Urine Drug Monitoring

Evaluating likely injured worker adherence through urine drug monitoring

With use of prescription opioids on the rise, it is increasingly important for clinician’s to effectively manage the medication adherence of their chronic pain patients. The American Pain Society and American Academy of Pain Medicine guidelines for chronic opioid therapy state that “clinicians should consider periodically obtaining urine drug screens or other information” as part of their plan of care.1

Urine drug monitoring gives clinician’s critical information and insight to help evaluate injured workers adherence to their pain medication regimen and help achieve better outcomes. While most patients and physicians have the best intentions, a recent national study showed that, for a variety of reasons, many pain patients may not be using their pain medication properly. In the same study, more than 38% of the patients had no detectable level of their prescribed medications.2

There are numerous reasons for potential injured worker non-adherence to their prescription regimens. For example, patients may:

  • Choose not to take their medication regularly due to fear of addiction
  • Take too little medication, or none at all, because of the costs or side effects
  • Take too much medication because of inadequate pain control or addiction
  • Divert their pain medications – whether unintentionally or intentionally

In order to reduce medication misuse and abuse, it is important to assess whether chronic pain patients are adhering to their prescription regimens and taking their medications correctly. It’s vital information for assuring that patients receive the right treatment for the best outcomes.

For more information about evaluating injured workers through urine drug monitoring, please click here or visit Ameritox.com


1 Chou R, Fanciullo GJ, Fine PG. et al. Clinical guidelines for the use of chronic opioid therapy in chronic noncancer pain. J Pain. 2009;10(2):113–130.

2Couto JE, Goldfarb NI, Leider HL, Romney MC, Sharma S. High rates of inappropriate drug use in the chronic pain population. Popul Health Manag. 2009;12(4):185–190.