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Failed Drug Screen - losing my pain meds after 16 years

I have been on the same pain medications for over 16 years with the same doctor - his father delivered me and I am 54 years old.  I failed my drug test for none other than methamphetamine.  I have never done that drug in my life.  I was devastated, but it didn’t matter.  My doctor cut me off all my pain meds.  I have done much research about false positive drug screens.  It seems as though there could be many reasons for a false positive.

I am scared to death...I have RSD, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, degenerative disk disease, spinal stenosis, rheumatoid arthritis and the list goes on and on.  My medications have allowed me to still be able to work and I’m very high functioning.  I have a high threshold to severe pain, and I take very few meds, but I really need the Meds that I do take.  Can I seek another pain management doctor or am I blackballed for life?



  • Welcome whatever5565 we’re glad you’re here!

    We have had a few members that have had similar situations, hopefully they will see this and let you know how it turned out for them.

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you read through our Chronic Pain Resources on Spine-health? You’ll find a number of valuable Chronic Pain Coping Techniques and resources for Understanding Neuropathy Symptoms. It’s a comprehensive resource for those seeking more information about chronic pain. I hope you find these resources helpful.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Paging @sandi123 :-)

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  • ArizonaAArizona ArizonaPosts: 176
    edited 01/06/2020 - 11:25 AM

    After all that time the [edit] just callously totally cut you off!?  Why can't you at least be retested?

  • Yeah, I would definitely insist on a retest! If you've been with the same doc for that many years, he should know you, seems a bit over the top that he won't consider it as a false positive. Keep being proactive and don't let this stand. Please keep us posted. 

  • Were you taking any other medications or over the counter meds prior to the testing? What type of urine test was done and was it shipped out for confirmatory testing? Did you make sure YOUR NAME was on the label and it was handed by you to the nurse? Or placed in the bag for shipping? 

    Today’s drug testing is MUCH more accurate than previously done. In office screens are typically sent out for confirmatory/quantitative testing and actual levels of metabolites and are seldom false positives/ false negatives when sent to labs. In office screenings can be different because of the cut off threshold values different companies use. Errors are more frequent- false negatives when only screenings are done because the drug may be present but the cut off threshold may be slightly higher. 

    If the urine was sent to a lab, that testing is either gas chromatography/mass spectrometry or immunoassay testing. Both types look for metabolites of drugs and the actual levels present. 

    First, you need a copy of the results- to see what testing was done, what specifically was found, and what the levels were. Then call the lab and see if a second confirmatory test was performed to verify the results. 

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  • Before you try to get into another pain management program, you need to investigate this result. Testing positive for methamphetamine is unusual and you are going to need to be able to explain how it occurred. 

  • Hello Whatever!!! Everything about this situation sounds insane to me & dangerous for you. Whether the test was true or not for any Doctor to just cut off someone who has been on pain meds for any length of time is cruel. Especially for someone who has a painful chronic disease. The Dr. should have  immediately sent the sample out to confirm the results or not. After 16 years with the same Dr. where is the trust, respect & innocent until proven for sure guilty. 

    A few years ago I had a urine test that showed morphine. I was horrified & nervous as to what was going to happen. This was a fairly new pain specialist I was seeing. She was fantastic. She already knew what narcotics I was on and did not even question me, mistrust me in regards to this false positive. I stated, there was no way I had morphine in my system. The Dr. explained to me she understood this result & for me not to worry about it. She sent the sample to another lab for further more in depth testing, not because she thought I was taking something not prescribed. She explained that sometimes the body itself takes the narcotic and changes the chemistry itself and being on Fentanyl patch it has shown as morphine in other testing. Oh ya, the urine test also showed I had no fentanyl in my system. I cannot explain this result any further. Suffice it to say that my pain Dr. understood and not once did she make me feel accused of anything.

    Hope everything turns out alright for you, we suffer enough and have the right to quality of life and to be treated with respect & dignity.

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