DOT Adds Synthetic Opioids to Drug Test Panel

DOT Adds Synthetic Opioids to Drug Test Panel

A final rule published Nov. 13 by the U.S. Department of Transportation will expand its drug testing panel to include hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone — synthetic opioids that are highly abused, according to the agency — for DOT-regulated industries. The agency’s news release describes it as “a direct effort to enhance safety, prevent opioid abuse and combat the nation’s growing opioid epidemic.”

The rule makes a significant change in the DOT testing scheme that has been in place since it was created in 1988: DOT is removing the requirements for blind specimen testing in order to relieve employers and others of the cost and burden of doing this. Some commenters argued it should be kept in place as a safeguard, but DOT said blind specimen testing isn’t needed, citing “rigorous HHS oversight of the laboratories, as well as the business necessity for the laboratories to maintain a reliable record of accuracy.”

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