#24 Who Should Discuss Drug Testing with Patients

November 29, 2019 Archived Blog Posts

I sincerely hope all of you had a wonderful, relaxing and restful Thanksgiving holiday.  I am wondering how many reading this shared with others the well known and repeated “fact” that the L-tryptophan in the turkey you ate yesterday is what made you crash after the Thanksgiving meal.  Sorry to disappoint, but that “fact” is a myth.  Yes, you read that correctly, I said myth.  Turkey is not any more sleep-inducing than other foods.  It is true tryptophan is a component of the brain chemical serotonin, however, chicken and many other foods also contain tryptophan in similar amounts to that found in turkey.  In reality your post Thanksgiving meal “crash” more likely occurred as a result of your pancreas releasing large amounts of insulin as a result of those wonderful carbohydrate loaded yams smothered in marshmallows, your grandmother’s bread stuffing, those wonderful homemade rolls, mashed potatoes slathered in homemade gravy and finally multiple utterly delicious sugar-filled desserts.  OH MY!  (Sorry, got a little carried away fantasizing about food)

Interesting how the longer and louder you say or repeat something, the more it has the likelihood of becoming a “fact”.  It is for this exact reason ILDP is very strict about who should discuss drug testing with patients.   I am aware of a former director of a lab that claimed he educated his collectors well enough on drug pharmacology that they were able to discuss in-depth drug testing with clinic patients.  In my opinion, this should never happen.  Although I write these blogs to help educate, ILDP collectors should never discuss drug pharmacology or test results with patients.  Doing so not only supersedes the authority and expertise of the provider who ordered the testing but also depending upon what is said, is on the verge of practicing medicine without a license.

 Licensed professionals, whether an addiction specialist or medical personnel, ordered the drug test for a purpose and they are the only ones who should be discussing such tests with patients.  Although many collectors, having held that position for some time may have some basic or even advanced knowledge of drug testing, it is not their place to discuss or interpret any part of a patient’s drug test.  There is already way too much incorrect information regarding drug testing being delivered to patients as fact by friends, family, and the internet.  ILDP would never put one of their employees in the position of assuming expertise when it comes to the health of a patient.  Drugs and drug test results should only be discussed by trained, licensed professionals.

Industry Lab wishes all of you a wonderful month of December as we approach Christmas and the New Year.  I have said before it is easy to become jaded in the business we are in.  As this special time of year approaches never forget we are dealing with human beings who have lives they are trying to live as well as they are able to.  Take that extra moment to respond, rather than react.  You may be the one who makes the difference which path that patient takes.  You want it to be the correct one.

Thank you all for your business and your trust in us.

Lance Benedict
President/CEO Industry Lab Diagnostic Partners