Urine Drug Screens for methadone and Suboxone (buprenorphine)

Many patients who are prescribed methadone or buprenorphine (better known to some as Suboxone) are concerned about their employment drug screens. Because of the stigma attached to opioid addiction and its treatment with methadone or buprenorphine, patients don’t want their employers to know about these medications, and thus about their history of addiction.

Most companies who do urine drug screening hire a Medical Review Officer (MRO), who is a doctor specifically trained to interpret drug screen results. This doctor is a middle man between the employer and the employee, and though this doctor may ask for medical information, and information about valid prescriptions, this doctor usually can’t tell the employer this personal information. The MRO reports the screen as positive or negative, depending on information given to her.

Most employment urine drug screens check for opiates, meaning naturally-occurring substances from the opium poppy, like codeine and morphine. Man-made opioids like methadone, buprenorphine, and fentanyl, to name a few, won’t show as opiates on these drug screens.

A few employers do drug screening that specifically checks for hydrocodone or oxycodone. This is infrequent. It’s rare for employers to screen for methadone, and they almost never screen for buprenorphine, unless the patient is a healthcare professional being monitored by a licensing agency. The screen for buprenorphine is pricey, so the only doctors who tend to screen for it regularly are the ones prescribing buprenorphine. These doctors want to make sure their patients are taking, not selling, their medication.

Patients ask if they should tell their employer they are on methadone or buprenorphine. In general, that’s probably a bad idea, unless it’s a special situation. So long as you can do your job safely, your medical problems aren’t any of your boss’s business.

The only exceptions to this are if you work in a “safety sensitive” job. This includes medical professionals, transit workers, pilots, and the like. These jobs may require disclosure of medical issues to protect public safety. For example, to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you have to be free from illnesses which may cause a sudden loss of consciousness behind the wheel.

The Dept. of Transportation still says that if you are taking methadone for the treatment of addiction, you can’t be granted a CDL. However, most of the studies done on methadone-maintained patients shows their reflexes are the same as a person not on methadone, so there’s no real scientific reason for the DOT’s decision. (1, 3, 4) Besides, since the urine drug screen for a driver’s physical doesn’t include methadone, they won’t know unless you tell them.

Patients can be impaired, and unable to drive safely, if they have just started on methadone, haven’t become accustomed to it, or are on too high a dose. These patients shouldn’t be behind the wheel until they are stable, even in a car, let alone an 18-wheeler. Methadone patients are likely be impaired and unable to drive if they abuse benzodiazepines. They shouldn’t drive any kind of vehicle. Ditto for alcohol. (2, 5)

1. Baewert A, Gombas W, Schindler S, et.al., Influence of peak and trough levels of opioid maintenance therapy on driving aptitude, European Addiction Research 2007, 13(3),127-135. This study shows that methadone patients aren’t impaired at either peak or trough levels of methadone.

2. Bernard JP, Morland J et. al. Methadone and impairment in apprehended drivers. Addiction 2009; 104(3) 457-464. This is a study of 635 people who were apprehended for impaired driving who were found to have methadone in their system. Of the 635, only 10 had only methadone in their system. The degree of impairment didn’t correlate with methadone blood levels. Most people on methadone who had impaired driving were using more than just methadone.

3.Cheser G, Lemon J, Gomel M, Murphy G; Are the driving-related skills of clients in a methadone program affected by methadone? National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, 30 Goodhope St., Paddington NSW 2010, Australia. This study compared results of skill performance tests and concluded that methadone clients aren’t impaired in their ability to perform complex tasks.

4.Dittert S, Naber D, Soyka M., Methadone substitution and ability to drive. Results of an experimental study. Nervenartz 1999; 70: 457-462. Patients on methadone substitution therapy did not show impaired driving ability.

5.Lenne MG, Dietze P, Rumbold GR, et.al. The effects of the opioid pharmacotherapies methadone, LAAM and buprenorphine, alone and in combination with alcohol on simulated driving. Drug Alcohol Dependence 2003; 72(3):271-278. This study found driving reaction times of patients on methadone and buprenorphine don’t differ significantly from non-medicated drivers; however, adding even a small amount of alcohol (.05%) did cause impairment.


72 responses to this post.

  1. Very informative post. As long as the job is done safely, you are right, it is none of the employer’s business.


  2. Feeling ‘drugged’ on Suboxone (buprenorphine) and the liquefied taper method…

    I found your article interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…


  3. Posted by pooh on March 10, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Had a urine drug screen 6 days ago. Was sent to be reiviewed by medical examiner. I am a nurse and have prescriptions for Adderall, Hydrocone, and antidepressant along with clonopine. I have mutiple diagnosis including fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, and arthritis and have been stable on my meds for almost a year and have been employed consistantly. Changing jobs is all I am doing. Any advice on how long for results? And what they may determine?


    • This issues has several sides. As long as your drug test results show only medications for which you have valid and current prescriptions, it won’t be a positive drug test. I’d guess a week or less for you to get results.

      The other issue is your job. People who work in what’s called “safety sensitive” areas often can’t take medications that may cause impairment, and keep their jobs. Medical personnel, airline pilots, bus drivers, workers in nuclear plants, etc. are all considered safety sensitive workers, and may not be able to work as long as they need medications that could cause them to be sleepy and less alert. Of the three controlled substances you named, Klonopin is the most likely to cause impairment, and in my opinion shouldn’t be taken while you are at work as a nurse.

      The other issue is the illness being treated. For example, I don’t want to fly in an airplane with a pilot who’s been diagnosed with narcolepsy, a disease that causes sudden attacks of sleep, even if she’s on medication. FAA rules prohibit such a thing, fortunately. This pilot may medically need a stimulant like Adderall, but the underlying disease makes her unfit to fly. Truck drivers can’t get commercial licenses if have uncontrolled seizure disorders, insulin-depencent diabetes, and other conditions.

      So the other issue is why are you prescribed Adderall? If you have attention deficit disorder, does this mean you shouldn’t be working in some areas of nursing? If you have chronic pain and have to take hydrocodone while at work, does this make you unable to do the job safely? These are tough questions, and there are gray areas. Most people, if they have been taking opioids for some time, aren’t impaired by them in the least. And stimulants are given to military pilots to keep them awake for long missions. So the answers aren’t as easy as they seem.

      Hopefully the doctor will look at the whole picture: how long you’ve been on the meds, the fact you have been stable on them, your past work performance (have there been signs of impairment at your previous job?), whether you have to take the medication while you are at work, and the nature of your new job. Working as a busy ER nurse is different from working as a diabetes educator, for example.

      Please write back and let us know what the doctor tells you.


  4. Posted by Scott on November 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I am taking suboxone and I am taking my physical to get my CDL license the wednesday. I am worried about them seeing this in my system and failing me. I do have a script for it and I also take vivance for ADD! Can someone shed some light on how they are going to look at this and tell me if I tell the doctor that I am taking suboxone? Also does anyone know how long it takes for oxycotin to get out of your system? I really appreciate any help I can get! Thanks!


    • Your Suboxone won’t keep you from getting your CDL, unless you tell the examiner you are taking it. The DOT doesn’t check for it in the urine. But it sounds as if you may have recently relapsed, if you’re worried about oxycontin. Depending on your circumstances, it may not be a good idea to be driving.

      I don’t know the DOT rules around whether people diagnosed with ADD can safely drive.


      • Posted by George Caceres on October 30, 2013 at 10:58 pm

        I am a commercial driver (20 yrs). I do mostly long haul. DOT test are a 5-panel test that does NOT test for Methadone. I know because I’ve been on Methadone maintenance for 10+ years and have never had a problem. Just DON’T TELL THEM!!! Good luck with your CDL.

      • Posted by George Caceres on October 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm


        You seem very knowledgeable about this subject. I am on Methadone and I have been offered a GREAT job. I will be hauling hazardous materials for a company that responds to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, etc. I had to undergo a battery of tests, including a DOT and Non-DOT drug test. I know I’ll pass the DOT drug test but the “Non-DOT”? I was afraid to express any interest in the test because I thought it would imply that I have something to be concerned about. I’m assuming the Non-DOT test is an 8 or 10 panel test which I believe tests for Methadone. I am on a crash detox, but will have to answer if I test for Methadone.

        Secondly, you cannot drive commercially while on Methadone; rather, you’re not supposed to. What about Buprenorphen? Is it legal to drive commercially on it. The Vehicle Code specifically lists Methadone, nothing else.

        Thanks for any light you can bring to bear on the subject.

      • I’m sorry but I can’t help much – it all depends on what’s on that non-DOT test panel. I don’t know of any law barring patients on buprenorphine (Suboxone) from working as a truck driver, but I do know methadone isn’t allowed. As you probably know, there’s no good scientific reason for this somewhat arbitrary decision – tests on methadone-maintained subjects show equal reaction times

  5. Posted by Adam on May 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Hello, I am interested in getting my CDL license. I have been on Methadone for 5 years at a dose of 60mg a day. I see a doctor once a month for pain management, and am given my month supply of Methadone. I feel absolutely no narcotic effects, tiredness, or any “high”. Does this mean I should just forget abou trying to get a CDL? Thanks for any help


    • The studies show that people on a stable dose of methdaone, meaning no recent dose changes, have the same reaction times as people not on methadone, whether they are on it to treat pain or addiction. Methadone does not impair driving abiliy, in multiple studies, so long as you don’t mix anything with it.
      Despite this, It’s my understanding that the DOT (Dept of Transportation) will not allow a person to have a CDL if they are on methadone. The reason DOT gives is that the person could have a relapse back to illicit opioids which would impair driving ability. I don’t know what DOT would say about someone taking it for chronic pain, as in your situation.
      However, DOT does not test for methadone. If you don’t tell the doctor doing the exam, it’s unlikely he will know. Mind you, I’m not recommending you lie, even by admission, but I’m just saying…and there’s no real medical reason to be denied, so far as I can see.


      • Posted by Adam on May 14, 2012 at 11:52 pm

        Thank you for answering so quickly. You are correct in that I notice no difference in my reaction times now as before hand. And as far as relapsing to any previous addiction, I have never been an addict. I was prescribed Percocet years ago for the same pain, but was switched a long time ago. I have even redused my dose of Methadone over the last year from 100mg. It’s a shame the law doesn’t take each person on a case by case basis based on what their doctor thinks. Thanks again for the information

      • Posted by Ricky on September 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm

        A guest stranger here seeking info on buprenorphine and FAA medical exams, and I’d just like to comment with something you probably already know. You say “I’ve never been an addict.” I understand and agree with that viewpoint, but having been on 100mg of methadone and now 60mg, you are certainly dependent on methadone (which could also be termed “addicted” or, “a methadone addict”) and would suffer long and intense withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stopped your methadone. You’re surely aware of this, but if not, it certainly is helpful to know that by now you are very dependent and/or addicted to that methadone. Long, slow tapering is the only way out of methadone with little to no withdrawal effects.

  6. Posted by Patrick on August 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I have a drug test in 12 days for a job that requires a CDL license. I take suboxone. I’m really nervous about this showing up. I just did a bunch of research on this… Am I correct in assuming that this will be a DOT 5 panel drug test and the suboxone will not show up? How do I find out if this is for sure going to be the DOT 5 panel?

    Thanks for your help… your blog has eased my anxiety regarding this subject the most.


    • Buprenorphine is not on the DOT 5.
      If your employer does additional testing, which is very unlikely, I doubt the test will include Suboxone. Anyway, it shouldn’t be an issue if you have a prescription for it.
      I don’t think the CDL examiner will have any way of knowing unless you tell them.
      Suboxone, when taken daily by prescription, will not impair you, and you can drive safely as long as it’s the only thing you’re taking.


    • Posted by Matt on October 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Pat how did you make out?? I am in the same boat as you…..I want all the info I can get for CDL jobs and being on suboxone i really just want to get off of it if thats the case. Mattchu96@facebook. look me up to talk more thanks 🙂


  7. can one obtain a special issue airman medical certificate if he tells he has buprenorphine prescription, or is a waste of time to apply for one?


    • Hi,
      I don’t know. I’ve never done FAA physicals. I suspect it would be an issue, like with DOT. And I suspect they don’t test for buprenorphine, like DOT.


  8. Hello,
    I was wondering about the drug test for natural gas company PHMSA pipe liner. I take buprenorphine and i am so worried about my drug screening. I took a test for IMSHA to be in the coal mines and it showed up but i showed the lab my script and everything was fine. I was wondering if you know what kind of test the pipeline gives, is it a lab or cup? Thank You


  9. Posted by jim hoyt on January 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    My daughter received a duii 3 days ago. She had taken methadone eleven to twelve houres earlier (20 mil.). She is not in a rehab program but is recovering from heroin addition. She blew o on her bac breath test. She claimes that she was not impared in any way. What will the urin sample she gave show after this 10 to 12 houres?


    • The urine sample will show methadone, if the lab tests for it. If she hasn’t been taking it by prescription, I’d guess that will be a problem for her.


  10. Posted by denise ward on August 3, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I am prescribed Adderall, clonopin, oxycodone, oxycotin, but recently ran out of my pain meds and took a suboxone. why is it that my pain management doctor released me of his care because he said clonopin repeatedly did not show up in my urine test?


    • This could be an error on your doctor’s part, if he based the dismissal on clonazepam not showing on the drug screen. Depending on the lab, he may have to request clonazepam be tested separately. It’s easy to miss clonazepam on routing drug screens. But the bigger issue is how were you doing on these medications? If you ran out of oxycontin early, was it due to misuse? Maybe the pain clinic isn’t the best place for you, if you have developed addiction.


  11. Posted by lil bob on August 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    im starting cdl school next wk and im prescribed suboxin. should i tell them im on them when they test me or just wait and see if they say something?


  12. Posted by Angela on November 2, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I have a dot drugs test in two weeks, then I have a non-dot drug test with the employer immediately after that(maybe a day in-between) so I can get my CDL license. I have been taking methadone for chronic back pain for 3 years and about 6 months ago my Medicaid was ended so I have only been taking the methadone that I had left from the three years because I tried to take as little as possible everyday which was about 20mg. I have very little left, about a months worth. I tried to go cold turkey a couple times but end up taking 10-20mg when I can’t stand it anymore. Will the methadone show up on either of the drug tests? I am pretty sure it won’t with the DOT one but am concerned about the non-DOT test. I am thinking of trying to get some suboxone so I can make it longer than day two of withdrawals. Will this show up in either of the two tests and if the methadone came up in either one since it was prescribed could I still get my CDL? Also if so would it be smart to start going to a methadone clinic where I can possibly get some suboxone that way I could tell the MRO that it is prescribed and then they can not tell employer?


    • You’re right, the DOT test won’t show for methadone. As to the second one, it all depends on what your employer tests for. The MRO (medical review officer, the doctor who reviews drug test results) would ordinarily not count positives as positives if you have a current prescription for methadone or buprenorphine (Suboxone). But truck driving is a safety-sensitive job, meaning other peoples’ lives are at risk if you’re on the road while impaired. So in this situation, I don’t know what the MRO would do.
      My patients who have been on methadone and then left for some reason remain positive on their urine drug screen for weeks, though it’s supposed to show only for 4-5 days.
      I have a suggestion – instead of just trying to pass the test, consider what is best for you in the long run. I think entering treatment with buprenorphine (or methadone, if it doesn’t work for some reason) would be better than what you are doing. You probably are somewhat impaired on the days you are in opioid withdrawal – few people function at their best during withdrawal.


      • Posted by George Caceres on November 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm

        Jana, I would really like to thank you for your knowledgeable feedback. I am a commercial driver and took a pre-employment DOT and Non-DOT Drug test on 10-24-13. So far, the MRO called regarding elevated liver enzymes but nothing about the drug tests. I am currently on Methadone, but will be switching to Suboxone in a week or so. I took the tests at Concentra and it has been 10 days. Do you know what the turnaround time is on drug tests? I’m hoping I’m out of the woods on this one

    • Posted by George Caceres on November 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      I have my CDL and have driven for many years without a problem. Attempting to withdraw while on the job is a train wreck in the making. Also, when you go a day or two without Methadone and then take 10-20 mgs, you’ve wasted the pain you have undergone. You need to be methodical in you detox. Stabilize on a dose of say 10-15 mg. Then look at the supply you have and plan your taper. Take small steps, preferably 2..5 mgs. I assume you have 10 mg pills that can be broken in half. Break them down further into quarters. Stick to your regimen religiously. Finish your taper with at least 1-2 wks at 2.5 mg (the longer the better). You should manage well enough. Your best option is to go to a program and get on Suboxone. It’s legal to drive on it and they very rarely test for it, or so I am told. Good luck.


    • Posted by George Caceres on November 7, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      Angela, in re-reading your post I see there is a piece to this puzzle as yet omitted. When you sign those papers permitting the drug test, your are signing a release of information for the MRO to provide the employer with the results. If you test positive for methadone, they will tell the employer that. But, having a prescription qualifies the result inasmuch as you are NOT taking illicit drugs. Unfortunately, they will not hire you or train you AT THIS TIME. I am sure you will be given a window of opportunity within which to get free of methadone. Your second problem comes up, if you test positive for methadone, when they ask why you did not list methadone prior to the drug screen. As I am confronted with the same problem, I will tell them that I did not list methadone because I am no longer taking it, apparently it is still in my bloodstream. That should fly with a prescription. At this late date, your only course of action, in my opinion, is to stay the course. Assume they will not test for it and detox in a responsible manner so as not to impair your abilities due to withdrawal symptoms. Don’t be discouraged, if you have come this far in their employment process then they must want and need you, there will be other opportunities if this fails—I think you will do just fine, though. So, think positive.


  13. Posted by Angela on November 5, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Thanks, I am currently only taking 5mg so I can finish in a week, I’m trying to really make a go of not taking so I am cutting pretty drastically but it’s because my body seems to be doing well with it so the less the better in my opinion. I’m going to driving school in 1month so I can give myself plenty of time without the methadone in my system and become as healthy and safe as possible. I also eat really healthy and I only drink water for the past few years so maybe it will leave my system, urine, in a few weeks.


    • Posted by George Caceres on November 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      I saw the doctor at my methadone clinic today. He says methadone can take up to 4-5 wks to test clear. I am now at 30 mg after a crash detox from 120 mg. It actually went quite well. I am starting on Buprenorphen in a week. It sounds like you are doing great. But let me warn you about when you get down to the last 5 mg. On a previous occasion, many years ago, I was comfortably at 5 mg and stopped. I went through hell. It was easily 30 days before I got more than 30-45 minutes sleep. I strongly advise you, when you get down to 5 mg., stretch it out. Shave the pills so you get stable at say 2 mg, less is better, THEN quit. You need to be at your best while at driving school and later when you get out on the road. In order for you to be successful getting your CDL you will have to be successful detoxing off methadone. They go hand in hand and you can’t take any shortcuts in either endeavor. I got my CDL from a truck school some twenty years ago and to this day I love driving as much as when I started. I do primarily longhaul or Western 11 states. Good luck with both challenges.


  14. Posted by Angela on November 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks, been on 5mg for a week now so I’m cutting down to 2.5 roughly, and in another week I will cut that in half for a week and then hopefully I will be able to stop all together. Hey George, do trucking companies test for the methadone or is it the same 5 panel test for most trucking employers?


    • Posted by George Caceres on November 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      I have never had a problem with Methadone. Trucking companies just give you a standard DOT test (5 panel) and DOT physical. Even if you have a brand new 2 year medical, they will give you another. I imagine you are going with Swift, CRST or one of the other big companies that offer driver training. The big companies like to train drivers to operate their equipment the way the want it operated. No doubt you’ll also be doing long haul. I love long haul, it’s always an adventure, you never know where you’re going next. Good deal on your detox plan. About the Non-DOT tests. I am encountering this for the first time as a part of my pre-employment physical because I am going to work for a company that hauls strictly HAZMAT and national disaster response to stuff like hurricane Katrina. Remember to take you drops slowly and methodically. With the amount of time you have the Methadone is not going to be out of your system, even the drop from 2.5 to 0 is going to be uncomfortable. One more hope you have if push comes to shove, I once had a friend who was detoxing off methadone, it was a slow detox dropping in small increments. Anyway, I was going to test dirty at my clinic so I got some urine from him and turned that in. Well, surprise, surprise. It came back no methadone, no methadone metaboli. I got in more trouble than I would have with a dirty drug test. I am doubtful you will get a Non-DOT drug test. They DO have a second urine test, but it is only to test for sugars in your urine.


  15. Posted by Angela on November 7, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Yeah I know to start the schooling all I have to do is take the DOT test and then a month after that which would be roughly two months from now I will have to take the trucking company test for pre-employment which is the one I’m worried about cause by then I will have been off of methadone for about 1month but with everything I read it could still be in my system. I don’t know what kind of test it will be but I’m fairly confident that it will only be a5panel test like the DOT


    • Posted by George Caceres on November 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      That’s correct. In 20 yrs., most of which I have been on methadone I have NEVER had any test other that a 5 panel DOT drug test. In fact, until a couple of weeks ago I had never even heard the term ‘panel’ or ‘non-DOT’ drug test. So, relax and take your time with the methadone so you can achieve a symptomless detox, which you can very easily accomplish. Keep in mind I have had a lot of commercial jobs and never a problem. I’ve hauled tankers, vans, flat beds, doubles, containers, and reefers. Never had a problem with an unfavorable result from methadone. Just put your mind to rest, it’s all going to work out for you.


  16. Posted by Angela on November 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you very much it does relieve me to know that. I really appreciate your time and prompt answers to my questions, good luck and god bless.


  17. Posted by tim duncan on August 26, 2014 at 2:23 am

    I have been in a cdl driving school and I am goin to graduate in less than a month. You had to take a drug test and a physical to be accepted and on the paper work it asked about any medication that I am taking and I said that I was on subutex. The Dr at the clinic had concerns about it but I got in and also passed a random drug screen mid way through. My question is that should I state on the paper work for the truck driving company that I’m taking subutex?? Because if I don’t it will look like I am lying and I dont want that..this is torturing me..I don’t want to go through all of this schooling and money for nothing..what should I do and can they deny me employment


  18. Posted by Reginald on October 30, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I just got charged with driving under the influence of Oxy Cotin Which I have been on for 5yrs and it is prescribed by my doctor ?


  19. Posted by Chris j on November 10, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Hello, I am a 40 yr old fit and trim male who had problems with pain meds for years. It’s been years since I’ve taken any but I have been taking suboxone since. It was being prescribed at 2@ 8mg a day and it was way to much. I was comfortable with and relieved of symptoms by taking 2 mg a day (broke the 8mg into 4 pieces). They kept being prescribed at 2 a day and I built up a considerably large supply and stopped seeing the doctor so I do not have a up to date prescription. currently I am taking what I assume is less than 1 mg(break pill into about 16-20 pieces) and am having a hard time kicking it. I have a pre employment Union (construction) ua coming up in bout 3 weeks and am nervous about coming up positive for bup.(I’m not even sure they will be testing for it) At the dose I’m at ,would anyone know how long it would be visible in a ua? I have tried kicking it but get very uncomfortable after almost exactly 24 hrs. I will have notice prior to taking the ua and figure I could just stop for a while hopefully for good prior to then. I still have urges occasionally for the pills but by taking the <1mg as maintenance I stay comfortable and clear headed. I'm not sure a dr would agree with me and put me in a permanent daily 1 mg dose? More than anything I'm looking for advice on what to do. Thank you


    • “They kept being prescribed…”
      Guess that sounds better than, “I conned my doctor into prescribing much more than I needed.”
      My advice is for you to go back to your doctor and be honest.


  20. Posted by Johnny on November 16, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Do Kentucky cdl drug test for
    Methadone? A family member is about to get a job and is worried it may show up. Thanks


    • Not in the past – the DOT requires tests for THC, cocaine, opiates, PCP, and amphetamines/methamphetamines. But the doctor doing the exam may add tests in addition to the required five drugs. Methadone has to have a specific test; it won’t show up as an opiate.


  21. Posted by Brenda on March 26, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Does anyone know if suboxone shows up on a 12 panel pre employment drug screen at Concentra? Job is not driving or medical related.


    • depends on what is on their 12-panel. Buprenorphine will not test positive as an opioid – have to do a specific test for it.


      • Posted by Jason on May 6, 2015 at 5:27 pm

        I am curious, everyone how does the dr. Not know in the aspect. Doesn’t the doctor or the department of transportation have a database with people enrolled at methadone clinics? I’m completely stable at 30 mg, but worried there is info in a computer somewhere. If someone gets back to me promptly I’d really appreciate it. Thank you

      • There is no database that I know of. Seems that would violate federal law, CRF 42

      • Posted by George Caceres on May 15, 2015 at 11:00 pm

        No way. Methadone maintenance is a doctor/patient relationship. I drove commercially for many years on methadone and took countless drug screens without any problems. The difficulty lies is getting home in time to pick up take homes. I was taking home every 30 days and it still posed problems.

  22. Posted by jessica c. on June 16, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I am on methadone maintnence for 8+years
    I just had a great interview for a home health aide position. I’m a certified nurse assistant and I’m nervous because at my interview I was told i need to do a physical or health screening. I expected to have a urine screen but I was told they have their own testing site where I will have an up to date tb test done, urine and I don’t know what else. Do you know what this employment health exam is all about. Do they check to make sure I’m healthy overall, maybe take my weight,check to see if I can lift heavy stuff???? Then comes the urine? Do they take blood? And does methadone show up on the 5 or 10 panel urine test?do they have to order it special to test for methadone? I’m so nervous any help or clue you could give about what I should expect?


    • I don’t know what kind of tests they will do. If they just check for opiates, methadone won’t show. If they do a special test for methadone, it will, but you can get a statement from your prescriber that says it is being prescribed for a medical condition and that it won’t interfere with your job. I do this all of the time for my patients. I don’t think it’s your employer’s business why it’s being prescribed.


    • Posted by anthony on November 18, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      methadone will show on many panels being used (ie/jails) our panel includes methadone (i administer about 300 tests per month personally) we also use oral swabs but they have a smaller window of detection time (ie/6-mam/heroin) will show about 6-8 hours…all of the detection window times you commonly hear is pure bs…there is no way of knowing how long any substance will stay in any given individual the only way to know for sure your negative is to not use. Bup is usually a write in test (fyi its not that much more expensive to do) but if you are (pill shaving) in other words not really taking the bup it will be evident to the Dr. as ingesting the subs/bup will show differently on the UA as opposed to just putting a little bit of dust off the pill itself in the test.


  23. Posted by geread on October 20, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I recently took a preemployment urine drug test, 10 or 12 panel test I think. I told I’m take adderall, klonopin to sleep but never have told any one about suboxone. I take a 1/2 strip of suboxone or less a day. Plus its not supposed to be tested for. Anyway the add and benzo. showed and was sent to lab and the MRO didn’t call me asking for my prescription information and sent a prescription history to the employer’s physician which showed suboxone and he asked me about it during my physical and I was put on restricted duty which denied my right to be hired because it is a construction job which is safety sensitive. Was that MRO wrong in doing this?


    • Hmmm…it doesn’t sound right to me. Did you sign anything giving them permission to tell your employer’s physician?
      I think you could contest the suboxone causing impairment – I’d ask your suboxone prescriber to advocate for you – although the klonipin is a problem – it will impair you.


  24. Posted by Jessica P on November 6, 2015 at 12:36 am

    I have been on Buprenorphine for a few years with always a current prescription. Is this a medication that can interfere with being awarded a nursing license if waiting for decision as pending background check.


    • Wow, this is a hot-button issue.
      Most states say no license if they discover you are on buprenorphine even by prescription.
      However, some states will allow it. For example, the North Carolina nursing board will allow their licensees to stay on buprenorphine if they can demonstrate they are in good recovery, usually by submitting a letter from the prescribing physician.


  25. Posted by anthony on November 18, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    you should look into vivitrol as an option (shot once per month) or pill form daily..very strong bind to the opiate receptor…FYI you would really have to be chugging subs to have impairment per driving…i am responsible for signing off on DMV/MVA forms stating an individual’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle upon discharge from tx and have never had any issue brought to my attention concerning the use of bup/sub my DMV/MVA. I see no issue as a substance abuse treatment provider in signing off on a form for someone who is on bup/sub its ridiculous and obviously a lack of knowledge for someone to be prevented from working at any job because of this rx


    • Posted by Gary on May 5, 2016 at 1:06 am

      I am all healed up after my miraculous recovery. I was deathly Ill and my Dr told me to live like I was dying and put me on very strong pain meds 180 oxycodone 10 mg. Well I was hurting something awful and dying. Well anyways our great Lord healed me. I started getting better and had Dr take me off pain meds slightly over a year ago. My withdrawal symptoms were sovery teterrible. Well I couldn’t afford the expensive suboxene specially being off work I had utilities shut off many times. Insurance doesn’t pay for their office call for suboxene they take only cash which is cheaper to do oxys. But anyways I have done maybe 2 or 3 suboxene strips a week. I’m not gonna take anymore for sure. I feel great and in good health now. I need to take a preemployment hair ffollicle and urine test for cdl training. I am wanting to take it soon as possible will it show up if I recently had suboxene if so how long am I looking before I can try. Keep in mind I cannot afford not be sure cause a failing drug test would kick me from another good job that I may be able get back in time if I don’t fail. Any help would be appreciated I have a family to feed and I have made it so far being ill and broke. I’m hoping suboxene won’t show but I am quite as of now.


      • Hair grows about a half-inch per month. So if your last drug was taken today, it is just now becoming incorporated into the hair follicle. So depending on how long your hair is, it could be detectable until the hair being made today has been cut off. I think you would be looking at a couple of months at a minimum.

  26. Posted by Bonsai on May 7, 2016 at 6:09 am

    I see a lot of folks on here worrying about Suboxone and DOT testing. 1st, I’ll say, Suboxone DOES NOT show on a standard 5 Panel DOT drug test. Guaranteed! More importantly, I feel being honest will keep you out of future issue’s. Case in point…I was iroginally approved for a 2 yr Med Card, not saying anything about Suboxone to the Examiner. 2 yrs later, I went it for a new physical and didnt say anything this time either. BUT, the examiner DID review my prescription history in the National Registry. Because I left Suboxone off my med list, essentially I was lying. I was busted. Fortunately, the examiner was cool and said,,,I want you to be off Suboxone and I will sign off on a 1 yr Med card. Basically, she let me slide. Now, 7 months later my arthritis started bothering me again and my Dr put me back on a low dose until we found another option, which we did. But, I am weening off the Suboxone and plan on being honest at my physical (Which is coming real soon.) The choices are…be honest, or change your meds to be compliant, or C…be ready to get nailed lying. I have a Medical Letter from my Dr stating I am safe to drive a CMV. I HOPE this will suffice. But I am still very nervous. I totally agree also, Suboxone has NO affect on me as far as being tired or feeling high. There’s no feeling but good for Arthritis! Any thoughts, shoot me an email. Thx Gary


  27. Posted by Douglas B Thompson on September 6, 2016 at 5:04 am

    I’m on 180mg a day. And are stable. I haven’t ever had a wreck period, and I am about to be driving for a good company watch and see all of you haters I’ll be passing u on the highways and I’ll wave. I guarantee u ,


  28. going to get a drug screen only taking 5mg once a day its a legal script.very concern can thety fire me or what can anybody please give me some answer


    • Posted by Roxanne Miller on February 1, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      Yes the rules have changed ..They are horrible people..These companies do not care if you have a prescription..If you driving their car..The insurance will not cover you Period!I am so sorry to put this bluntly but I am so tired of the misinformation and had I been informed and not in a dream world..They do not care if they violate your privacy..Are you kidding me? They do this all of the time..They have rules to their agenda and they stick to them!.They do not care what you are being treated for..The working world is changing before our very eyes..These companies are prejudice against these drugs..


      • Posted by George on February 4, 2018 at 4:25 am

        I’ve been a commercial driver for 26 years and on methadone for many of them . I’ve had many DOT drug screens and methadone was never in the screen. For my current job I had DOT and Non-DOT screen. Methadone was not among them. It IS illegal to drive commercially if you are on methadone. There is no guarantee that methadone will not be included in a screen. All I can say is this was MY experience. So DOT screens do not test for methadone; but, some companies couple DOT with Non-DOT which are additional tests specified by the employer.

        Janaburson is the authority on these matters and has been a terrific source of information and support in this matter.

        Thank god im off methadone now. I know what your going through. My advice is if you are on 5 mg then get off and find an alternative medication.

        Good luck, hope it works out for you

  29. Posted by L Scott on May 4, 2017 at 3:51 am

    I was drug tested for a job and they did not ask about rx before urine test. Protocol was listed as “non-DOT” and my job is in sales where I will drive to client sites in a personal vehicle (no passengers). The MRO notified me of a failed test for methadone, which I have taken at low doses for a long time for chronic pain related to MS. I provided the RX info and assumed all was ok. The drug results sent to the employer stated that I tested positive for Methadone and under reg 40.327 this is “a quite serious liability” and is a possible safety issue.

    How can they do that for a non-DOT job? This feels like a huge violation of privacy and medical information, and now the employer may withdraw the offer based on the drug testing company’s disclosure of my methadone RX.


  30. Posted by William on August 15, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Great blog ….. Im a safety sensitive employee whos been on methadone for 6 yrs …. Ive gotten jobs passed urines and also have lost jobs through the companies middle man private labs but i always pass a DOT urine but what you don’t know is if that company will send out the urine to a private lab you can always tell on the top of the urine form if it says anything about. 5 Federal Motor Carrier on the top it is a DOT urine a 5 panel urine but I’ve been sober and clean for years now with the exception of methadone and I can hold the job but I have constant anxiety about these urine tests will the law ever change wear a methadone patient for addiction can drive a commercial truck we will never know I guess it’s a shame because there’s a lot worse drugs and drivers unfortunately who are using drugs out there on the road did I read in one of your paragraphs that if I was getting Methadone for something other than addiction reasons I could hold a DOT certificate????


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