DOT wants to start testing truckers for oxycodone, hydrocodone and other opioids

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Updated Jan 30, 2017
The four opioids the DOT will add to its drug testing panel are taken as pain pills.The four opioids the DOT will add to its drug testing panel are taken as pain pills.

The Department of Transportation this week proposed adding four commonly abused opioids to the list of drugs that drivers must be screened for in urine analysis tests.

To bring its drug testing protocol up to date with new Health and Human Services guidelines, the DOT has proposed adding hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone and hydromorphone to its drug testing panel. The drugs are generally taken as pain pills. Opioid abuse has seen a sharp upward trend in recent years, the CDC reports.

The DOT’s drug testing panel was last updated in 2010. New, mandatory guidelines published January 23 (and slated to take effect this October) by the Department of Health and Human Services call for the addition of the four opioids, DOT says. HHS sets its guidelines by analyzing drug abuse trends in the U.S. and leaning on private sector testing experiences. 

There’s no date set for when the proposed changes would take effect. Another Federal Register entry will be required by the DOT later this year to make the changes final and set a date for the changes to begin.

Public comments will be accepted on the proposed changes until March 24.  Read the DOT’s full notice and file a comment on the changes at this link.