The Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final decision yesterday on the proposed rules to include opioids in their drug testing program. Originally proposed in January of 2017, the decision will go into effect on January 1, 2018.
The DOT drug testing program will now include testing for hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone. In addition, methylenedioxyamphetamine has been added as an initial test analyte, and methylenedioxyethylamphetamine has been removed as a confirmatory test analyte. The addition of these four semi-synthetic opioids is in response to the opioid crisis currently sweeping the nation and will be used to provide consistency as mandated by Federal statute, OTETA. The changes to the program will apply not only to specimen testing validity values but also to initial and confirmatory testing values.
These revisions now harmonize DOT testing regulations with the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Mandatory Guidelines that were revised earlier this year. The HHS guidelines apply to Federal drug-testing programs for urine testing.
In addition to changes to the DOT drug testing panel, the ruling yesterday clarifies existing drug testing program provisions and definitions, makes technical amendments, and removes the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators (TPAs) to submit blind specimens.
What does this mean for you?
- It creates a safer work environment for the transportation industry and everyone the transportation industry touches.
- It expands the panel of drugs to be more comprehensive… As a result, it could potentially increase the number of tests that will be sent off for additional testing.