DOT to add four opioids to drug-testing panel

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | Friday, November 10, 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation is amending its drug-testing program regulation to add four opioids to its testing panel.

DOT to add four opioids to drug-testing panelThe DOT announced it will add hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone to the drug-testing panel, while adding methylenedioxyamphetamine as an initial test analyte and removing methylenedioxyethylamphetamine as a confirmatory test analyte.

A final rule will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 13 and will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

The revisions were needed in order to meet the new Health and Human Services Mandatory Guidelines.

As part of the rule, the DOT clarified that only urine specimens are to be used for drug tests.

“This means that point-of-collection instant tests, hair tests, and oral fluid tests are not presently allowed under Part 40 for DOT drug testing,” according to a DOT statement.

“The Department is aware that a rulemaking that would authorize oral fluid testing under the HHS Mandatory Guidelines is currently in progress at HHS. If HHS authorizes this method of testing, DOT could follow with its own rulemaking to conform Part 40 to the revision of the HHS Mandatory Guidelines, as long as the HHS final rule is in accordance with OTETA’s other requirements.”

The new testing procedures do not prohibit the use of prescribed opioids. However, proof of a legitimate prescription will be required and opioid levels must be within prescribed range if a driver is ordered to take a drug test while on the medication.



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