Substance use screening in transplant populations: Recommendations from a consensus workgroup

Sheila Jowsey-Gregoire*, Paul J. Jannetto, Michelle T. Jesse, James Fleming, Gerald Scott Winder, Wendy Balliet, Kristin Kuntz, Adriana Vasquez, Stephan Weinland, Filza Hussain, Robert Weinrieb, Marian Fireman, Mark W. Nickels, John Devin Peipert, Charlie Thomas, Paula C. Zimbrean

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Transplant patients are frequently treated with substances that have dependence potential and/or they may have a history of substance use disorders. The Psychosocial and Ethics Community of Practice of the American Society of Transplantation formed a Drug Testing Workgroup with participation from members of the Pharmacy Community of Practice and members of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. The workgroup reviewed the literature regarding the following issues: the role of drug testing in patients with substance use disorders, for patients prescribed controlled substances, legal, ethical and prescription drug monitoring issues, financial and insurance issues, and which patients should be tested. We also reviewed current laboratory testing for substances. Group discussions to develop a consensus occurred, and summaries of each topic were reviewed. The workgroup recommends that transplant patients be informed of drug testing and be screened for substances prior to transplant to ensure optimal care and implement ongoing testing if warranted by clinical history. While use of certain substances may not result in the exclusion for transplantation, an awareness of the patient's practices and possible risk from substances is necessary, allowing transplant teams to screen for substance use disorders and ensure the patient is able to manage and minimize risks post-transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100694
JournalTransplantation Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Screening
  • Substance use
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Surgery


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