Will Taking Prescription Medication Affect Your Pre-Employment Drug Test?

Applying for jobs and interviewing is stressful enough, but the thought of having to pass a drug test and background check can be really nerve wracking for some people -- even people without a criminal record or history of drug use. The fact is, when you really, really want a job, anything that comes between you and getting the job is something to worry about. So, what do you do if you take prescription medications? There's a chance the medications you take will show up on your drug screening, but will it keep you from landing the job? Learn more about employer drug screenings so you know what to expect.

What Type of Drugs Does a Drug Screening Cover?

There are multiple kinds of drug screening tests -- 4-panel, 5-panel, 7-panel, 10-panel, and 12-panel. In many cases, the employer determines what type of drugs they want to look for in the test. However, most law enforcement, medical, and civil servant jobs require employees to pass a 10-panel test. There also isn't a strict definition of which drugs the drug testing center is screening for with each panel. One employer may want potential employees screened using a 4-panel test that looks for cocaine, opiates, THC -- the mind-altering substance found in marijuana -- and PCP. However, not all 4-panel drug tests are looking for those specific drugs. Some of the most common drugs employers look for include:

  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • PCP
  • Amphetamines
  • Opiates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Methadone
  • Propoxyphene
  • Quaaludes
  • Ecstasy/MDA
  • Oxycodone/Percocet

So, you might think that you'll have a clean drug test if you don't use recreational drugs, but several prescription medications are drugs that are frequently included in a drug screening.

Will Your Prescription Show Up on Your Drug Test?

There are a number of prescription medications that contain drugs that employers frequently test for during a drug screening, which is why you need to make sure the screening center has a list of your prescriptions before you take the test. Some medications that can show up during a drug screening, include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Pain pills
  • ADHD medication
  • Diet pills
  • Penicillin
  • Novocaine

What to Do if You Take Prescription Medications?

If you take prescription medications, you need to make the testing center aware of what type of medications you take. Typically, drug testing centers have patients fill out a form before their drug test. The form asks patients which prescription drugs they take, and you need to list every medication you've recently taken. In some cases, you might be required to provide proof that you're actually prescribed certain medications -- especially if the medication is one that's highly abused. So, you should ask you doctor for a copy of the written prescription so that you have it if needed.

Ultimately, if you aren't abusing drugs, you shouldn't worry about your pre-employment drug screening. As long as you've been prescribed the medication you're taking and disclose the information to the drug testing center, there's no reason for you not to pass your pre-employment drug test. Contact a business, such as AUSTIN MOBILE DRUG TESTING, for more information.