An Overview of Drug Testing by Arizona Pain Doctors


Almost all pain management doctors in Arizona drug test their patients.The vast majority  utilize urine drug testing for the screening of patients, and some also use saliva drug testing as well. Let’s take a look at the reasons why pain clinics in Arizona drug test their patients and what exactly is all.

While treating pain, doctors often prescribe narcotic medication along with performing interventional procedures. These medications can have significant complications associated with them and it is best to use them judiciously and appropriately in both acute and chronic pain situation.

urine drug test

Urine Drug Testing

While the vast majority of pain management patients are on the “up and up” so to speak, there are some who abuse narcotics and divert them in order to sell the medication. This is one of the reasons that pain management doctors often drug test their patients. Another reason is that doctors across the country including Arizona are under increasing scrutiny from regulatory agencies regarding writing prescriptions for narcotics. For instance, the Arizona medical board actually has a written policy that recommends drug screening for patients receiving chronic pain medication with pain management in Phoenix clinics.

On an initial visit to an Arizona pain management clinic, a new patient will receive a baseline drug screening test. Typically this is a urine test, and looks for multiple different types of medications of abuse. Usually this includes opiates, oxycodone, PCP, ecstasy, amphetamines, methamphetamines, and others.  Also the drug test looks for heroin and often cocaine.

What this baseline check will do is to give the pain doctor an indication of exactly what kind of patient is potentially being accepted for care. If the drug test is positive for illicit substances,that is obviously a warning and a red flag that this may be a difficult patient. In addition, if the individual is under treatment by another pain doctor and switching care, for instance if they’re moving from a different state, it can show the exact levels of the medication to see if they’re consistent with what is being prescribed.

So the baseline drug test is extremely important and just know that if you are a new patient at pain clinics in Arizona it will most likely happen. It is because of those individuals that have abused the system that pretty much everybody gets an initial test these days. So it really is not a good idea to get too upset about being subjected to a drug test, as it pretty much levels the playing field for everyone involved.

Once you are an established patient, the drug testing typically continues. Studies have shown that over 20% of those receiving chronic pain medication will divert those medications for non-personal use.

Often times the individual pain contract will call for random drug testing either at scheduled visits or with random phone calls where the individual has to show up and submit to a test. With random drug testing at scheduled visits, the person may be able to stop taking illicit substances a few days before the visit to get them out of the system. What patients often do not know is that drug testing looks at metabolites of both prescription medications along with illicit substances and can pick up their existence quite a bit longer than one may think.

Another way that patients will try to fake out the system is to take their narcotic medication the night before the visit or the morning of the visit. The newest drug testing methods specifically look at the metabolites from the latest pain medications being prescribed. If the patient tries this deception, often times the testing results will show the metabolites do not match with the levels of medication being prescribed with how often they’re supposed to be taken. For this reason, patients should not try and deceive the system at Phoenix pain clinics but simply take the medications as prescribed.

Getting caught with a dirty drug screen can ruin the patient-physician relationship. Pain management in America affects over 30% of the population, and trying to get in with a new pain doctor after being fired from one for a dirty drug screen may be extremely difficult. So it is in your best interest to comply with the pain contract and the medications being prescribed.

If you need a pain doctor in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Arizona Pain Specialists has double Board Certified providers who are the best at what they do. This includes both medication management and interventional procedures along with having chiropractic services at all locations throughout the valley, such as providing Scottsdale pain management services.

Call 602-507-6550 to make your appointment today.

Pain Management Doctors Often Perform Urine Drug Testing


One of the tests the doctor specializing in arizona pain management often uses on their patients is  drug testing. This can help ensure that patients are compliant with their medication plan and checks for illicit substance abuse.

But drug testing program fits nicely into a trifecta of surveillance techniques which include pain management contracts and also a state pharmacy board monitoring system. The 2 different types of drug testing that are commonly seen in a doctor’s office include both  urine drug testing or saliva drug testing.

For the urine drug testing option, patients urinate into a specific drug testing cup. This is not just a simple specimen cup, it is a cup that has specific strips in it that are testing for specific medications or medication classes.

Body temperature normally is in the 90s Fahrenheit. If a person uses synthetic urine or somebody else’s urine for the drug test, this can be noticed by the temperature gauge in the drug testing cop.

When a patient urinates into the drug testing cop, the fluid comes in contact with the testing strips on the side. A chemical reaction occurs, and if the specimen contains that particular medication or medication class, the strip turns positive. This typically occurs within 5 to 10 min. so the doctor can get an immediate result. The other method for testing is to have the patient urinate into a simple specimen cup and dip in the individual strips.

There are various drug testing cups on the market and most are typically over 99% accurate. They can be fooled at times and sometimes false negatives occur. Patients have pretty clever ways of cheating with the substances which may include a bleaching agent. There are drug testing cups that includes strips to look for these adulterants, which can single out those who are cheating.

Once this instant screening part is accomplished, the pain management doctor may send the specimen into a drug testing laboratory for what is called a confirmation. A confirmation is where the drug testing lab puts the specimen under chromatography to see extremely specific manner if the narcotics or illicit drugs are present. The chromatography testing also looks for these adult rents as well.

This type of testing is the most specific known in the industry. They can help further diminish the amount of false negatives in place, and also confirm any positive results. Labs often have toxicologists available to speak with pain management doctors in Arizona about questionable findings.

If you are in pain and live in Arizona, Preferred Pain management Scottsdale center  is an Arizona pain clinic that can help. Call us today at 602-507-6550.

Drug Testing Patients is Appropriate for Pain Patients -3 Reasons Why


According to a recent NIH study, 1 in 3 Americans is dealing with some sort of pain issue, and the cost of pain in the US exceeds $550 billion dollars annually. An unbelievable twenty percent of doctor visits  entails a narcotic prescription.

Opiate prescriptions in the US over the previous 10 years has been unreal. When pain management doctors in Arizona write for narcotics, they assume substantial liability. That liability can be lessened by certain safety methods. The first involves a pain contract between the doctor and patient establishing the relationship boundaries.

A second method of safeguarding is the state monitoring system of the pharmacy board. There are monitoring systems in over thirty states, and to help figure out those who are “doctor shopping.”

One of the primary methods of safeguarding the medical provider prescribing narcotics at an Arizona pain clinic is urine drug testing, and here are three reasons elucidating its importance:

  1. Protecting Yourself: A significant number of those receiving narcotic medications, over 20% in fact, will divert their medications. This may seem surprising, but even retired people at times need to supplement their fixed income by selling their medications. Drug testing helps ensure individuals test positive for the drugs they are actually being prescribed. If the person is selling medication and one of the buyers ends up in a fatal motor vehicle accident, that prescription may be traced back to the prescribing physician. Assuming the individual has been compliant with their pain agreement, the state pharmacy monitoring board history is checked, and the urine drug screening has been consistent, it would be extremely difficult to find fault with the prescribing provider.
  2. Protecting Your Practice: As the field of pain management increases as a specialty, more state medical boards are recommending urine drug testing for those receiving narcotic pain medications. 80% of pain medication prescriptions are written by primary care physicians, so this recommendation applies to all doctors writing these prescriptions. Protecting Your Practice: As pain management increases as a medical specialty, more state medical boards are recommending urine drug screening for patients receiving narcotics. Eighty percent of narcotic prescriptions are written by primary care doctors, so this recommendation does not just apply to pain specialists.
  3. Protecting Your Patient: Patients will sometimes trade their narcotic medications for illicit substances such as cocaine, ecstasy, or LSD. Unfortunately, this may degrade their condition and place their life at risk with potential overdose or cardiac reaction. One of the best ways to protect against this is urine or saliva drug screening. The test encompasses both the major prescribed medications along with the most prevalent illicit substances. One trick patients will utilize is taking some of the prescribed medication the morning of their appointment with the doctor. The way to detect this is to send the sample into a laboratory for confirmatory testing of metabolites. It takes time for metabolites to appear, and patients often do not know this. Another trick patients will try is utilizing bleach or other adulterants to cheat a positive illicit substance test. Sending the sample in for confirmatory testing will evaluate for these as well.

The overlying theme for why it is appropriate for Phoenix pain doctors to drug test their patients in one word is:  PROTECTION. Ensuring compliance with a narcotic treatment program will allow better outcomes for one’s pain management patients along with implementing appropriate safeguards for the doctor and his or her practice.

Preferred Pain Center is a Comprehensive Pain Center including Medical and Interventional Arizona Pain Doctors, Phoenix Chiropractors Treatment, Phoenix Physical Therapy, Spinal Decompression Therapy, and Manipulation Under Anesthesia.

Call (602) 507-6550 for your appointment TODAY!