Northstar Behavioral Health Partners with Valley Medical Laboratory for Viewing-Free Urine Drug Testing

Northstar Behavioral Health Network, a provider of inpatient residential care and outpatient services for those suffering from addiction, is partnering with Valley Medical Laboratory to offer viewing-free urine drug testing for its clients. Valley Medical’s DNA-verified urine drug testing (vTOX®) eliminates the need for viewed urine collection and Northstar is successfully deploying it at its facilities.

vTOX® uses DNA technology to confirm the validity of urine samples for toxicology testing. The process works by using a simple cheek swab to obtain a sample that can be used to map identifiers in the clients DNA. When the client submits future urine samples, DNA from each sample is compared to the stored information from the initial cheek swab. If the data is a match, the sample is verified to have come from the correct client.

This process eliminates the need for viewed urine collection to ensure sample validity. vTOX® provides more privacy for the client while minimizing the risk of urine tampering. Both clients and Northstar staff benefit.

Northstar Behavioral Health operates four 16-bed residential treatment centers in the Twin Cities metro (two for women, two for men), along with intensive outpatient (IOP) sites in St. Paul and St. Cloud and a suboxone clinic in Maplewood. The company also operates two substance use disorder (SUD) programs and an intensive residential treatment services (IRTS) facility in Fergus Falls.

Northstar is unique in offering every level of service from residential treatment to long-term aftercare, starting with a 90-day treatment program and progressing through a nine-month step-down IOP program. They also help clients obtain housing and employment. Clients can find the level of support they need from Northstar’s broad treatment offerings.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an important component of Northstar’s treatment programs. They’ve found that MAT has improved their clients’ success rate throughout their treatment. Northstar is also one of the few treatment centers in the state of Minnesota to have its own staff of suboxone providers.

Northstar clients come from detox programs, correctional facilities, and direct calls from individuals. Northstar’s emphasis on trauma-informed care is particularly important to its clients from correctional facilities who need to avoid retraumatizing situations, such as participating in viewed urine collection. Clients appreciate the stress-free urine collection enabled by Northstar’s use of vTOX® DNA-verified urine testing.

Northstar management notes that before adopting Valley Medical’s vTOX®, they had some issues with clients trying to avoid their drug tests or using fake or diluted urine for their samples. The company’s staff appreciates that vTOX® eliminates viewed urine collection, especially for those sites with mix-gendered staff.

Staff say that vTOX® puts less stress on the client knowing that they can have their privacy. Before vTOX®, when they were doing viewed UAs, they had a lot of pushback from clients not wanting to provide samples. With vTOX®, Northstar has less pushback and more clients wanting to take UAs.

Valley Medical is honored to partner with Northstar in better serving their residential and outpatient clients. Northstar Behavioral Health’s administrative office is located at 35 Water Street W., St. Paul, MN. You can learn more about Northstar at They can be contacted at 651-487-4987 or via email at

Valley Medical Laboratory provides toxicology testing services for Northstar and other treatment centers across the state of Minnesota from its Burnsville reference lab. vTOX® viewing-free urine drug testing is available to all Valley Medical partners. Learn more at or contact us at or by phone at 612-471-1141.

by Michael Miller

Michael Miller is a well-known writer with more than 200 books and thousands of articles published over the past two decades. His books have collectively sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.

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