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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:56 pm 
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Hello everyone……I had a quick question that has been lingering on my mind ever since I started SUB about a year ago. I currently have a job with health care and was looking to possibly switch jobs sometime soon.

My question is, can my current insurance company kick me off because I am taking Suboxone and maybe I am seen as a risk? And I guess more importantly, can I be turned down health care and/or a new job because I am taking Suboxone and maybe seen as a risk?

Also, it looks like from doing some research most employers wouldn’t even test for SUBS, so I should be fine there, right? And what if they did? Would I just have them contact my DR so she can tell them I am taking them on the up and up? Or will I even have that chance? (meaning they dismiss me as a drug addict and I never get a call back)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:04 pm 
Honestly, the only thing i can see coming up is if the job does for whatever reason test for buprenorphine. Im pretty sure the new insurance mess that obama has in place has made it to where you cant be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition. Which from what i've heard is what a insurance company considers addiction. However, im not certain on any of this. I do think it would be discrimination if a job wouldnt allow you employment seeing how you have a legitament prescription. I just dont know any for certain answers and i wish i did. Sorry i couldnt be more helpful!! Others will probably have better answers.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:14 pm 
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I THINK (and don't quote me on this), that if you have a legitimate prescription for something that comes up on a drug screen, you only share it with the lab doing the test. They report illicit drug use - not prescription drug us - to an employer. Like I said, I don't honestly know if that's true, but I have heard that. Anyone know for sure?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:22 pm 
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Thanks…..funny how lifesaver calls it a mess, and that mess may end up saving me haha…..I can’t say that I don’t agree though. I would love to hear if anybody had any type of experience firsthand, or heard of anything like this, ect.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:59 pm 
Nah man thats just how i word things lol. I guess it is a mess for some people. The new insurance thing obama came up with has benefited me big time because im able to be on my moms insurance for a few months. As for what hat said about the employment drug screening, i actually think thats correct. Again not firsthand info but, i've taken drug test for jobs before and actually had pills in my system but they never said anything. They didnt even ask for my prescription. I remember lying to the person who gave me the drug test telling them that i had recently had a prescription for hydrocodone because i knew that opiates would show up. Well, that was partially true except it was a lot further back in time than what i told him. It was like 8 months or so back. Still, the employer never said anything. So, i think its very possible that illicit drugs are the only thing you have to worry about with employment drug screening. Dont know if thats factual information or not.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:05 pm 
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At one employer, I had a valid prescription for hydrocodone as I just had a root canal gone bad. I was taking about 30mg/day. I mentioned it and they said "If you fail then you tell them then".

Well, I passed, somehow. My boss was also a friend and knew I was having dental work and I said "I passed? I was taking vicodin then!".

I guess they look for a certain level more than presence. Perhaps a low level of hydrocodone is below the threshold.

At another time when I was induced on Suboxone, I was tested for drugs. I had stopped about 18 hours beforehand from about 60mg hydrocodone a day. No drugs were detected in my system then either.

I always wondered what they were looking for when I drug tested at pain management. A certain level or presence of the drugs they prescribed, or other drugs, etc? Who knows.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:11 pm 
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Thanks jamez yea I always wondered as well what they were looking for. I know one time at the SUB DR she said my SUB levels were a bit too high, I was like “I didn’t even know you tested for SUBS” figured she was testing for hydro/oxy……and lifesaver, I know what you meant just bustin your stones


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:02 pm 
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Substation,

I just asked my wife about your question, she's a human resource manager, but that certainly doesn't mean this advice is all inclusive or 100% correct. It's the best we could come up with,

If your current insurance is through your employer, they should not be able to 'kick you off' unless/until you reach your lifetime maximum which is usually 2 million dollars.

As far as being turned down for insurance through a new job, probably not, because you currently have insurance and it shouldn't be considered pre-existing. Now, the big question, CAN an employer turn you down for being on suboxone...not legally.

While they may not drug test specifically for buprenorphine, it is an opiate and it could show up as such. What I suggest is after the job offer is made, speak with the person conducting the drug screen and tell them you take suboxone. Typically, if the test comes back positive for any substance the perspective employer will ask what/why you tested positive and if you have a valid prescription. If you have a valid prescription, it should not be an issue.

That's our take on it, do not take this as the be all end all of advice.

Boy, you can tell she's a human resource manager...always putting the caveats in there. Hope this helps you, man.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:07 am 
Buprenorphine doesnt show up as an opiate. You have to test specifically for bupe. I would only mention the sub if it shows up. Im just saying it personal and i wouldnt just volunteer that kind of info. If they test for it, when it shows up then you explain it but definitely not before, in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:10 pm 
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Hey Romeo, great information and thanks for going out of your way like that! Really shows your character, I truly appreciate that….

I wasn’t as much concerned with a drug test as with the insurance. From what I understand, basically no one tests for BUPE. I would tend to agree with lifesaver that I would probably keep that quite unless it came to the table. I’m just glad to hear from someone in HR that it sounds like I shouldn’t worry about the insurance aspect. Again, thanks!!!!!!


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