Hair follicle

Published

  • Specializes in Med surg. Has 6 years experience.

I have a very serious issue I’m currently dealing with and I’m absolutely terrified of the outcome.

My job called me saying I needed to go take a drug test. So I went and they popped a hair follicle test on me. I recently smoked (incredibly stupid yes I know, lesson learned, will never happen again).

I’m just wondering what is going to happen.. will I be fired? What should I say to my employer? Do I need to hire a lawyer? Reported to the BON? Will I have to go through with the rehabilitation program for marijuana? How aggressive is said program? Will I be on restrictions with narcotics? I just need an answer. I am filled with anxiety about this and it feels like the world is crashing down around me. I’m looking into other careers because I feel like this is literally the end. I’m scared for my license. And my livelihood. Any advice, past experiences and all of that is greatly appreciated. I don’t need criticism. I’m beating myself up enough as it is. Thanks so much .

mississippiRN71

432 Posts

I would wait and see if the test is For sure positive then go from there. If it is then it’s best if you self report to the BON.

nurse.etc

37 Posts

depends a lot on what state you are in. if its positive, then yes some sort of professional recovery program will be involved to keep your license. also depends on your employer, some have zero tolerance others will allow you to take leave while you get enrolled and cleared to work again.

HOWEVER, a one time use of weed usually doesnt show up in hair. thc stays in your body fat for a long time that's why it shows in urine for so long but it doesnt absorb in hair very much. an occasional users will >>usually<< test negative in hair.

try not to freak until you get the results. most people in my state who get caught with thc in their system, as long as they werent accused of being impaired at work, it's a quick 6 month monitoring contract and maybe some therapy/12 steps. and only get the full rehab trek (inpatient/outpatient + aftercare) when you are a chronic abuser or have co-addictions.

Has 35 years experience.

Don’t admit anything. Texas has a program for non addicts who get busted. I don’t know your state but don’t self report. This may just be a nudge by God telling you to reevaluate your choices! If you really have a drug problem then face it. If your job confronts you and fires you don’t admit anything to them because you don’t work there anymore and it’s none of their business. Good luck.

BostonFNP, APRN

3 Articles; 5,581 Posts

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 12 years experience.
On 1/12/2020 at 10:21 PM, Anonlpn4 said:

I have a very serious issue I’m currently dealing with and I’m absolutely terrified of the outcome.

My job called me saying I needed to go take a drug test. So I went and they popped a hair follicle test on me. I recently smoked (incredibly stupid yes I know, lesson learned, will never happen again).

I’m just wondering what is going to happen.. will I be fired? What should I say to my employer? Do I need to hire a lawyer? Reported to the BON? Will I have to go through with the rehabilitation program for marijuana? How aggressive is said program? Will I be on restrictions with narcotics? I just need an answer. I am filled with anxiety about this and it feels like the world is crashing down around me. I’m looking into other careers because I feel like this is literally the end. I’m scared for my license. And my livelihood. Any advice, past experiences and all of that is greatly appreciated. I don’t need criticism. I’m beating myself up enough as it is. Thanks so much .

May depend on what you smoked? I think everyone is assuming marijuana?

KyBeagle, ASN

144 Posts

Specializes in ED RN and Case Manager. Has 27 years experience.
On 1/12/2020 at 10:21 PM, Anonlpn4 said:

I recently smoked

Another question is, how recently? It usually takes 5-7 days of hair growth after ingestion before it’s detected via hair testing (whereas a UDS is pretty much immediately). And as others have said, a one time use may not be detected.

I agree with everyone else. Wait for the results before saying anything. It may be negative. However, if it IS positive, you will most likely be subjected to your state’s monitoring program. If it’s THC & you don’t have a problem, I would definitely get an attorney.

So what happens if it’s positive?
Someone mentioned 6 months monitoring. In Kentucky, THC would still land you with a 5 year monitoring contract (but it’s completely illegal here, even for medicinal use). If this happened, you wouldn’t lose your license IF you agreed to enter into a contract. You could lose your job but that would be up to your employer. You would have to stop working for a “short period of time” until you had a chemical dependency exam, completed whatever treatment was recommended (probably just IOP for THC), and were approved to return to work by the program. “Short period of time”—-this is the very sticky point, though. Any employer will have to know about your contract & abide by its terms. Difficult but not impossible.
Once your IOP or treatment is completed, 5 years of random UDS testing & 3X/week AA or NA meetings would begin. They could add other meetings (in addition to my 3 NA/AA meetings/ month, I also had to attend a Healthcare Professional meeting for SUDs with other nurses/ MDs/ Pharmacists/ Resp Therapists, etc. weekly for 9 months— I actually really liked that meeting).
You would have certain work restrictions. Can’t administer any controlled meds x 1 year. No supervisory positions x 3 years. Can only work a maximum of 88hrs per 2 week pay period. No HH, no agency work (someone had to be on the premises that was aware of my contract. During the day it was my direct supervisor. At night, another coworker).
There’s a few other conditions but these are the main ones.

If it sounds difficult, time-consuming, and anxiety-ridden... it was! BUT, IT IS DOABLE! I just “graduated” from my 5 year program in October.

So... based on ALL the stuff I described, if you DON’T have a problem, I wouldn’t say a dang thing! Don’t rush & say something, start down this road, then end up with a negative hair test! Just WAIT! If it’s negative, lesson learned! And if it IS positive, get an attorney. I did not but I DID have a problem & I needed my program. If you have just smoked THC here & there, that’s bad judgment, yes, but you probably don’t need what I’ve just described. Get an attorney and see if they can plead you down to a much smaller timeframe or another disciplinary action.

But, first, wait for the results! AND, since we’ve responded to you, please do the same for us & let us know the outcome- good or bad! And, if bad, we can help you through the next steps!

Best of Luck!!

Anonlpn4

2 Posts

Specializes in Med surg. Has 6 years experience.
3 hours ago, KyBeagle said:

Another question is, how recently? It usually takes 5-7 days of hair growth after ingestion before it’s detected via hair testing (whereas a UDS is pretty much immediately). And as others have said, a one time use may not be detected.

I agree with everyone else. Wait for the results before saying anything. It may be negative. However, if it IS positive, you will most likely be subjected to your state’s monitoring program. If it’s THC & you don’t have a problem, I would definitely get an attorney.

So what happens if it’s positive?
Someone mentioned 6 months monitoring. In Kentucky, THC would still land you with a 5 year monitoring contract (but it’s completely illegal here, even for medicinal use). If this happened, you wouldn’t lose your license IF you agreed to enter into a contract. You could lose your job but that would be up to your employer. You would have to stop working for a “short period of time” until you had a chemical dependency exam, completed whatever treatment was recommended (probably just IOP for THC), and were approved to return to work by the program. “Short period of time”—-this is the very sticky point, though. Any employer will have to know about your contract & abide by its terms. Difficult but not impossible.
Once your IOP or treatment is completed, 5 years of random UDS testing & 3X/week AA or NA meetings would begin. They could add other meetings (in addition to my 3 NA/AA meetings/ month, I also had to attend a Healthcare Professional meeting for SUDs with other nurses/ MDs/ Pharmacists/ Resp Therapists, etc. weekly for 9 months— I actually really liked that meeting).
You would have certain work restrictions. Can’t administer any controlled meds x 1 year. No supervisory positions x 3 years. Can only work a maximum of 88hrs per 2 week pay period. No HH, no agency work (someone had to be on the premises that was aware of my contract. During the day it was my direct supervisor. At night, another coworker).
There’s a few other conditions but these are the main ones.

If it sounds difficult, time-consuming, and anxiety-ridden... it was! BUT, IT IS DOABLE! I just “graduated” from my 5 year program in October.

So... based on ALL the stuff I described, if you DON’T have a problem, I wouldn’t say a dang thing! Don’t rush & say something, start down this road, then end up with a negative hair test! Just WAIT! If it’s negative, lesson learned! And if it IS positive, get an attorney. I did not but I DID have a problem & I needed my program. If you have just smoked THC here & there, that’s bad judgment, yes, but you probably don’t need what I’ve just described. Get an attorney and see if they can plead you down to a much smaller timeframe or another disciplinary action.

But, first, wait for the results! AND, since we’ve responded to you, please do the same for us & let us know the outcome- good or bad! And, if bad, we can help you through the next steps!

Best of Luck!!

It was December 28th. Tested 10 days later. And very infrequently before that too. I haven’t heard anything back as of yet. It was last Thursday and it’s been 4 days not including the weekend. I’m scared to death for that phone call.

Katherin7

9 Posts

100% if you come up dirty, say you were AROUND people who legally smoke. You didn’t smoke yourself. That’s the best way, and what an HR person told someone to say.

BostonFNP, APRN

3 Articles; 5,581 Posts

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 12 years experience.
5 hours ago, Katherin7 said:

100% if you come up dirty, say you were AROUND people who legally smoke. You didn’t smoke yourself. That’s the best way, and what an HR person told someone to say.

Are we really encouraging nurses to lie about using illicit drugs? It is one thing to be an occasional THC user and get caught on a RDS but when you start jeopardizing your professional integrity to cover it, where does that end?

beachbabe86

122 Posts

Specializes in Oceanfront Living. Has 23 years experience.
4 hours ago, Hyperflycemia said:

where does that end?

It ends when weed is made legal as alcohol is now. Never smoked, never will.

BostonFNP, APRN

3 Articles; 5,581 Posts

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 12 years experience.
39 minutes ago, beachbabe86 said:

It ends when weed is made legal as alcohol is now. Never smoked, never will.

Legalization has nothing to do with my comment.

If an individual is willing to lie about smoking pot out of self-preservation, what does that say for their professional integrity. Would they make up vital signs and document them? Would they say they administered a med they didn't? Would they document and assessment they forgot to do? Would they try and cover a med error they made?

rn1965, ADN

514 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Women's Health, LTC. Has 27 years experience.
3 hours ago, Hyperflycemia said:

Legalization has nothing to do with my comment.

If an individual is willing to lie about smoking pot out of self-preservation, what does that say for their professional integrity. Would they make up vital signs and document them? Would they say they administered a med they didn't? Would they document and assessment they forgot to do? Would they try and cover a med error they made?

Apples and oranges. IMHO.