LAYTON -- The Davis County Sheriff's office admits there may be a problem with its criminal justice drug testing program.
So much so, Davis County Chief Deputy Bob Yeaman will send some of the completed tests to an outside lab in Arizona to double-check for accuracy, particularly on tests of former Oxycontin addicts.
"We are going to send out the positive tests we are getting for Oxycontin," said Yeaman, who believes they have not had any false positives. "We are going to make sure."
Some of the completed testing samples were not kept, so Yeaman said those positive results for drug court participants were thrown out.
"We are giving them the benefit of the doubt," he added.
Using its own equipment, the sheriff's office took over the testing program for the Davis County drug court on Aug. 1 after serious questions confronted Frontier Probation, a private company based in Layton that had been doing the testing for the court.
Davis County Deputy Attorney Steve Major and Yeaman, who heads the testing program, believe the problem started with the testing of people who were Oxycontin addicts taking the prescription drug Suboxone.
"We've got experts telling us, 'Yes, you can get false positives for Oxycontin,' " said Major. "We've got other experts telling us no way can you get a positive for Oxycontin for people using Suboxone."
Frontier Probation was released last month from its county contract to handle random urinalysis tests for drug court participants who are tested frequently to ensure their sobriety.
Layton police began an investigation into Frontier's practices after accusations arose that an employee was leaking secret, random urinalysis test dates to drug court participants. The employee was fired.
But soon after the county testing began, the Standard-Examiner received calls from drug court participants and their families to complain about the results.
None would identify themselves, fearing retribution or backlash from the system.
County officials did confirm they were getting a higher number of Oxycontin positives not long after they took over the process from Frontier and began looking into the problem.
Yeaman also points out that the positive results were already being re-tested for accuracy, that it was only a small number of tests in question and no one was jailed or disciplined who didn't admit to retaking the drug.
The office administers more than 100 tests a week for at least $15 for each test.
Participants are not being charged for the additional Arizona testing.
At Discovery House, a private opiate treatment center in Layton, counselors say testing errors can rattle any patient and their family on the road to rehabilitation.
"Nothing is harder (for patients) when it isn't the truth," said Discovery House program director Kenneth Dyer.
But helping them cope is what they do, he added.
Yeaman said a new procedure will be added in October to the testing done in house.
As for Frontier Probation, Major said the investigation is nearing completion.