Nurses prescribed marinol?

  1. 0
    Can an employer or the board of nursing punish you in any way if you are legally prescribed marinol and test positive for thc on a drug screen?
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  3. 23 Comments so far...

  4. 4
    If you test positive for it while at work, likely yes. I doubt any employer would allow a nurse to work knowing he/she had marinol in his/her system. They can do the same for legally prescribed narcotics or benzos so I'm not sure why marinol would be any different. You won't get in any legal trouble for having it in your system, but that doesn't mean that the hospital has to allow you to work while taking something that they likely consider a mind altering substance.
  5. 2
    We can't give legal advice here, but if you are enquiring about somebody else's practice you might consider that many people are competent to work after being rx'd drugs of potential abuse.

    A letter from the prescribing physician documenting the prescription and opining that the nurse is competent to perform normal nursing duties should go a long way. But you might end up needing an employment attorney (ask your practice insurance carrier for advice).
    NurseDirtyBird and sallyrnrrt like this.
  6. 1
    There would likely be a distinction between what an employer could do versus when the BON would get involved. The hospital would likely need to prove a certain unacceptable level along with behaviors proving impairment. Individual hospitals have different policies about how long it has to have been after taking controlled substances to the beginning of any given shift as well as being concerned with impaired behaviors.
    versatility likes this.
  7. 1
    Related: In California, many hospitals do not honor medical marijuana recommendations (which I know is not the same thing as marinol) [despite endorsement by the AMA and ANA]. Said hospitals will not hire you if you test positive for thc despite the recommendation.

    Source: HR via colleague word of mouth :/
    redhead_NURSE98! likes this.
  8. 0
    and who is to say the genesis of a positive test? MJ is still against Federal law.
  9. 3
    Quote from morte
    and who is to say the genesis of a positive test? MJ is still against Federal law.
    Marinol; a pharmaceutical product, has been legal (even federally) for years and contains synthetic cannibinoids. I do not know that there is a test to distinguish between cannibinoids from Marinol in one's system and the more typical marijuana.

    A typical drug test cannot distinguish what kind of opiate is in one's system; it could be hydrocodone legally prescribed or heroin bought off the street. Please note I qualified; the typical drug test.
  10. 2
    This is a HUGE area of liability for a hospital. Just imagine how a jury reacts when they are told that one of the clinicians involved in the case was "using ______ (fill in the drug or substance with potential for impairment)" Automatic support for the patient/family & a huge black eye for the hospital because the case is a public record. How would you feel???
  11. 3
    So based on a few of these posting I get the impression that some nurses believe that no nurse takes painkillers, anxiolytics, ADD meds, antidepressants/antipsychotic, weightloss pills or even antihistamines all of which can have mood altering effects. How is a cannaboid (FDA approved) different from any of these medications????
  12. 8
    I looked over this one initially, but I feel bold enough to speak my mind. Feel free to give me an ethics lesson if you feel necessary. Urine drug screen (the more common drug screen for employment) is kind of a BS method of "gauging a person's caliber" IMHO. Cocaine metabolites are eliminated from urine 3-4 days after last use. Metabolites from both commonly prescribed opioid analgesics (oh and heroine) are eliminated anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. However the metabolite tested for in Marinol/marijuana will be present in urine anywhere from several weeks to over a month after last use. And despite any of the substance's elimination time, their intoxicating effects last even shorter.

    So theoretically someone could get ****** over a wreckless weekend bender on some hard-hitting, heavily-impairing, even life-threatening drugs and test clean for work on Thursday. Whereas somebody smokes some weed on the 1st of January and can potentially be screwed middle of February. As far as person 2's employer knows, they were high the day of their test.

    Now I definitely don't practice or condone the use of illegal drugs, especially before work, but I've known people to be rejected from employers because of THC in the urine. I feel bad for them, these quality people who would have been true assets to their companies. If you think I'm crazy, look at the next IVDA testing positive for H/crack/THC versus the next patient positive for just THC. And don't tell me not to judge, we humans are imperfect and it's in our nature.

    What needs to be developed are statistically validated methods of empirically measuring acute impairment on a particular substance, similar to a breathalyzer for EtOH. If the drug has been proven to benefit a person with a certain symptom or condition, and it is available as prescription to help such a person, I consider it wrong to punish somebody for using it within their MD's instructions.
    NurseDirtyBird, opossum, i♥words, and 5 others like this.


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