A Mississippi law aimed at regulating the use of prescription drugs is getting people’s attention in DeSoto County. The new regulations went into effect two weeks ago and requires doctors to drug test patients who are prescribed certain medications, not just pain pills.
This is about opioids and several other drugs prescribed for anxiety, depression, and ADHD.
Doctor’s offices are being forced to crack down, so patients might have to spend a little extra time and money the next time they go to the doctor.
“It helps protect the public and the providers,” says Tracey Mays with Mays Medical Wellness Clinic.
It’s already a pain to go to the doctor. And now, a Mississippi regulation states medical professionals have to drug test, at least three times a year, patients who are prescribed pain pills, sleeping pills, anxiety, depression medicine, and drugs that treat ADHD.
“Because of the abuse potential. And because we have an opioid problem in this area,” says Mays.
Mays is a nurse practitioner. She runs Mays Medical Wellness Clinic in Southaven. Mays says her patients haven’t complained about the changes.
“We have them sign an agreement with us that shows them that we are protecting them from any type of addiction problem as well as us from any type of licensure issues,” says Mays.
Patients may need to plan ahead. Doctors urge patients to check with their insurance company to see if drug testing is covered. Most insurance companies cover at least one test a year. Out of pocket, a drug test will cost $50 to $300. It takes just minutes in office if it has a lab onsite, or a day or two if it has to be sent out.
“The process is basically they leave a urine specimen. And we send it off and then it comes back, and we make sure it’s all good,” says Mays.
Depending on the results, a patient can get the prescription they need.
“We encourage them not to run out before they come in. We like to have at least a week available so that we can do the drug screen and to get the results back,” says Mays.
Here’s the bottom line. If a patient in Mississippi needs pain medicine, or drugs for anxiety such as Xanax, or ADHD medicine like Adderall, they’ll have to pass a drug test at their doctor’s office before they can get a prescription. They may have to wait a day or two before it can be written.
And don’t forget to call your insurance company to make sure those drug tests are covered.