Q:

What are pain clinics testing for when they require a drug test?

A:

Quick Answer

Urine drug testing is often used in pain clinics to prevent or identify the abuse of prescribed drugs, according to Prescribe Responsibly. Pain clinics utilize drug testing to detect existing drug use and to verify that patients are adhering to their prescribed medication regimens.

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Full Answer

A new patient may need to be assessed and treated for drug abuse disorder to be prescribed pain medication, explains Prescribe Responsibly. Pain clinics often use controlled substances such as opioids and antidepressants to treat pain. These drugs can be highly addictive and are commonly abused or sold on the street. Regular drug testing allows doctors to determine whether their patients are adhering to their prescribed regimens. If the tests show that a patient is taking less than his prescribed dosage, it is possible he is selling a portion of his prescription, and the doctor may alter the patient's prescription.

In order to treat their patients effectively, pain clinic doctors need to know if their patients are abusing other illicit drugs. The presence of illicit drugs in a patient's system does not preclude treatment of that patient's pain, says Prescribe Responsibly. Instead, the doctor sometimes attempts to treat both the patient's addiction and pain at the same time.

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