Some patients take more medication than they should, sell medication they are not using, or use illicit drugs to supplement their treatment. Of course, these methods are undertaken without the authorization of the physician, and close drug monitoring can protect both the patient and the physician.
Regular and random urine drug testing is used to protect the patient from accidental overdose and drug interactions that the physician would not otherwise be aware of. Many patients have suffered overdoses from improper usage of prescription pain medication, and this procedure is used to prevent that unfortunate side effect. In addition, it allows the government and the physician to track the usage of prescription medication and ensure that either the patient does not abuse it or a third party that may obtain the medications. The practice is predicated on the compassionate desire of all pain management professionals to ensure the safe and effective use of narcotic pain medications.