FMCSA Adds New Opioids to Drug Testing Panel Effective January 1, 2018

New Regulations will Test for Vicodin, OxyContin, Lorta, Norco, Dilaudid, etc.

November 21, 2017

Beginning January 1, 2018, the US Department of Transportations’ Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will expand its drug testing panel to include four synthetic opioid drugs: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. These substances are more commonly known as Vicodin, OxyContin, Lorta, Norco, and Dilaudid, among others.

These drugs are being added in order to harmonize DOT regulations with the recently revised Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. The HHS Guidelines were updated after studies of drug abuse trends made it clear that opioid abuse needed to be addressed.

The inclusion of these drugs is intended to combat illegal opioid abuse. There should not be a problem with these drugs if they are being taken responsibly via a legally valid prescription consistent with the Controlled Substances Act.

All FMCSA-regulated employers have until January 1, 2018 to revise their drug and alcohol testing policies to conform to the new regulations. Any Teamsters Local 174 member with a Commercial Drivers’ License and who is subject to FMCSA drug and alcohol testing at work should be aware of these changes. If you have any questions, please contact your Teamster Business Agent.

To learn more about this, read the full Department of Transportation rule published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2017.