Prescrption drugs and drug tests

I am currently in the job market (I’m a full time college student, but would like a part time job over the summer and possibly longer) Any how, I notice a lot of companies have mandatory drug testing. While I don’t indulge in illegal drugs, I am currently on prescriptions for pain. I take Ultram and Zanaflex, occasionaly Xanex for anxiety. Will these show up in a urine test? Is there a form I fill out that states what drugs I currently take? If any of these show up , do I have any recourse?Thanks for any responses.

Reputable drug testing outfits ask you what prescriptions you’re on prior to you giving a sample. Many prescription drugs can give false positives for illegals, and it also depends somewhat on the testing technique.

There are tests that can identify drugs down to the brand name - but they’re expensive and not normally done for things like job screening.

When I got my last job, the screening place asked for a list of all my prescriptions. The drug test I took a few weeks ago for my new job did not. I asked the tester if he needed that, and he said (and I quote), “That’s between you and your employer.”

Although, come to think of it, my new employer administers the prescription insurance on my old health plan, so they could quite easily find out what I’m on if they wanted. I really don’t think that was the idea, though … I suspect they only planned to ask if they found some controlled substance in my urine.

It would be ludicrous of they didn’t, but apparently some don’t. Wow, that’s irresponsible of them.

To wit, here’s a story that may be applicable: a few months back, I was in traffic court for letting my registration expire and getting caught. Anyway, I had to sit in the courtroom and watch a whole bunch of other proceedings first. One of them was a 20-something guy who had been in (and possibly caused) a somewhat serious car accident. The state’s attorney noted that after the accident, the guy had been tested for drugs, and ooh! he had tested positive for opiates!

Of course, the guy’s attorney then pointed out that, having been in a serious car accident, the guy had been in the emergency room and been dosed with some fairly serious painkillers, so of course he tested positive for opiates.

The fact that the police drug testers didn’t take this into account really floors me.

Moral: make sure they know what you’re taking, before they subject you to the insurance-perks-mandated marijuana metabolite test.

The drug I’m concerned about is Ultram, I’m pretty sure it’s a synthetic opiate.I’d hate to lose a job opportunity due to a legal drug.

They do, generally any car accident where there is any suspicion of DUI of any kind they will draw blood immediately when they arrive before any pain medication is administered. They will most likely have an IV line put in on scene so it takes all of 30 seconds to do a draw off of the existing line. Also they could have someone who upon detailed testing tests positive for morphine but was given demerol in the hospital, busted.

Paramedics in my county do carry morphine but they do not routinely give it except under extreme circumstances like amputations and serious burns.

drac: are you saying that police routinely draw blood for drug-testing purposes, on the scene of a crime? I’ve never heard of this before, and it certainly sounds out of their area of expertise…unless you meant that the paramedics do it. Still, isn’t this somewhat invasive and unnecessary? I was under the impression that blood testing for drugs was fairly uncommon, though I may well be wrong.

Ultram will definitely give you a urine positive for opiates. One of my patients was prescribed this recently for back pain and he tested positive 3 days after taking one tablet.

The Xanax will, of course, make your urine positive for benzodiazepines. Just as an aside, Xanax is extremely addictive and should not be taken for more than a few days. If you have a problem that requires an antianxiety drug on a regular basis, this drug is not a good choice.

I suggest you produce a doctor’s note verifying that you are taking these prescribed drugs under his supervision if you think this will be a problem.

Best of luck in your job search.

ejrn Thanks for the info. Xanax I take once in a blue moon so I’m nor too worried about that, but I do take the Ultram regularly for back pain. I guess I’ll get a doctor’s note before a drug test (if it comes to that)

I’d also suggest that you take the prescription bottles themselves in.

One issue that wasn’t touched on so far - the prescription should be ‘fresh’. as in ‘last October, I was prescribed tylenol 3’s for pain when I had my wisdom tooth extracted, I didn’t take all of them, so last Friday when I slipped and fell and really twisted my ankle, I took one’ - your doctor might not have a problem w/it, but I believe that a drug screen would

another question - if you’re on continual pain meds, there are certain jobs you may not be suitable for (operating machinery for example - like it usually says on the bottle…)

wring: is there any law against taking prescription drugs long after the date? I’m curious about this, because many people keep leftover prescription drugs hanging around.

I can’t see how it would be outright illegal, as the label says nothing about when they must be taken by, unless it has an expiration date.

Employment drug tests should all be reviewed by a physician who is also a certified Medical Review Officer. In every case of a positive test, the MRO is supposed to contact the patient and ask if they have a reason for testing positive. If the patient says they have a valid prescription for the substance, the MRO may ask for a copy of the prescription, or the phone number and name of the prescribing physician, and pharmacy to verify.


I know for example that it’s illegal to take some one else’s prescription drug (in my state up to 7 years in prison for that).

I guess it would come down to ‘how in the world would this be discovered?’. If you were on court ordered supervision and routine drug testing, yes, it would be found out and yes you would get a violation if it were outside the prescription dates (ie the wisdom tooth example above).

Routine person not under any kind of supervision, I can’t imagine how the ‘crime’ would be discovered.

I used to toss out pain meds after I recovered from whatever was the matter in the first place, even if I had lots left.

Then I got injured (2nd degree burns covering my torso), and the kindly ER doctors (after 2 shots of demeral at the ER) cut me off prescription pain killers 24 hours after the incident. We’re talking blisters on my back that were a foot long and 4 inches wide. Constant pain since even taking a breath moved the burned tissue against the bandaid/wrap. I’ve never tossed out pain meds again.

So, in answer to your question, unless you’re under court supervision in some way, and as long as you’re careful to not operate machinery/drive etc, I doubt that it’d be an issue.

(the only ones I’d keep tho are things like pain relievers or muscle relaxants, no anti biotics or anything like that)