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DOT adds four prevalent opioids to driver drug screening panel

Prescription Pills

The U.S. DOT is issuing a final rule to add four opioids to its drug testing panel for truckers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is amending its drug testing panel to add four commonly abused opioids to meet new Health and Human Services drug testing guidelines.

A Final Rule was published in the Federal Register Monday, Nov. 13, and the new testing standards will go into effect on Jan. 1.

New drugs that drivers will be tested for include hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone. The drugs are usually taken as pills. According to the CDC, opioid abuse has seen a dramatic increase in recent years.

Additionally, the DOT will remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) from the existing drug testing panel and add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA).

The rulemaking also clarifies that only urine testing is allowed for DOT drug tests. Point-of-collection urine testing or instant tests are not allowed, as the tests have to be screened and confirmed at HHS labs.

The DOT states in the rulemaking it is aware that the HHS is looking into allowing oral fluid testing and hair testing under its guidelines, but until those methods of testing are added, DOT cannot recognize them. The agency adds that if HHS does add other testing methods to its guidelines, it will follow with its own rulemaking to conform.

DOT to add common opioids to driver drug testing panel

DOT to add common opioids to driver drug testing panel

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 ...


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Matt Cole is an Associate Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at