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Today the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that they will begin to test transportation workers for four semi-synthetic opioid drugs starting in January of 2018.
DOT Drug Testing Panel To Expand In 2018
Starting on January 1, 2018, the opiod drugs hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone will all be added to the Department of Transportation drug testing panel. The DOT drug test panel will still test for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and PCP in addition to the opioids. This change to federal drug testing regulations was proposed on January 23, 2017.
Other transportation workers including train engineers and airline pilots will also be subject to the new truck testing requirements.
The agency will also be adding methylenedioxyamphetamine as an initial test analyte while removing methylenedioxyethylamphetamine as a confirmatory test analyte.
DOT: Decision To Test Truckers Is A Response To Increased Use Of Opioids Nationwide
The Department of Transportation says that the decision to include opioid testing for transportation workers is a response to the increased use of the drugs through the U.S.:
“…opioid abuse and related problems are a major national concern. Transportation industries are not immune to this trend and the safety issues it raises. Consequently, the Department proposed including these substances in its testing panel not only for consistency with the HHS Mandatory Guidelines but as a response to a national problem that can affect transportation safety.
Also, adding these four drugs, which are already tested for in many transportation employers’ non-DOT testing programs because of their widespread use and potentially impairing effect, will allow the DOT to detect a broader range of drugs being used illegally.”
On October 26, President Trump declared opioid addiction to be a national health emergency.
You can click here to read to Final Rule in full.
For more information on Department of Transportion drug testing policies, please click here.