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Toxicol Commun. 2019;3(1):94-101. doi: 10.1080/24734306.2019.1700339. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Agreement between self-reported psychoactive substance use and urine toxicology results for adults with opioid use disorder admitted to hospital.

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Department of Quality Management and Patient Safety, Beaumont Health, Southfield, MI, USA.
Substance Use Disorders Initiative, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
School of Pharmacy, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Pharmacy, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.


Hospitals often perform urine drug screens (UDS) upon inpatient admission to confirm self-reported psychoactive substance use for patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). We sought to evaluate the agreement between UDS and patient self-report for psychoactive substances detected with UDS for adults with OUD admitted to hospital. For 11 substance categories, we evaluated agreement between the UDS and the documented history over a 5-year period for consecutive adults admitted to one academic center with a history of OUD. Among the 153 patients, overall agreement across the 1683 different history/UDS pairs (i.e. either history+/UDS + or history-/UDS-) was high (81.3%) but varied (from lowest to highest) by substance [opiates (56.9%), benzodiazepines (66.0%), 6-acetylmorphine (67.3%), cocaine (81.0%), cannabinoids (81.0%), methadone (83.7%), buprenorphine (85.0%), amphetamine (94.8%), barbiturates (95.4%), and phencyclidine (98.7%)]. History+/UDS- pair mismatches were most frequent for 6-acetylmorphine (32.7%), methadone (14.3%) and oxycodone (12.4%); history-/UDS + pair mismatches were most frequent for opiates (43.1%), benzodiazepines (24.8%) and cannabinoids (18.3%). The change in agreement over time of self-reported heroin use may reflect an increasing number of patients unknowingly using illicit fentanyl products. Among hospitalized patients with OUD, agreement between reported psychoactive substance use history and UDS results is strong with the exception of opiates, heroin, and benzodiazepines.


Drug screening; medication reconciliation; opioid related disorder; substance abuse detection

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