The DOT is amending its Federal drug testing program to include four DEA Schedule II Opioid drugs; sometimes collectively referred to as “Expanded Opiates” testing. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) proposed document is a revision of the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Urine Drug Testing Programs (MG). The final revisions will go into effect in just a few months, October 1, 2017.
Summary of Changes
- Federal executive branch agencies will be required to test for oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone.
- Methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) will be removed from the authorized drugs in Section 3.4 and added as an initial test analyte.
- The pH cutoff will be raised from three to four for identifying specimens as adulterated.
- Medical Review Officer re-qualification training and re-examination will be required at least every five years after initial MRO certification.
- Allow the authorized collection of an alternate specimen (e.g., oral fluid) when a donor is unable to provide a sufficient amount of urine at the collection site.
- The requirement for employers and third party administrators to submit blind specimens will be removed.
These changes are meant to complement the revised Mandatory Guidelines established by the US DHHS for federal urine drug testing programs. The DOT revision will be Part 40 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I change our Employer DOT policy and procedures now?
No. There is still a lot to be done by the DOT before the proposed changes are implemented. The final regulation changes (after but comments and revision) will go into effect October first or later.
Can I start testing our DOT employees for these expanded opiates now?
No. DOT testing must continue to be done in accordance with DOT requirements until the new rules go into effect.