Understanding "Positive" Results
When it comes to drug testing, there are times when positive results are justified. Yes, you heard that correctly.
Overall, the most common drugs screened for are THC (marijuana), opiates, amphetamines, and cocaine. However, there are a number of prescription medications that can render as one of these substances (particularly amphetamines) on a drug test. Common examples include Adderall (or other ADHD medication), Metformin, and even some antidepressants.
For this reason, the role of a Medical Review Officer is very important. When a positive drug test result is verified at the lab, it is the job of the MRO to verify any prescriptions with the candidate. If there is a legitimate reason for a positive drug test result, it won’t be reported to the employer.
An MRO is a licensed physician who evaluates drug test results from the laboratory and verifies prescriptions with candidates and the pharmacy.
A Medical Review Officer ensures that any valid prescription pharmaceuticals in the candidate’s system are not mistaken for illegal drug use.
For Department of Transportation (DOT) testing a medical review officer is required, and responsible for the overall drug testing process. In a Non-DOT regulated testing environment an MRO is optional, but very much recommended. Only positive results sent to the lab and verified will be reviewed by the MRO in the NON-DOT Industry.
The MRO verifies prescriptions through communication with both the candidate and the pharmacy/doctor where the prescription was obtained. If the prescription matches the positive drug from the drug test, the result will be released as a negative.
The average completion time for a drug test that utilizes an MRO is around three (3) business days. However, completion times are dependent on the responsiveness of the candidate. If the candidate is not responsive to MRO outreach, the results may be delayed until contact is made.
Drug Screening the Right Way
Any comprehensive drug screening process will recruit the expertise of a trained Medical Review Officer. This helps protect candidates from undue assumptions while providing employers with quality results. An MRO verifies all negative results, uncovers any potential justifications by communicating with the candidate and introduces an additional layer of integrity into the drug screening process.