Drug Screening Dilemma

Q:

"Will the stimulant medication that I take show up in a potential employer's drug test? Can I prevent the medication from showing up in a test by refraining from taking it for a certain period of time?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).
A:

Certain stimulants may show up if there is an amphetamine screen as part of the testing. This medication has a short life span in the body. You have probably noticed that, at most, it lasts for eight hours. If you are determined to avoid explaining the disorder to a potential employer, and you will not be requesting accommodations at work, talk to your doctor about staying off your medication for three days before the test.

Larry Silver, M.D., is the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities. He is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

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