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Why do you require urine drug screens?

Urine drug screens are a useful tool to help keep patients accountable for their goals during recovery. When providers look at a urine drug screen result, they see if substances that should be in there (like Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone)), are in there AND substances that should NOT be in there (like non-prescribed drugs) are NOT. If unexpected results come up in the urine drug screen, it is an opportunity for the medical provider to have a conversation with the patient to understand if the patient needs more support with their recovery. 

In this spirit, we don’t talk about “failing a drug test” and we don’t use the urine drug test to punish patients or to take them off their Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). Our goal is to try to maximize patients’ likelihood of achieving a successful recovery, which includes continuing life-saving medications like Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) and may also include mental health and other behavioral supports. Hence, urine drug screens are one way we help patients meet their treatment goals.

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH, is a board-certified Family Medicine Physician and Head of Research at Bicycle Health. She earned her Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine (in the Rural Primary Care Track) and her Master of Public Health (MPH) from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Rollston completed her residency at Tufts University and Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard-affiliated community healthcare system in Greater Boston, with emphases in addiction medicine and sexual & reproductive health. Her professional interests focus on social determinants of health & health equity, addiction medicine, gender-based violence, sexual & reproductive health, rural health, homelessness & supportive housing, and immigrant health. Dr. Rollston has published on these topics in The Lancet, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, American Journal of Health Promotion, Journal of Appalachian Health, and Medical Care.

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Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH, is a board-certified Family Medicine Physician and Head of Research at Bicycle Health. She earned her Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine (in the Rural Primary Care Track) and her Master of Public Health (MPH) from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Rollston completed her residency at Tufts University and Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard-affiliated community healthcare system in Greater Boston, with emphases in addiction medicine and sexual & reproductive health. Her professional interests focus on social determinants of health & health equity, addiction medicine, gender-based violence, sexual & reproductive health, rural health, homelessness & supportive housing, and immigrant health. Dr. Rollston has published on these topics in The Lancet, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, American Journal of Health Promotion, Journal of Appalachian Health, and Medical Care.

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