Dept. of Transportation To Drug Test Truck Drivers For OxyCodone, Hydrocodone, Others

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Dept. of Transportation To Drug Test Truck Drivers For OxyCodone, Hydrocodone, Others

Last week, the Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed to drug test drivers for the four commonly abused opioids be added to the list of screened substances for truck driver urine tests. These include hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and hydromorphone – all prescription pain medications.

According to DOT, these are to be added in order to make its drug test panel current with new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines.

The DOT drug testing panel hasn’t been updated since 2010. Recent mandatory guidelines established by the DHHS, scheduled to take effect in October, call for the addition of the four opioid medications. DHHS determines its guidelines by monitoring drug abuse trends and considering private sector testing results.

Currently, there is no set date for implementation of the proposed changes. A Federal Register entry will be required by DOT later in 2017 to finalize changes and establish a date for those changes to go into effect. Public comments will be accepted on the proposed changes until March 2.

On The Opioid Epidemic

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 33,000 persons died of an overdose related to opiates or opioids in 2015. Drugs in that category include heroin, fentanyl, morphine, and prescription drugs such as those pegged by DOT for driver screening in its proposal.

In fact, hydrocodone, better known by the brands names Vicodin and Norco, is now the third most common drug involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths. Methadone and Oxycodone are first and second, respectively.

Read the Department of Transportation’s proposal in its entirety:

Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs: Addition of Certain Schedule II Drugs to the Drug-Testing Panel and Certain Minor Amendments

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

Author’s Note: This article is for informational purposes only. Opinions expressed by the author and/or inferred by the reader do not reflect the opinions of Just Believe Recovery.

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