Results of random drug testing in an adolescent substance abuse program

Sharon Levy, Lon Sherritt, Brigid L Vaughan, Matthew Germak, John R Knight
Pediatrics 2007, 119 (4): e843-8

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to estimate from a random urine drug-testing program for adolescents the proportion of drug tests that are susceptible to interpretation errors.

METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of a clinical database and chart review from an adolescent outpatient substance abuse program at a large children's hospital. We analyzed from 110 adolescent patients (13-21 years of age) all 710 urine drug test results that were collected between December 2002 and July 2005 and 85 original laboratory reports for tests that were collected between December 2002 and May 2006 and were confirmed positive for opioids. We calculated the percentage of tests that were too dilute to interpret (potential false-negatives) and the percentage of confirmed positive tests for oxycodone that did not result in a positive initial screen (potential false-negatives). We also reviewed clinical information to determine whether confirmed positive tests resulted from legitimate use of prescription or over-the-counter medication (potential false-positives).

RESULTS: Of 710 drug tests, 40 negative tests were too dilute to interpret properly, and 45 of 217 positive tests resulted from prescription medication use for a total of 85 tests that were susceptible to error. Of the 85 confirmatory laboratory reports reviewed, 43 were positive for oxycodone, but only 16 of these had produced a positive opiate screen.

CONCLUSIONS: Unless proper procedures are used in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting laboratory testing for drugs, there is a substantial risk for error.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"