Pre-Employment Drug Test - Legal and Illegal substances
November 17, 2016 1:55 PM   Subscribe

I know variations of this have been asked, I'm just hoping to get some advice on my specific circumstances. I've got a preemployment drug test coming up next week. I have taken a collection of drugs recently they test for - all but one a valid prescription buuuuuut really don't want my future employer to know various medical conditions so I don't know what I should do.

It just happens between the election and some personal matters, I've ended up taking a bunch of meds in the past two weeks that are pretty occasionally needed. (with the exception of one). The thing is, I don't want my employer to know health conditions I have as they may affect the way I'm viewed.

Plus, I smoked pot after the election. I never smoke pot (it's been 2-3 years since I smoked before that.).

The urine test is Tuesday.. I found that out yesterday. The test is 5 days from now, 6 days from taking the most recent, and two weeks from smoking pot Yesterday. I took .5mg of alprazolam. This is infrequent use for me when I'm having panic attacks. I've taken it 3 times within the past month, and last took it in June before that.

I take adderall daily. I took it last yesterday as well.

I have a prescription for tylenol 3, which I take for certain pain. I think I took it last maybe a week ago, but possibly as recent as the weekend (I just don't remember), one tablet. I end up using it 0-3 times a month. I may have taken it two nights in a row.

I've done some digging and aside from the pot, I should be okay if I list my valid prescriptions. However! It sounds like even if valid, this info can be passed on to the employer. And so I'm not sure what I can do, because frankly I'd rather my employer not know and make inferences about my medical history. It sounds like I should be fine for most. I think even pot should be okay as I am an extremely infrequent user.

Should I disclose prescriptions anyways? Will the prescription info be sent back to my employer if everything is negative? How the heck does HIPAA work in these circumstances?

And before someone says "don't take a job that does drug testing." yeah, I agree with you in theory. In practice, I need the job.
posted by LANA! to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Right, I forgot this part of the question - I will be on my period during the testing. From what I've read, that won't prevent them from being able to test. But is it possible that the lining of the uterus, having built up over the course of my cycle, may contain traces of the drugs in question in a way urine would not?
posted by LANA! at 2:10 PM on November 17, 2016

You're likely okay on the weed, but the specifics might matter. How many times on the day of the election did you smoke? Once? Twice? Ten times? How much pot did you smoke each time?

Go to the drugstore and buy a test, and check it yourself. CVS Pharmacy sells home drug urine tests.

Starting from an entirely clean slate in my own entirely theoretical case, I would have had to smoke *a bunch* of weed to have a 50/50 chance of failing an EMIT (urine) test with a 50ng/ml cutoff two weeks later. Like, 8 times what I would have theoretically "usually" smoked. To fail at 3 weeks would have taken an entirely imaginary 16 times the "usual" dose for about the same 50/50 chance of failing.
posted by the Real Dan at 2:37 PM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

Very little. I took two hits two separate times, and they were rather small. Because I'm a wuss. ;)
posted by LANA! at 3:55 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's of course impossible to say one way or the other about the weed, but it's highly likely that you are ok on the weed.

As far as the others, one thing to consider: depending on the type of drug test, many drug screening protocols have relatively high thresholds for things like Benzos - they aren't interested in clinical use, they are looking for recreational use, and the thresholds to return a positive are usually higher than regular clinical dosages. It's possible that nothing will show up on the screen.
posted by Lutoslawski at 5:03 PM on November 17, 2016

Benzodiazapenes, opiates, etc, basically everything but weed is only detectable on a urine test for 3-5 days at most. You should be fine, but it wouldn't hurt to get a home test kit for weed to be certain you will pass. You can get them at dollar stores more cheaply than you can at Walgreen's/CVS.

If you do fail the home test, substitution with someone else's urine isn't hard, being a lady, as long as you have a trusted friend who you know is clean. The hardest part is keeping it warm, but even that part is easy if you have boobs. MeMail me if you need more info on it.
posted by wierdo at 5:31 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I take similar prescriptions to you. I was most recently tested last year, and they way it worked was:
- I peed, there was no room on the form to disclose what I take.
- They contacted the HR person about a positive result (I don't know if they disclosed WHAT was positive) who then relayed the info to me with info on how to provide prescription proof directly to the testing company.
- I took photos of my Rx bottles, sent directly to testing company, who then cleared me to the HR person.

In my case, I told everyone I expected to test positive (not how, just that I would) but had the Rx to back it up and it was kind of a non-issue. YMWV.
posted by ApathyGirl at 7:58 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

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