When you receive medical care after a work-related injury, it is mandatory (in most states) for your physician or the emergency medical team to test your urine or blood for drugs and/or alcohol. Unfortunately, alcohol and drug testing the come out testing positive for drugs and/or alcohol is likely to cause a workers’ comp claim to be denied.
Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause false positives on drug tests. This is especially true if the doctor treating you runs a qualitative drug test and not a quantitative drug test. A qualitative test simply gives a positive or negative result. On the other hand, a quantitative test — typically done on a blood sample — can tell how much of a particular substance is in a person’s system. Some medicines, such as heartburn medicines, can show up as methamphetamines, causing your claim to be denied.
It is usually in your best interest to ask for a quantitative blood test when tested for drugs or alcohol. For example, you can test positive for marijuana use on a quantitative test 30 days after using, but this does not mean that you were “high” at the time of your accident. However, a qualitative blood test examines a number of psychoactive metabolites of marijuana in your body. This often disproves any notion that you were impaired at the time of your accident.
Learn more about drug and alcohol testing and its role in workers’ compensation cases by calling our firm.