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Drug Testing During Rehab Part 2

In Drug Testing During Rehab Part 1 we discussed the primary time when a person recovering from addiction or alcoholism will be tested for drugs: during detox. This includes testing to determine the type/s and amount of drugs in the patient’s system, and to monitor the gradual reduction of the drug as the detox process progresses. In this installment of the series we’ll discuss the two other times a person in treatment is likely to be drug tested: as part of suspicion or random based regular clinic testing, or as part of a court order. In some cases patients may be subject to all three types of testing in order to ensure the integrity of their treatment.

During Treatment – Suspicion or Random

Drug testing may occur during rehab if there is suspicion that a patient has been using. This occurred in the case of Redmond O’Neal, son of actor Ryan O’Neal, when he began acting erratically during treatment at a California drug rehab center:

“Redmond O’Neal tested positive for drugs on Saturday, while in his current West Los Angeles rehab facility, and the dirty test is being reported to the court.” (1)

In O’Neal’s case the positive test resulted in a prison sentence and the termination of the treatment program he was in during the relapse.

However, many drug rehab centers conduct random testing in addiction to suspicion based testing in order to ensure a fair testing platform for all patients, who are in theory and in practice likely to relapse if given the opportunity – especially during the early stages of treatment when symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome set in.

Court Ordered

All too often substance abuse and addiction leads to legal problems. Fortunately, the US has a large number of drug courts that help to intervene and arrange treatment instead of incarceration for individuals charged with drug crimes. From the Wikipedia entry for Drug Court:

“Drug Courts operate under a very specific model that combines intensive judicial supervision, mandatory drug testing, escalating sanctions and treatment to help substance abusing offenders break the cycle of addiction and the crime that accompanies it.” (2)

The entry also indicates that of the 10 key components of the drug court model, number 5 is: “Abstinence is monitored by frequent alcohol and other drug testing.”

In many cases court-ordered drug testing is the last chance for convicted offenders before serious criminal penalties are applied, including heavy fines and long prison sentences. Drug rehab centers comply with court-ordered drug testing and may apply their own testing regimen in addition to that of a competent court.

The fact of the matter is that if you’re worried about drug testing, there’s a problem. Drug addiction and alcoholism can destroy not only your life – but the life of those around you. Take action and get help right now – it’s as simple as a free, confidential phone call. By dialing the number at the top of your screen, we can help you arrange the right treatment, right now. We can even help you with court issues, but we can’t do anything if you don’t call.

(1) Heger, Jen Redmond O’Neal Has Dirty DrugTest While In Rehab; Headed BackTo Court 09/14/11 RadarOnline
(2) Wikipedia Drug Court

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More