Prescription Drugs and Required Drug Testing by Doctors

HotelCalifornia420

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My sister lives in Tennessee. A while ago, she was prescribed Ativan (Lorazepam) her doctor for anxiety. Recently, she was told that in order to refill her prescription, she had to take a urine drug test.

Do they test for marijuana? Would they deny my sister her medicine based upon a positive marijuana test? MMJ is not yet legal in Tennessee.
 

Rosebud

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Are they testing her kidneys or something? That is weird and wrong if your theory is right.

I hope that isn't what they are doing.
 

HotelCalifornia420

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Are they testing her kidneys or something? That is weird and wrong if your theory is right.

I hope that isn't what they are doing.
I just got another email from my sister, with more information.

Her doctor (or the state of Tennessee) requires a urine drug test once per year in order to get refills for any opiate-based drugs (Ativan). They check for what's supposed to be there (the legal drugs you've been prescribed), and for illegal stuff as well, marijuana included.

So she has to go off marijuana for a few weeks till she tests clean at home, and then go to the doc and get tested. In the mean time she'll be without Ativan and marijuana - and she needs them both very much.
 

Rosebud

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So much for the doctor-patient relationship. He/she is living in the dark ages. In more liberated states we tell our doctors we smoke pot and how much it helps. AND they listen.

That really ticks me off for your sister. That just sucks.
 

umbra

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your sister should not go off prescription meds, just the cannabis. part of the testing is to make sure she is at therapeutic levels and not just selling the meds
 

000StankDank000

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What umbra said.

It's to make sure she has meds in system and isn't selling them but if illegal drugs pop up he can cut you off if he feels the need.
 

Rosebud

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I did not know any doctor did that. Not in my world. Is your sister a "drug seeker" I don't think so. If they think you are then yes, i can see that.
 

000StankDank000

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Or you know Diffrenet states different rules. I can buy cold meds till my heart wants go to an area where meth is big you can't. Rose in Ontario I can buy codeine with no script change province need a script.

So saying she is a " drug seeker" is wrong. All Pain management places piss test you .
 

umbra

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The VA does it with my amputee friends, it is routine to test for drug levels. I had drug tests all the time as a kid for my meds, and they weren't opiates.
 

Rosebud

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I totally understand doing levels for seizure drugs, etc... but valium?
 
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Not all places test you for other drugs when you are taking opiates. One thing that I would be finding out if it is state law or just something that the doctor does. If it is simply an overzealous doctor who dislikes cannabis, have her find another doctor...or quit taking the anti-anxiety medicine. I know that they are required to make sure that YOU are taking your opiates and not selling them, but I know many people on opiates that smoke cannabis and are never tested for it.
 

000StankDank000

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All depends on state laws that the doctor has to follow . Ontario you ain't getting opiates from a pain doctor without test family doctor yes no test so it all depends on her state laws
 

HotelCalifornia420

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Not all places test you for other drugs when you are taking opiates. One thing that I would be finding out if it is state law or just something that the doctor does. If it is simply an overzealous doctor who dislikes cannabis, have her find another doctor...or quit taking the anti-anxiety medicine. I know that they are required to make sure that YOU are taking your opiates and not selling them, but I know many people on opiates that smoke cannabis and are never tested for it.
Neither my wife or I can find any document on the internet that says Tennessee can lawfully do this. Maybe if my sister calmly explained to the doctor how marijuana helps her? Maybe he would still give her her prescription Ativan? IDK.

Ativan is the only "addictive" drug that my sis has ever took, and oddly enough it's marijuana that keeps her from needing more of the Ativan than the doc prescribes. And yet it's the marijuana that the state is denying my sister.
 
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No, I would not suggest that your sister do that. And you do not know if it is the state or an individual doctor denying your sister. If you can find nothing on the books about a law like this, there may not be--it could simply be 1 doctor's ignorant prejudice against cannabis. I would suggest that she find another doctor. You do not want to discuss cannabis with ignorant doctors.
 

burnin1

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Yes it would seem another Dr. would be best perhaps. There are many good Doctors that would be more open to their patient's health needs than this one I am sure.

The Dr. that prescribed my cannabis prescription told me " I have never had a patient overdose from a cannabis prescription. I wish I could say the same thing for the other drugs I have prescribed." I wish more Doctors would think this way.

The ADA and AMA both recognize medical benefits from cannabis.

:vapleaf:
 

HotelCalifornia420

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My wife's sister is in a similar position in Alabama. She's on some kind of prescription pain meds, and her doc drug tests her once per year. She gets all her weed from me (I can never smoke all I grow). And her doc always says (when he gets her drug tests back and sees her THC level): "You are smoking some high quality marijuana". At least that's what she tells me (I don't know if the doctor knows the actual levels in her system).

And that's all the doc ever says. He always refills her prescriptions.
 
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I just retired as a children's psychotherapist at our community mental health center. I also served some adults. First, I want to correct one of the comments above, Ativan is not an opioid. It is a benzo, that is also addictive and has abuse potential, especially if mixed with alcohol -- a very cheap drunk.

A couple of years ago, our State Board of Pharmacy started monitoring prescription practice of doctors state-wide for benzos. It scared the sh** out of most doctors who had been prescribing bezos as a front line for anxiety, panic, and insomnia (Ambien). It even frightened psychiatrists who were using Librium to get folks with alcoholism through the intial withdrawal of 2 or 3 weeks.

Today, the practice is to urine screen all consumers prescribed any psychotropic med to ensure that each are taking the med, and whether is is a therapeutic dosage. Of course, while the lab is "at it" it looks for nonprescribed substances, such as pot.

The practice is fueled by managed care, including Medicaid, that wants to cut down on the costs of benzos. What happened to one of my consumers was tragic. He had severe panic disorder, but his mother kept his benzo lock up because a nephew that visited was addicted -- a pill head. The parents went on vacation for a couple of weeks, left the box locked, and when the guy came in to the center, he was required to piss. It was too clean, and he was cut off of his much needed benzo. The panic attacks increase to the point that he wouldn't leave his parent's house. He was afraid of having a panic attack in public -- very sad.

I just got a script for Ambien filled. My insurance company would only pay for 15 instead of 30 pills -- it's the policy, 15 a month no matter what the doctor ordered.

When I was a younger man, I used to get anxiety when I smoked. We called it "paranoid" and there are several rock song lyrics that refer to the phenomena. Of course, it wasn't paranoia as defined in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, but it felt bad. So, I've not smoked for decades. But, now that I'm retired and life is much less "Heads and Feds" maybe I'll give it another try.

I've had several kids with ADHD and teens and adults with PTSD and Bipolar Disorder who would advocate for its medicinal use as an alternative to pharmaceuticals.

View attachment rarity from the hollo.jpg
 

HotelCalifornia420

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Update:

My sister made an appointment with her doctor in Tennessee. She told him she had recently tried marijuana for the first time, and that it greatly helped her. She didn't realize when she tried marijuana that she would be drug tested, and wanted to be honest with him and asked him about Tennessee law and his particular policies.

What he told her absolutely shocked me.

Tennessee requires twice-yearly testing to ensure that certain prescription-drug users are actually taking their meds and not selling them. But Tennessee does NOT require testing for marijuana. It's the DOCTOR that CHOOSES to test for marijuana!!! And he discontinues certain prescription drugs if his patients test positive.

He's crazy. My sister is searching for another doctor.
 

Rosebud

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I really hope she gets with an enlightened md. Good luck to her.
 
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