J. Walden Retan, MD
Disclosures: Authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=L14-0178.
Retan J.; Prescription Drug Abuse. Ann Intern Med. 2014;161:305-306. doi: 10.7326/L14-5016-4
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(4):305-306.
TO THE EDITOR:
Many persons who receive narcotics to treat chronic pain take them responsibly. Some don't. Kirschner and colleagues' (1) position paper deals with the irresponsible ones and raises questions.
The authors support random urine drug testing. What should be done with the results? Results of urine testing that are negative for prescribed narcotics might indicate that a prescription was diverted from its intended use. They might also indicate that a patient took more than the prescribed amount of a narcotic near the beginning of a prescription to try to improve pain control and ran out of the drug before the next prescription was due to be filled. Thus, results might be unexpectedly negative for dishonorable or honorable reasons.
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