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Failed Urine Test

I have been on hydrocodone for over 2 years and passed random testing multiple times during that period. I have informed my physician that I take 4 pills a day, as needed, but I was only prescribed for 3 pills a day. I often run out near the end of the month. I was hoping that he would consider increasing my prescription, but since they never offered . . . I never asked for an increase (as it made me feel like uncomfortable, will he think I'm addicted, etc). When cleaning out our medicine cabinet my wife found an old prescription of Percocet (4 pills). In my stupidity, I allowed myself to not fret on running out and figured that when I did run out, I'd "see if the percocets worked." To be honest, they did relieve the pain, but they also sort of upset my stomach.  

Long story short, I didn't report the use of the drugs, thinking I'd just report them as the hydrocodone that I was prescribed. I didn't research that percocets were oxy and not norco (hydro). I assumed they were just different brands and quite frankly I'm a very private person and I'm just not comfortable talking about my personal life.  

As I said, the test showed Oxy use, when there shouldn't have been any in my system. I received a letter terminating my treatment. When I spoke to the office, I was told it's a one and done policy. I do not believe we ever discussed my usage or this policy, but I've signed so many papers, I would not be surprised to find out that I was given this policy in writing at one point during my visits.

I'm trying to figure out my next steps. To be very honest, I'm not that stressed over not being on the pills. I've taken myself off the pills randomly throughout the past 4 years and currently I am only taking one pill a day.  The pain has increased, but I find that I'm not stressed or anxious about being off of norco.  I do not want to be labeled as someone who "abuses" opioids and I may need the medication for future spinal treatments/surgeries.  I'm curious what my options are and how best to proceed.  I've offered to take a urine test monthly, but it does not appear that is acceptable for the pain specialist center I'm currently going to.  I realize I put myself in this situation, but it's surprising that the center has a one and done policy.  It doesn't feel like this is about  patient care, but more about litigation and government intrusion and over zealous opioid policies.




  • johnohiogc

    welcome to spine-health

    most if not all pain clinics have you sign a pain contract when they start treating you, if you have been with them for many years they may have had you sign it later on, but i am sure you signed one at some point, if after explaining what happened to your doctor and you are not getting anywhere your best bet is to go to your family doctor and explain it to them, they may be willing to prescribe your medication for a short time, they may also be able to get you into another pain specialist after a period of time, but in todays climate that can be iffy.

    good luck and keep us posted


    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • MikethepikeMMikethepike MIchiganPosts: 668

     Hi John,  if you don’t get any satisfaction from the pain clinic, you might have to go to your family physician. But it looks like you don’t take  very much Norco. Thank God you weren’t on a high dose. I get very nervous about taking Any old medication.  The pain clinic in fact all pain clinics should have a little Leniency especially if you tell the truth I hope the best for you take care and God bless

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  • Thanks everyone.  It's more embarrassing than anything else. I doubt my family physician will want to prescribe any opioid, especially if the pain center has concluded after one failed test that I'm a risk. I don't blame them, it would be huge liability for them to take on. I'm on a slightly higher dose than the lowest prescribed. If I'm taken off the meds, I will not be able to work and I will have to apply for disability retirement, which I don't want to do.

  • I would avoid disability. SSD can take up to two years for approval. I’m not sure what “disability retirement” means in your case. Maybe that’s an easier route to take.

    If I totally stopped working I think I would become quite depressed (more so than now) so therefore am doing all I can to avoid that. 

    There’s been many studies showing people with spinal issues are more depressed when not working as opposed to working (even if it’s just part-time).

    I wouldn’t throw in the towel just yet. 

    Start with your family doctor and go from there.

    Additionally, there are more options for pain relief than simply opioids.

    Just my two cents.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,502

    I agree, go to your family doctor, explain the situation (also in writing) and request a new urine test. Like Chip said, hopefully your GP will help locate a new pain management center. My PM doctor is located at the hospital. I really like that because all of my diagnostic testing and labs are done there and the results sent to my doctor.
    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical Story  
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  • Doctors are terrified about liability.  If there is one dirty test then you OD, they're afraid of both civil and criminal action.

    However, there are also doctors who despise the current situation and will take on patients terminated elsewhere.  I have a friend who was terminated now seeing such a doctor.  

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