Posted on May 9, 2011 at 3:21 PM
Monday, May 9 at 5:04 PM
SAN ANTONIO -- Pain medication addiction is becoming a big problem in America. Now, one San Antonio medical practice is offering a new way for employers to screen their workers for this potentially dangerous condition.
They are widely-used, legal prescription medications with well-known names like Vicodin and OxyContin. Millions of people use them legitimately to control pain, but others use synthetic opiates recreationally.
“And those aren’t people who are prescribed those drugs who are taking them,” said Dr. David Gude, CEO of Texas MedClinics. “Those are people who are getting those drugs either through friends of family or other sources and then using those for non-medicinal purposes.”
Texas MedClinics test the urine of about 75,000 people a year, either for pre-employment screening or random drug testing.
The current five to 10 panel drug test does not screen for synthetic opiates which are founded in common prescriptions like Percocet, Percodan, Dilaudid, OxyContin and Vicodin.
Now, Texas MedClinic will be offering expanded testing to help employers address this growing health problem.
“The painkillers in particular are going to cause drowsiness, lack of attention,” Gude said. “It causes a whole set of safety issues for the employer.”
When clouded judgment could mean a higher chance of accidents on the job, or even lower productivity, it is information employers may want to know.
Texas MedClinic’s typical panel costs $36. This additional screening for painkillers will add another $4 to the price.