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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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