ASAM Issues Policy Statement Advocating Urine Drug Testing

Mar 24, 2016 0 Comments in ASAM, urine testing by
ASAM Issues Policy Statement Advocating Urine Drug Testing

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has issued a policy statement encouraging urine drug testing (UDT) as a regular part of addiction treatment and monitoring. According to ASAM, UDT is not only important during the initial assessment process for a patient with a substance use disorder, but during treatment as well.

Regular UDT can be a vital part of a patient’s addiction treatment. It can ensure that patients are adhering to treatment protocols and encourages forward momentum toward recovery. Once recovery is achieved, regular drug testing can help ensure that patients remain sober for the long term.

The official policy of the ASAM states that:

  • UDT plays a key role in the diagnosis, therapy, and monitoring of a substance use disorder.
  • Specific compounds tested for and testing panel composition of the UDT should be determined by the ordering physician.
  • Setting arbitrary limits and restrictions on frequency of testing, the number of analytes, panel composition, and testing methodology interferes with the physician’s judgment and compromises patient care, and may be considered discriminatory.

Many patients who have entered addiction treatment are resistant to on-demand UDT at first. It is important to help them understand that this will be a vital part of their treatment. Positive results should not be seen as a “failure”, but instead indicate the need to further refine the patient’s treatment program.  Once the patient has completed treatment, regular UDT can help keep them on track and healthy for the long term.

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