(Eric Miller – Transport Topics)
The U.S. Department of Transportation plans on Jan. 1 to begin testing truck drivers and other “safety-sensitive” transportation employees for the semi-synthetic opioids hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone and oxycodone, the agency announced Nov. 9.
“Inclusion of these four semi-synthetic opioids is intended to help address the nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse,” the announcement said. “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. Transportation industries are not immune to this trend and the safety issues it raises.”
The DOT said it is adding the drug panel to urine testing not only for consistency with the Department of Health and Human Services mandatory guidelines but “as a response to a national problem that can affect transportation safety.” Click here to read more.