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False positive, meds taken away

Bill RBBill R Posts: 15
edited 08/30/2013 - 8:13 PM in Pain Management
Hello, long time since I've posted anything since my radiation treatments. I honestly thought the worst was over but then my life got turned upside down. I'll keep this as short and to the point as possible.
I got a call from my PM office in early May telling me there was something irregular with my test in April and I needed to come immediately. I assumed my MRI was showing something new and I was freaking. So I get there as soon as I can and they requested all my meds after I got there. I told them I don't keep all of them on me all the time b/c I've had them stolen before. I take a days worth when I leave for work. they said to come back the next day but they still wouldnt tell me what's going on. Something must have shown up on my drug test. Oh we'll, no worries. After all I only take what the DR gives me, so I don't give it another thought. I show up again the next day and I'm told I'm positive for Heroin. Heroin????!!!!!! I truly thought it was a joke, but it wasn't. I'm only going to say this once, I've never done heroin in my life or even seen it before. My wife (she's an RN) demands a retest on the urine in question. But guess what?? They through it out after the first and only test. Apparently they don't think it's possible they will ever make a mistake. Oh, this test is done outside my DR's office. My wife and I had a consultation with my doctor the next day and she took away all of my meds and offered Suboxone, that's it. But I was not kicked out of the program. After 9 years with her with no problems, never even called my meds in early, no positive tests of any kind, I'm treated like this. She did say she didn't think I was taking heroin but that I was "cooking" up my Kadian to make something else. I told her, I'm not a chemist, how would I do that? She said probably from youtube. I replied, that would be illegal and whoever made the video would be found and investigated, at least.
It's now August and I'm simply at the end of my rope, my sanity. I simply cannot take this anymore. I sleep about every 3rd day, it's usually about 50 hours of excruciating pain and then about 6-8 hours sleep. My record so far is 4 1/2 days of no sleep. No one will help me and I feel so alone and angry. I can't believe this has happened and I don't understand how this has happened. The only thing I can think of is that someone switched my sample. I remembered vividly the day of this test because there was no one there to take my sample or seal it up. There was just a cup and a form for me to sign. The nurse was in the exam room so anything could have happened. My only conclusion is that this was a simple mixup or someone's desperation to not get caught themselves. I suppose I could get a lawyer but what doctor will want to treat me after I sue this doctor? I'll be black marked forever. I'm trying to ride this storm out and pray something will change but its not looking like anything is going to change.
I've been in constant pain for more than 11 years, it never goes away and the last pain free day I had was before 2002. I've had 10 surgeries in the last 10 years, spinal cage fusion, microdiskectomy, laminectomy, bone cancer damage in 6 vert., multiple disc protrusions and bulges, 5 weeks of radiation treatment killed the marrow in all 6 vertibraes that had tumors and Fibromyalgia. My T10 vert is the worst with more than 85% bone eaten away. Stabbing, burning, shooting pain throughout my lower and middle back into my shoulders. Nerve damage in my lower back causes my right leg to hurt bad enough that I swear its broken. I was taking Percocet, Kadian, Dillaudid and ambien. And even with all those meds I still haven't been able to sleep in a bed for over 2 years, so I've slept in a recliner since the cancer started up in 2008.
I apologize for the long message and if you made it this far, thank you very much for reading. I'm not fishing for sympathy comments or anything. It's just I'm having some very bad thoughts and wondering if it is ok to end life when it's nothing but constant suffering. Because this is not living a life, being tortured day after day with no relief and I can't see any light at the end of this tunnel. If anyone knows someone who's been in this type of situation, or similar and can give advice please do because I'm at a complete loss and I don't see any options.
Thank you for listening.



  • PamhoffcaPPamhoffca Posts: 163
    edited 08/30/2013 - 10:07 PM
    Bill....you need to replace the ending your life thoughts with getting angry thoughts!!! Get a lawyer....asap!! This is ridiculous!!!!!!!! The least they could do is re-test you. Hire a lawyer to write a letter demanding a re-test and the return of your medication. Have them document your pain and suffering as a result of the lack of pain control. I repeat, get a lawyer. Do some research this weekend and make a call on Tuesday.

    By the way Bill....someone else posted on the boards about medicinal marijana (canibus). Not sure what state you are in, but that could be something to try for pain relief.

    Post Edited for Inappropriate Language and political content by The Spine-Health Moderator Team
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • Hello, I was tested again less than a week from my false positive and then again. If I remember I went to her office 3 times within 8 days and all were negative. And like I said, she doesn't think I actually injected street heroin but thinks that I "cooked up" my Kadian (morphine sulfate) and made something and go the idea off YouTube. I feel like this was an ambush from the inside. I'm sounding like some conspiracy theorist, but that's what it seems like. Why was my sample thrown away immediately? Why am I still her patient if I did in fact break the rules? I've never been in trouble in my life, no drug possessions, I've never even been in the back of a police car. Yet I'm being treated this way, I don't understand this.
    My workplace sends new people to a clinic and they do hair samples and can go back as far as 12 months. I'm going to have it done but I don't think it's going to make any difference since she doesn't think I did heroin anyway.
    A close friend has recently had several back surgeries and like me he did not get better so he sued his doctor and now he can't get any help, no PM DR will touch him. I am angry, believe me, I'm furious but I don't know how to win this thing. She's red flagged me. No doctor is going to believe me over an MD.

    I've been reading up on other people who have gone through the same thing. Thank you for responding.

    You had a micro on your L5 S1 too? I had that done and 9 months later I had a spinal cage fusion. That was the most painful experience of my life and still is. Hope it doesn't come to that. Best of luck

  • One thing we did when I was in the military was to get a 2nd test done the same day as a random drug test given by the military. We did that so if something got messed up with the original test, we had a back up. I had no faith in the military drug testing process. I was selected once for a random test four days after I cut part of my finger off. I was still taking pain meds and told them I was on a bunch of meds. They never asked what I was taking nor did they have access to my civilian medical records. About a week later, I got a letter from Brooks AFB congratulating me on passing my drug test. It was at that point I started getting double tested to be safe.

    Your best bet may be to look for a new PM. Ask your GP for assistance. Your GP probably knows you better anyway.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • If I were you, I would certainly look into getting the hair test done.
    I was trying to research if any of the combinations of medications might be what caused the heroin to show up. Are you taking any other medications, including over the counter meds, nyquil, antihistamines?
  • Wow, didn't know that there is a blackball list is you rightfully sue. Whats a person to do to make things right? Just crazy. She has o evidence of you doing anything wrong. There must be some kind of mediation or appeal process.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • There are 'screeners', which are usually used in office to confirm the opiates in the patients system , and to confirm the negatives of street drugs, but most PM offices now send their patients urine testing out for confirmatory gas chromotography/mass spectometry, which pretty much eliminates false positives.
    What should have happened is that if the screening was done in the office, and it showed positive for heroin or any other illicit substance, the urine should have been sent out immediately for gs/ms testing to confirm the 'positive' and in in what amounts.
    The testing done is basically a confirmatory test done to see what metabolites are in the patients system, once the body has broken down the opiates. Using gc/ms, it would be highly unlikely for a false positive or a false negative to occur.
  • Thank you guys for your comments and help. It feels like I'm fighting against the world all by myself so its good to talk with others that have the same condition and similar problems.

    EMS Guy, very sorry you lost your finger. My father accidentally cut his off too. I play guitar constantly and I've been very dedicated to it more than 20 years so the thought of that just scares me.

    I did ask for my sample to be tested again at another facility but it was thrown out after the test was done.
    Doesn't that seem strange or just flat out wrong? If I ran a company which tested for individuals and the tests importance defined the individuals credibility and well being and the test resulted bad for the person. Wouldn't it make sense to keep what was left so if it was challenged you could test it again? There has to be some protocol, some standards for covering you butt if you did mess up. I mean we are humans and not robots and people make mistakes and I can accept it being a human error, but I'm being held accountable for that persons error and its final.

    Hi Sandi, I don't take anything other than my usual meds for this exact reason.
    This happened in April and I usually get a wicked spring time cold every year and usually ends up a sinus infection and I go to the doctor and they give me Amoxicillin (I think). And I read somewhere last night that Amoxicillin can cause positive results but I don't know about false positive for heroin.

    You're right Sandi, my PM office just does the screening process and then it's sent out for the gas chromotography/mass spectometry. All I know is either there was human error during the testing or my sample got switched by someone making me take the blame. Another thing that really confuses me is my doctor said to my face and my RN wife in the same room is that she doesn't believe that I actually took street heroin but that I altered or her words "cooked" my Kadian (morphine sulfate) creating this "heroin" like drug. Where in the hell does she get off saying that? Where did that come from? 9 years with her, jumping through her hoops, never talked back, never pushed for more meds ever, 2+ years of drug testing every month with no issues and this happens and now im looked at and tagged as a "drug chemist", unbelievable.

    Again sorry for the long rants but this is a nightmare come to life. My meds were taken away 4 months ago and the pain is unbearable. If I do get to fall asleep the pain wakes me up every one or two hours. I don't have a cane but I am using crutches when I leave the house. Though I leave them in my truck when I go to my PM appointments. I know if I take them in her office they'll roll there eyes and think "oh crutches? Nice try, we know what you really are." And I'm just not going to give them any ammunition.

    I've lost my faith in her as a doctor and as a person and sadly I'm friends with all the nurses and they know my three boys by name since they were babies. I can only imagine the gossip about me going on but there's nothing I can do other than get a hair sample and show them they're wrong.
    Thank you all again for listening to me cry and ramble on.

  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 09/03/2013 - 12:29 PM
    I looked it up on Wiki and apparently heroin turns into morphine when ingested. You are on morphine anyway so if ingested I don't know how they could tell the difference. Just a thought. I think it goes opium, morphine , heroin - they are all from the same poppy unless they are manmade compounds. Also read that a bacteria can be responsible for morphine looking like heroin on Wiki. It could be that your sinus infection could have made it result in a false positive. I would do some research and show your Doctor. She should know this anyway but might not. but maybe a pharmacist would - so do you know a pharmacist who could support you in writing. No-one should have to be in that much pain.

    Looks like as with most things with spine you have to do your own research. It also helped me to take in some writing from SH so they could read it and know you are not faking your pain. Can you see a PM specialist and tell them what happened. False positives must come up quite often, isn't there a protocol in place if this happens?
  • nurse jillnnurse jill Posts: 5
    edited 09/03/2013 - 3:24 PM
    Shouldn't the test be rejected just on the fact that a nurse didn't seal it in front of you and have you both sign it?
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 09/05/2013 - 7:41 AM
    Since it is not a certified testing site, -ie DOT, or employment test, there isn't necessarily the need to have it sealed, signed by the patient and the nurse...
  • Hi I'm Jeanette I have degenerative disease only just found out I since this year beginning of January started at first in the middle of my back just at the start of my shoulder blades I woke up with a little bit of niggle pain since then I have been back and forth to my Dr who referred me to a specialist who was more interested in my lower chronic pain I spent half hour explaining to specialist about pain had gone now into shoulder blades and the oxynorm luqid morphine was only taking pain away for a bit then it was back I was led to believe I had a full MRI scan iv ask for my results well that was 4 weeks ago now iv spoken to my Dr 7 hours ago because iv been so I'll with pain my Dr this week prescribed me bupprenorphine told me she was starting me on 200mcgs but instead gave me 400mcgs I ended up accidently overdosing and very ill after for days that was on the 23rd this month may my Dr has phoned me twice now and there has been other health problems issues but I am no further than I was when I first went on the morphine patches and oxycontin tablets 10years ago and told I will eventually end up in wheel chair now I have lost faith in all doctors specialists medication I suffer with deep depression not because I'm mental because I lost my mother 8years ago and I'm finding it hard to live life without her and I lost my brother who I cannot get over I have two little dogs who I love that's kept me going but now I'm thinking of finding my dogs the best homes and using all the money to rmdu life within a minute and iv told my doctor how but I would mebet tell anyone else when iv told my doctor to leave me alone x Jeanette who has really had enough
  • I am a bit confused by your post. Are you saying that you were taken off medications because of the overdose?
    I'm sorry about the loss of your mom. That's always hard loosing our parents.
    Depression goes hand and hand with chronic pain ,so it's really important that you do everything necessary to reach out for help .

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    edited 05/29/2015 - 8:25 AM
    that besides looking into the medical physical side, you should also be addressing your depression.

    Your emotional state many times can be more difficult to control than your physical state
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • sherrie1978ssherrie1978 Little RockPosts: 1
    I know this is a very old post, and way too far in the past to help Bill but maybe it will help someone that runs across this in the future. You mentioned being sick. Not sure if amox was the only antibiotic you took, but it has been proven both Levaquin and Cipro regularly cause false heroin positives. Others do as well, but those 2 almost always.

  • I was tested by CPS and the test came back positive for heroin. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE AS I TOO HAVE NEVER EVEN SEEN HEROIN. I am frightened - how do I prove this??? They won't retest. PLEASE HELP ME I NEVER DID HEROIN I SWARE TO GOD
  • This is ridiculous and unjust. I'm sitting here reading these Post's about people being cut off for false positives. The same thing happened to my husband a few months ago they retested and sure enough the test came back as it should with only prescribed meds in his urine. That didn't matter they cut him off and said nope!!!!! He was able to find another dr though. You are not blacklisted after one test. What these docs are doing is technically illegal but unfortunately it would be very hard to prove. You need to find another doc and once they request your records just explain in detail like you did in this forum and they will more likely treat you and form their own conclusions along the way. There are a lot of people practicing in the PM arena that should not be there......... But I can tell you I'm freaking appalled that they would treat an oncology patient this way. It's dangerous and unacceptable. Have you been able to get some relief? God I hope so.
  • I just found out that prilosec (which I take daily) can register a false positive for THC! !  Just flippin GREAT!  So that's one MORE thing I have to think about before trying to set things up with a new pain management group since my surgeon decided I need to wean off pain meds.   I'm almost afraid to ask what's next!!!!  Guess the next phase of my research will have to be how long prilosec stays in the system.  Sure hoping I don't have to stay off it for long--I've got enough going on with the stomach from weaning off the other meds.    :/
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • stargate012sstargate012 Austin Texas Posts: 2
    Hi Bill, I had a similar situation happened to me, but only having marijuana in my system. I do not and have ever done recreational drugs in my life. I was mistreated and very rude to, by the nurse and the doctor. After visiting my therapist and telling him what happened, he decided to investigate further and it turns out that that drug was in my system and asked me if I had been around anyone who uses.  It all started to come together. A friend of mine was teasing me one day and asking why I've never experienced pot? While asking me, she was blowing the smoke right in my face.  Pain management doctor lectured me and made me cry. I then decided to leave Pàin management and I was fortunate to have my primary doctor to take over my care. Take care and have a nice day!
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