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Urine Toxicology Testing for Patient Care and Liability Protection

Urine Toxicology Testing is an important tool in evidence based patient care. The types of clinical situations in which clinical drug testing can be used include pain management with opioid medications, office-based opioid treatment, anti-depressant therapy, and other situations when risk for substance use is present. Drug testing is also used to monitor patients’ prescribed medications, as patients may under-report drug use to medical professionals (Chen, Fang, Shyu, & Lin, 2006), making some patients’ self-reports unreliable.

Urine Toxicology Testing:

  • Can affect clinical decisions about a patient’s substance use that affects other medical conditions
  • Prevents dangerous medication interactions during surgery or other medical procedures
  • Identifies women who are pregnant, or who want to become pregnant, and are using drugs for better patient care and practice liability protection
  • Can affect clinical decisions about pharmacotherapy, especially with controlled substances
  • Increases the safety of prescribing medications by identifying the potential for overdose or serious drug interactions
  • Helps the clinician assess the efficacy of the treatment plan and the current level of care for chronic pain management and substance use disorders (SUDs)
  • Helps clinicians assess patient use of anti-depressants or compliance with pharmacotherapy for psychiatric treatment
  • Verifies, contradicts, or adds to a patient’s self-report or family member’s report of substance use