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On November 10, 2017, The Department of Transportation published new regulations modifying drug testing regulations. The changes go into effect for all DOT agencies on January 1, 2018. Most significantly the regulations align the DOT drug testing panel with the Department of Health and Human Services Federal drug testing panel that became effective on October 1, 2017. The Dot panel amended to change the term “opiate” to “opioid” to include four semi-synthetic drugs that were added to the DOT panel. Opioids will now test for additional substances such as hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. In addition, under Amphetamines methylenedioxyethyamphetamine (MDEA) has been removed for confirmatory testing and methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) has been added as an initial test analyte. The Department of Transportation has added the test as an intend to help address the nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse, and 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 Department of Transportation has also reported that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has increased the annual random drug testing rate to 50 percent during the 2018 calendar year.

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