at it stating that their policy will not allow them to accept doctor's notes. So she just did the test and then they told me since my employer ordered the test they wouldn't even call me to ask if I am on any medications if a positive result came back. They said I wouldn't even get te hance to present my note and prescriptions because I'm not paying for the drug test. Isn't that bullshit?

So what do I do if I go tae this drug test and tell the test taker that I have a prescription for a medication that might affect the test or ask them to call me BEFORE they call my employer to ensure I am prescribed the med? How should I handle this? I mean don't privacy laws mandate tha smeone be allowed the chance to present proof that they are lawfully prescribed something like xanax which I am for anxiety disorder? Just wondering how I should handle this and how I can ensure the best outcome for me. Thanks!
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline OneTampa

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 10:36:25 PM »
Robby,

Perhaps other Board Members can weigh in with responses to your question.

As FYI, I posted a similar question recently in another thread here:

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=55218.0

I also have a note from my Doctor.

Interestingly, I have not been given the drug test after several months on the job.

Best of luck to you.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline zach

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2014, 10:36:56 PM »
What happened a couple years ago has no bearing on the present. Some meds can cause false positives you may need to explain. Got a letter that broadly covers you.

An applicant who is taking medication for a disability is protected from discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some prescribed medications turn up on drug tests, and some drugs that would otherwise be illegal (such as opiates) are legitimately prescribed for certain conditions. If an applicant is turned down because of a positive drug test, and the applicant's medication was legally prescribed for a disability, the company could be liable.

Also, xanax is out of your system in 48 hours. Could you handle not taking it for a few days?
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 10:38:58 PM by zach »

Offline zach

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 10:44:49 PM »
and hey man, good to see you again. best of luck on the job, sounds like you're focused and positive

Offline zach

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2014, 10:56:25 PM »
Also, xanax is out of your system in 48 hours. Could you handle not taking it for a few days?

ignore that, not completely accurate and poor advice

Offline RobbyR

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2014, 11:09:54 PM »
Well I know I shouldn't be worried because I have a valid current prescription for xanax for anxiety which is the only controlled substance I'm on. I have the pill bottle, doctor's office number, doctor's name, and the pharmacy where it was filled. So when I go for my drug test and the technicians don't let you list what meds you take any more, so IF the xanax shows up, they don't just call my employer BEFORE giving me the chance to prove that I'm on it legitimately right? I mean I know I'm not paying for the test, and it's a pass/fail thing, but what do I do if the tech giving the test won't let me show her any of my documentation for the xanax? Isn't it my right as a patient to prove that I am rightfully on this for my anxiety, and once it's shown that I'm taking it for medical reasons, they report that my drug screen is ok?  How do I handle this.

I don't understand why labcorp doesn't let you give them documentation showing your on a medication given by a doc. I'll probably call them anonymously before I go take the test to clarify, but it shouldn't be a big deal since I have scripts for the xanax. I'm also on Lexapro, but since xanax is a benzo, that's why I'm asking about it.
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline Dan0

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2014, 11:12:53 PM »
Robbie - No matter how compelled you feel to speak to your hiring manager or someone affiated with the company regarding this.....just don't.  Honestly and legally - they don't want to hear it, its unnecessary and it will ring a bell that can't be unrung. I get it. One the one hand, you want your privacy but on the other, you want them to know the situation.  You can't have it both ways.  Keep in mind one thing - you are not the first nor will you be the last person who they have tested who is on some type of prescription medication that may or may not alter the results of the test. 

During the test - the person administering it and wrapping up the sample could probably care less, too.  It's his or her job and you are Number XXX-XXXX on the sticky tape that goes around the sample. On many of the forms - if I recall correctly - there is a space for you to list medications which you are on. All the forms are different and over the years they change. If that's the case, don't lie!  Nothing worse than the test picking up something and then you don't have it listed.  In THAT event, if the test were to come back positive and there was no self-disclosure, then they would just assume that it was something decidedly NOT prescribed.  Again, I can't recall what the form asked specifically - but I believe there is a space for medication. 

No, whatever you put on the form isn't sent to the employer.  They don't CARE. All they care about is hiring someone who is not obviously using drugs.  That's it.  Legally, they are not entitled to the nuances of the forms.  All they want are the results - and that's why they hire outside firms to make it efficient and keep the 'fuss' to a minimum.

If you don't see that on the form, you could casually mention to them that you do take prescription medication. If there is a conflict in the testing, they'll let you know.  What you don't want to do is go in there with guns blazing giving them your entire medical history.  Again, you're not the first or the last person who is on prescription medication to go through this testing. 

 I fully agree with Zach - lay off the Xanax for 48 hours before the test.  Different companies have different requirements for testing and this may not even be a test which would dig deep enough to detect Xanax.  They are all very versed in what they can legally do and not do.  Just be as up front as you need to be and no more.

Back to the employers.....In this day and age, they really, Really, REALLY do not want to know about any of their workers ailments.  There are numerous benefits which they expect their employees to avail themselves of if they have issues. FMLA, Benefit sick time or medical leave (if that applies).  Everyone has to be treated equally in business of a certain size and the only way that many companies can do that is to have plausible deniability.  They just don't want to know what's up with someone - only that they can do their job. How do I know this?  I am involved in hiring people and having them tested.  The only thing that I get is "Yes" or "NO" - and anything outside of that resides with the medical department and the testing facility or - if there is no medical department - human resources and the testing facility.  It would be surprising if this weren't the case in your situation, too.

Best of luck!

You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

06/2002 DX
10/2006 Atripla UD
10/2013 Stribild Still UD

Offline zach

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2014, 11:25:40 PM »
cross the bridge if and when you get there. you haven't done anything wrong

i'm with dan, just show up, give your specimen, go home

Offline Dan0

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2014, 11:26:52 PM »
And - the only reason that I agree with Zach on the easing up before the test is that I'm not a technician and that's just what we all do!  Before you go for a test (and I've had more than a few....), you just try to cleanse. LOL.  I'm not certain if it's because we think it will work or have some impact or if there would be a question on whether you took anything, it would probably be better to not answer, "I just downed my whole daily dose in the parking lot!"

To each their own.
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

06/2002 DX
10/2006 Atripla UD
10/2013 Stribild Still UD

Offline RobbyR

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2014, 11:31:49 PM »
Thanks everyone! I'm just going to g take the test, I can do without xanax for 48 hours, and it seems most agree with me that I should maintain my privacy as best as possible and NOT tell my employer anything. Everything is legit, and I have the documentation and scripts, so hopefully I'll be able to disclose that I am taking something legitimately given by a doc, if it even comes up. I don't know how long alaprazolam stays in the system, but I usually take a very low dose, like less than .25mg, less than my prescribed .5mg. So I'm just going to hope for the best since I know I'm not taking anything that isn't prescribed.
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline Dan0

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2014, 11:34:10 PM »
Good Luck!
Let us know how it turns out!

I think you'll be fine.
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

06/2002 DX
10/2006 Atripla UD
10/2013 Stribild Still UD

Offline zach

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2014, 11:36:11 PM »
you just try to cleanse. LOL.

i ate a whole bunch of pickles one time, heard it would mask thc

Offline Dan0

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2014, 11:42:41 PM »
I made the same mistake once but with Jalapenos.  I couldn't WAIT to get out of that testing facility....seriously....it was close!
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

06/2002 DX
10/2006 Atripla UD
10/2013 Stribild Still UD

Offline tednlou2

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2014, 11:48:50 PM »
So, if they ask whether you take Xanax before the test, you will answer yes?  To the lab, I mean?  I don't see a need to not take a prescribed med.  It is my understanding, that labs cannot share prescribed meds with perspective employers.  That would be a violation of your medical privacy.  I haven't taken one in years, but I seem to remember them asking upfront what meds I take, which may be on the list.

This site says drugs like Xanax can stay in your system for 2-3 weeks.  So, I am not sure stopping now would do any good anyway.  You have your proof, if requested.

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/asp/drugfree/drugs/dt.asp

Offline RobbyR

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2014, 12:03:22 AM »
If the lab person asked me, I would tell them because I've nothing to hide. The last time I went to labcorps a year or so ago, they would not let me list any meds I was on or tell them or give them a doctor's note of any kind. They said the test is pass/fail and the employer is paying for it, so they are the only ones who can ask questions. They did not ask me any meds I was taking and did not let me show them any proof because they said it was "against privacy rules". So my question remains, what do I do if the lab refuses to let me show evidence or list my meds, and I still have xanax in my system? So they just directly report to the employer who ordered the test without even letting me present any proof? I mean like I said I know I'm in the right because I'm not taking anything not prescribed, but I don't want my employer to get a "fail" result before I even have a chance to show evidence.
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline Dan0

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2014, 12:37:10 AM »
You're going to have a consent form - on that form should be a space to list medications (should - again - haven't seen one for some time).  Fill it out accurately.  They're not going to want to know your medical history - just what could impact the test. 

If there is no place for this, then just casually bring it up.  If they say "NO" - don't argue with them.  I suspect that the form you will sign off on will have this information otherwise it will be handled by health services or the testing facility who will initiate to find out if there is anything you are prescribed should it come back positive for something. Every facility seems to be different in how they approach this but there are millions of people out there with prescriptions, medications, self-medications that go through this every day so this is not an alien universe to them. 

The one thing you don't want to do is over-analyze this and draw unwanted attention your way. It's a prescription, it's a valid medication, you're entitled to have it. This will work out - just don't create issues before you see how everything will work.  You're not hired yet and you don't want to become an issue before they even offer you the job.
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

06/2002 DX
10/2006 Atripla UD
10/2013 Stribild Still UD

Offline tednlou2

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2014, 12:52:16 AM »
When I said I was asked upfront, that was just my memory.  But, that was several years ago now.  I may be (probably am) wrong about that.  I did some googling.  I found asking about prescription drugs gets into the American Disability Act.

I found this, "Asking questions about whether an employee currently is taking, or has taken, any prescription drugs or medications, or monitoring an employee's taking of such drugs or medications is a "disability related inquiry" under the ADA. Testing for whether an employee currently is taking any prescription drugs or medications is a medical examination under the ADA. Disability-related inquiries and medical examinations made during employment must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. Thus, an employer can only inquire about an employee's prescription medications under these limited circumstances." 

My partner is a volunteer firefighter.  He had a physical around the time he was prescribed pain meds after surgery.  He did have to bring proof.  But, I think a firefighter falls into those "limited circumstances."  By coincidence, he was certified to drive a school bus.  He's a teacher and each school has their own activity bus, for field trips, etc.  He had to drug test at that same time, for that.  He had to show proof, for that, too.  Unless your job involved public safety, I am not sure there is a need to worry.  But, you could always contact a lawyer, who deals in such matters of employment.


http://www.workforce.com/blogs/3-the-practical-employer/post/testing-employees-for-legally-prescribed-medications-must-be-done-carefully

Offline Dan0

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2014, 01:07:15 AM »
The link was for what employers can ask in general of employees - not the testing facility where they have to know certain interactions. Robby, what they are going to do is very simple.  They are going to run a drug screen to see if you are using any recreational drugs.  That's it.  Nothing more, nothing less. It's what they're paid to do and they are very good at it. 

What the job (employer) wants is only a "YES" or "NO" - they don't want anything else.  They don't want to know what you're taking, why you're taking it, how long you've been taking it - nothing.  Just a simple "YES" or "NO". 

The only place that your prescription will come into play is if it would have the ability to alter the testing results and push what should be a "YES" over to a "NO".  The technicians and the testing facility are very good at what they do or they wouldn't be in business.  You are probably one of hundreds of thousands who they have tested and somewhere along the way they will either ask if there is anything that should be 'known' to prevent a misinterpreted result or not. This will either be written in the beginning with the consent, verbally or a follow-up with the health services department which is covered under the same laws, rules & regulations pertaining to anyone else in hiring. The person who you interviewed with will never even KNOW what was on the paper or what was discussed.  All he or she wants - a "Yes" or a "No"

You seem like you're getting a bit nervous - don't. 
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

06/2002 DX
10/2006 Atripla UD
10/2013 Stribild Still UD

Offline zach

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2014, 06:02:08 AM »
robby, no offense man, keep in mind why it is you take those xanaxs. you tend to let things get carried away, then you're wound too tight to have clear perspective. put a lid on that before the cycle even starts with this.

the test is no big deal, don't play out worst case scenarios in your head too much

just go take the test, you'll be fine. this is what they do, they deal with your situation many times everyday


Offline Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2014, 08:06:12 AM »
I just wanted to remind you that if you are still on Atripla you may have a false positive for cannabis, I did . 

Offline zach

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2014, 02:59:15 PM »
I just wanted to remind you that if you are still on Atripla you may have a false positive for cannabis, I did .

+1 i did too ;) made a good cover story at least

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2014, 05:50:19 PM »
I am confused Robby.

What happened to the:
Lithium?
Klonopin?
Paxil?

And what about HAART?

What happened with that HAART combo change we all encouraged you to pursue?

If you are off Lithium already, why?

Why does this seem to be another "high hopes" situation and why am I wondering if there is still work going on to get you running at an even keel so as to deal with daily routine for the long run...   Just asking. I may be way off base here.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 05:53:01 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Basquo

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Re: How To Handle Pre-Job Drug Test If Prescribed Something
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2014, 08:48:01 PM »
Here's the way it should go down, if it is indeed an independent testing facility:

You pee according to their procedures.

If something "lights up" on the test, a doctor who contracts with the lab will call you, discuss your medications ONLY, and possibly ask you to fax or email a copy of your prescription. Unless you sound like someone heavily medicated, he will send a note with the test results to the employer stating that you have a legitimate need and prescription for the medication which you are taking.

I've had to do this twice in the past 1.5 years and I'm pretty sure both times one of my prescribed meds should have lit up.

I only heard, "Congratulations, what day can you start?" afterwards.

 


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