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The opioid crisis claimed 64,000 American lives last year and more than 140 American die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the CDC.  Also, fatally injured drivers who tested positive for prescription opioids rose seven times from 1% in 1995 to over 7% in 2015, according to a recent study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.  Due to these and other factors DOT has mandated the following changes.

Starting January 1st, 2018, DOT plans to begin testing truck drivers and other “safety-sensitive” transportation employees for the semi-synthetic opioids:

    • Hyrocodone
    • Hydromorhone
    • oxymorphone
    • oxycodone


The inclusion of these four semi-synthetic opioids is intended to help address the nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse.  Also, adding these four drugs 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 4 added drugs are Schedule II controlled substances.  They are more commonly known as Vicodin, OxyContin, Lortab, Norco, Percocet, and Dialaudid, among other names.  Dot still refers to its drug testing panel as a “5-panel”, but “opiates” is being changed to “opioids” and will include the four synthetic substances in addition to heroin, morphine, and codeine.

Please contact the Random office for further information.


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