Trump Declares Opioid Epidemic State of Emergency

 

 

Last Thursday afternoon in a press conference the 45th President of the United States declared the Opioid Epidemic a “National State of Emergency”.

“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency,” he told reporters at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. “It’s a national emergency. We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of money on the opioid crisis.”

What is a State of Emergency?

For those of us who don’t work in government, a “state of emergency” can sound frightening, but what does it actually mean? A government or division of government (i.e. on a municipal, provincial/state level) may declare that their area is in a state of emergency. This means that the government can suspend and/or change some functions of the executive, the legislative and/or the judiciary during this period of time. It alerts citizens to change their normal behavior and orders government agencies to implement emergency plans and frees up disaster funding for cities and states dealing with the epidemic.

Refresher on the Opioid Epidemic

A lot of people don’t know that the gist of the has been happening in the early 1990s when doctors came more aware of chronic back and muscle pain many Americans were facing. And because of this need pharmaceutical companies created opioids to meet this demand but the public and doctors were vastly unaware of the long term side effects these pills could cause.

Fast forward to early 2010s where addiction and abuse of opioids are at an all time high, especially in the United States. And once users started seeking out a stronger high, or move on to other kinds of opioids, heroin abuse was on a huge upswing.

There is a lot of speculation as to why this happened, many believe doctors were getting paid to prescribe these highly addictive drugs, others believed pharmaceutical companies knew of the addictive elements of opioids early on and wanted to get people hooked but regardless on average 90 people die every day from opioid abuse. And by 2027, as many as 650,000 people will die from this prescription drug abuse if it is not stopped.

What can we do?

From a citizens’ perspective, all we can do is help those we see in need by directing them to the nearest substance abuse counseling program and helping them kick this deadly habit. From a government perspective, declaring the opioid crisis a national state of emergency is the first step in a long series of pieces to fix this disaster before we lose any more of our fellow Americans.

Did you know Accredited Drug Testing now offers testing for expanded opiates? If you are or know of a loved one in danger of opioid prescription abuse, call 800-221-4291 to schedule your test today and take the first step on the road to recovery.

American Drug Talk | What Is Fentanyl?

What Is Fentanyl

Image result for fentanyl

Fentanyl is a medication used to help relieve severe ongoing pain. It belongs to a class of drugs known as opioids. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.

Most Americans recognize fentanyl as the main cause of overdose in substance abusers. These Americans are not wrong. Fentanyl is the more deadly cousin of heroin. It is killing people by the thousands. The picture below shows a lethal dose of heroin next to a lethal dose of fentanyl. It is clear to see that Fentaynal is much stronger, in fact about 100 times stronger than heroin alone.The lethal dose of heroin is equivalent to about 30 milligrams, and the lethal dose of fentanyl is about 3 milligrams. This is enough to kill an average-sized adult male.

Let us compare numbers, we will look at the State of New Hampshire, in the year 2015.

In that year, the state saw a total of 439 drug overdoses, mostly related to opioids, and about 70% of these opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl.

The History of Fentanyl

Fentanyl was created in the 1960s by Paul Jannsen. He developed the drug by testing chemicals similar in structure to, what is known today as Demerol. When fentanyl was combined with citric acid, it formed a salt, which then entered medical use as a general anesthetic under Paul Janssens trade name Sublimaze.

In the upcoming years, fentanyl was introduced for other circumstances. By the mid-1990s, the fentanyl patch was created, followed by the fentanyl lollipop, dissolving tablets, and sublingual sprays. By the time 2012 hit fentanyl was the most widely used synthetic opioid in medicine.

Heroin VS Fentanyl

So what’s the difference? Heroin, is a derivative of Morphine, which naturally occurs within opium poppy plants, while fentanyl is man-made and (as noted before) up to 100 times more powerful than heroin.

Image result for heroin poppy plantsEssentially, these two drugs produce the same euphoric effect on the body binding themselves to the receptors of the brain and creating an impact on the respiratory system, central nervous system, and cardiovascular system. Image result for fentanyl chemical structure

The real difference between heroin and fentanyl arises from the differences in their chemical structure. Where they are almost identical, Fentanyl, being man-made is gets to the brain much faster than heroin, as it bypasses through the fat and tissue in the brain, it is able to reach an opioid receptor more rapidly. Once the fentanyl has reached the receptor it binds itself so tightly that only a tiny amount is enough to start the chemical chain of events the human body ignites once opioids enter its system.

The Effects Of Fentynal

With the war on drugs being in full effect, fentanyl became the perfect alternative for substance abuses. Most street fentanyl is created in underground laboratories, which use faulty measuring equipment. By the time it hits the streets, there is no telling its effect on a human body. Heroin and fentanyl look identical, most street drugs are cut with a multitude of chemicals and substances by the time a user consumes the drug. Like a game of Russian roulette, you never know if you will get the shot with the loaded gun.

Drug Testing for Fentanyl

Fentanyl does not show up in a standard 5-panel drug screen, which is the most commonly used. A standard 5-panel drug test screens for the 5 most used street drugs. MDA, PHP, Cocaine, Marijuana, and Opiates. Fentynal, being synthetic would not show up under the opiates category. A specific drug test screening for fentanyl must be requested in order to detect the drug. For more information regarding fentanyl testing, please call 1-800-221-4291, or visit www.accrediteddrugtesting.com.

NAPBS Annual Conference 2017 Round Up

This year Accredited Drug Testing attended the National Association of Professional Background Screeners Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. It was an incredible experience and we learned a lot! Keep reading everything for everything we got up to.

Day 1 began with a networking event at the beautiful Gaylord Palms Hotel & Convention Center. While seeing old friends and meeting new ones we were able to enjoy the scenery inside the tropical landscape within the hotel. Soon after we were whisked away into the Opening Ceremony where the previous Chairman of NAPBS officially inducted the new Chairman for the 2017-2018 year. Welcome Scott Hall and we cannot wait to see what you do!

napbs 2017 round up

Day 2 started bright and early with an amazing keynote from the former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort, Lee Cockerell. “As the Senior Operating Executive for ten years Lee led a team of 40,000 Cast Members and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, a shopping & entertainment village and the ESPN sports and recreation complex in addition to the ancillary operations which supported the number one vacation destination in the world.” One of Lee’s major and lasting legacies was the creation of Disney Great Leader Strategies which was used to train and develop the 7000 leaders at Walt Disney World. He is since retired and has gone to write several best-selling books implementing the “magic” he learned while at Disney while providing several methods to career success and since the theme for NAPBS was “Creating Magical Connections” Lee was the perfect candidate for the keynote and we learned a lot from this speech. Well done Lee!

napbs 2017 round up

Then it was off to the races with several breakout meetings including this very informative session from Bill Judge of Encompass Compliance Corp. entitled The Drug & Alcohol Testing Compliance Minefield: Your Road Map to Success where Mr. Judge went into detail on several things employers deal with before, during and after implementing a drug testing policy in their company. After an afternoon of learning the tradeshow was open and ADT was ready in Booth #337 to provide information and guidance on all things drug testing while providing insight on all of our additional background check services!

napbs 2017 round up

This afternoon we met several background checking professionals looking for guidance when it came to expanding their drug testing services. If this sounds like you or your company, please email our Marketing & Sales Coordinator alison@accrediteddrugtesting.com to schedule a consultation with our President and CEO James Greer, who has over 20 years of professional experience in this field!

Then it was time to kick back and enjoy Happy Hour with Pam, a laid-back keynote where Pam Devata of Seyfarth Shaw LLP spoke on several legal issues challenging the background check industry and how companies can overcome them. This talk was informative and enjoyable, thanks again Pam!

And suddenly it was the third and final day of the conference, which started with a great talk from Joe Riley of Joe Riley & Associates on how to sell more drug tests. Joe provided incredible insight on how background screeners could capitalize on what their clients are asking for when it comes to drug testing. napbs 2017

And it was back to the trade show where TazWorks and several other exhibitors were doing giant raffles and prize giveaways including a Mustang convertible an attendee was able to win!

napbs 2017 roundup

However short we had the best time at NAPBS 2017 and cannot wait to bring all the knowledge and everything we learned from our peers in this industry back to the office and continue to be America’s favorite drug testing provider. Whether for businesses or individual use, when you need a test, choose the best! Join us here next week for the latest and greatest in drug testing news. And thank you to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners for a great conference.

4 Startling Marijuana Statistics You Need to Know

Marijuana testing has been a hot button topic over the last couple of years. We’ve done several blog posts about how it can affect your workplace and the legal status in specific states. But after meeting with Quest Diagnostics this past week, we realized some staggering statistics about Marijuana use in the U.S. today.

22.2 million Americans aged 12 or older were current users of Marijuana in 2015

This equals to about 8.3% of the total population in the United States alone. It has actually been dubbed the most commonly detected drug for more than 3 decades of drug testing. And the latest Drug Testing Index (DTI) showed that Marijuana positivity is increasing dramatically in all three drug test specimen types including urine, hair, and blood.

1 in 8 Americans said they currently smoke Marijuana

Marijuana is typically smoked using cigarettes or pipes, but it can also be mixed into edibles and drinks. Potent oils and waxes can be extracted from the Cannabis plant. Recently, the federal government relaxed some restrictions to allow researchers to study more strains of marijuana and its therapeutic effects on specific medical conditions.

8 states permitting medical Marijuana have also passed recreational use laws

Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational Marijuana use in 2012. This legislation captured the attention of the media, government, and the general population, all of whom have been eagerly watching to determine the impact.

38% of employers will reject a candidate who uses Marijuana, even if it is for medical reasons

Current laws do not require an employer to accommodate on-duty drug use or prohibit an employer from taking action if an employee is working under the influence of Marijuana. Most organizations still have a zero-tolerance policy towards Marijuana.

What have we learned? While various forms of Marijuana continue to become legalized, over 28 states and counting, employers still aren’t removing it from their drug testing panels and probably won’t be anytime soon. Quest Diagnostics has even shown that in 2016 more than 99% of all workplace drug tests performed by them continued to screen for Marijuana.

For more information on drug testing trends and any questions you would like answered please visit accrediteddrugtesting.com

Leaked Drug Use Video Of Miami Dolphins Former Coach

Chris Foerster, offensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins resigns after a self-incriminating video was leaked to the public by Las Vegas model Kijuana Nige. Nige released the video on Sunday, quoting the reason behind it was to attest for the unfair treatment of former 49’ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. “The white people mad at me like I forced blow down this mans nose and like I recorded it on tha low,” Nige wrote on her Facebook page. “No those are his habits and he recorded himself and sent it to me professing his love. So quick to make excuses for him but will roast a minority player over an athem, dog fights, weed, domestic issues etc. But y’all keep saying ALL LIVES MATTER STFU‼️”

How bad was it?

In said video, a man identified as Chris Foerster proceeds to talk to an un-named female quoting “Hey, baby, miss you, thinking about you. How about me going into a meeting and doing this before I go?”Foerster then snorts a line of an unidentified white powdery substance, suspected to be cocaine, using a rolled-up $20 bill.

Currently, Foerster is under investigation. A comment made by the Miami Dolphins states they “have no tolerance for this behavior.”

“After speaking with Chris this morning, he accepted full responsibility and we accepted his resignation effective immediately,” the statement said. “Although Chris is no longer with the organization, we will work with him to get the help he needs during this time.”

Is the NFL Policy too lenient?

The most up to date NFL Substance Abuse Policy states that each current player is to be tested at least once a year during the time of April 20th, and August 9th. The collective term given to the NFL regulated drug test is titled the “NFL Drug Panel” which consists of

Benzoylecognine (cocaine) ≥ 150 ng/mL
Delta 9-THC-carboxylic acid (marijuana) ≥ 35 ng/mL
Synthetic Cannabinoids > 2.5 ng/mL
Amphetamine and its analogues ≥ 300 ng/mL
Opiates (total morphine and codeine) ≥ 300 ng/mL
Opioids (e.g., hydrocodone, oxycodone) ≥ 300 ng/mL
Phencyclidine (PCP) ≥ 25 ng/mL
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (“MDMA”) and its analogues ≥ 200 ng/mL
Alcohol ≥ .06 g/dl (%)

While illegal substances are only tested for once a year, unless the player is involved in current drug counseling, HGH, or steroid blood tests, are administered 6 times a year. Coincidentally, these tests are never administered on game day.

The procedures regarding a positive test vary upon the concluded results. Marijuana and alcohol usage is penalized with a lesser punishment or fine than other illegal substances.

The NFL Substance Abuse Policy is located in article 39, section 7 of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. Nowhere in this policy does it state the regulations for NFL coaches, or management. The substance abuse policy was last updated in 2016.

Upon resigning, Foerster has made a public apology “I am resigning from my position with the Miami Dolphins and accept full responsibility for my actions,” Foerster said in a statement. “I want to apologize to the organization and my sole focus is on getting the help that I need with the support of my family and medical professionals.”

Patrice Kelly Named Director Of DOT Office Of Drug And Alcohol Policy

As of October 11th, 2017, Patrice Kelly has been promoted from acting director to Director of the DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy.

Mr. Jim Greer, of Accredited Drug Testing and his employees, would like to congratulate Ms. Patrice Kelly on her new title.

Patrice Kelly has been acting Director of The ODACP since 2013, and Deputy Director since 2008.

Before joining the ODACP in 2007, Ms.Kelly was the senior attorney for the FAA. She was the first FAA attorney to revoke an air carriers license for failing to implement drug and alcohol testing.

ODAPC’s mission is “to enhance public safety within transportation industries across the United States by issuing regulations to prevent alcohol misuse and illegal drug use in transportation systems and ensuring that DOT’s drug and alcohol policies are implemented in a consistent, fair, and efficient manner.”

Patrice Kelly has been comprehensively working on changing the drug and alcohol policies within the DOT, and other areas of The United States Government drug and alcohol regulated departments since 1996.

Jim Greer and Accredited Drug Testing would like to commend Ms.Kelly for her hard work, and dedication to the public safety of American Citizens.

accredited drug testing

 

Accredited Drug Testing is a 24/7 national scheduling company for all DOT and non-DOT screening needs. We provide DOT-regulated drug testing, DOT and non-DOT regulated health screenings, DNA sampling, and vaccinations.

www.accrediteddrugtesting.com
1800-221-4291
info@accrediteddrugtesting.com

How The Opioid Epidemic Is Affecting The American Workplace

On August 10th 2017, President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in the United States, known as the Opioid Epidemic.

More and more people are becoming aware of this rapidly growing issue that imposes a huge threat on American citizens.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include licit prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and others, as well as the illicit drug heroin. 

Opioid

 

About 1.9 million Americans (0.8 percent) reported full-fledged opioid addiction*

What does this mean for you?

 Opioid Epidemic Affect On Employers

  • The use of opioids or prescription painkillers can result in drowsiness, inattentive behavior, dizziness, cloudiness, lack of motivation, and more. To ensure the safety of your staff, and others around them you should enroll yourself, and supervisors in reasonable suspicion drug training. This is a two-hour online course that informs on what signs to look out for, and the next steps one should take if these signs occur.Opioid epidemic
  • Reconsider becoming a drug-free workplace. Once it is known that your company is drug-free, it can limit the risk of work-related accidents, as well as prevent addiction from happening in an employee.
  • Create a drug and alcohol policy that allows your employees to confidentially share information with you about themselves. Make it known that your employees should feel comfortable sharing this information. Educate other employees on the current  Opioid Epidemic, and how they can help.

 Opioid Epidemic Affect On Employees

  • Being that the Opioid Epidemic has been declared a state of emergency, expect to see a few changes in company policies.

In the Department of Transportation, a request for a revision of the drug and alcohol policy has been made. If passed, the standardized drug test for the DOT will change from a 5-panel drug test to a 5-panel drug test with expanded opioid testing. While 5-panel drug tests include opiates, a SAMSHA regulated expanded test will examine for Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, and Oxymorphone.

  • Be expecting to take and pass a pre-employment drug screening for any job you are applying for.

In May 2017, the Federal Reserve took a survey on the reason why employers could not feel low skilled positions. One reason concluded that employees could not pass a drug test.

  • Under the American Disabilities Act or ADA, addiction itself is not considered a disability. However, if you previously engaged in the usage of drugs or alcohol, and are currently participating in a rehabilitation program, or have been successfully rehabilitated, you are eligible for social security benefits.

Opioid epidemic

Veteran Substance Abuse- Alcoholism and Substance Abuse In Our Military

The effects of Veteran substance abuse are substantial in the United States. Veterans often have to cope with stress after returning from multiple deployments. They may also suffer from mental illnesses and injuries that can contribute to a substance use disorder.

Veteran Substance Abuse Related To Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Veteran PTSD

PTSD or Post-traumatic stress disorder is an extremely common mental illness that is seen among United States Veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — by experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts. These symptoms may be provoked by obsessive thoughts leading to memories, or anything that is relatable to the trama. Many Veterans turn to substance abuse to self-medicate and numb their pain. More than 20 percent of Veterans with PTSD suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction.

Veteran Substance Abuse Related To Pain Managment

Along with mental illnesses, many of our Military become seriously injured and tend to be treated with extremely strong pain medication. Once exposed to these medications, many find it hard to stop. Perscription pain medication is one of the leading factors in drug abuse today.From 2001 to 2009, the rate of opioids prescribed to military members has quadrupled, mainly because of combat-related injuries and muscle strains.

Veteran Substance Abuse

War today, like the War On Terror, is extremely different then it has been in the past. This new kind of war has increased the emotional and traumatic experiences suffered by United States Service Members.

Veteran Substance Abuse Statistics

A number of studies have shown that there are links between Veteran substance abuse, depression, and suicide. In one study that involved around 600 Veterans who were deployed to either Afghanistan or Iraq, 39% of the vets were screened and showed positive for alcohol abuse.

Veteran Substance Abuse

larger study that involved more than 675,000 active duty personnel determined that the rate of both substance use disorders and depression has increased among active members of the military. This rounds to about 1 in 15 Veterans having a substance abuse problem.  Another study determined that the rate of suicide across all military services in the USA increased between 2005 and 2007.

 

 

 

Prevention Not Punishment

The declaration of President Trumps Opioid Epidemic, a public health emergency, has heightened the awareness of the effects drug addiction is having on American citizens. With the United States Military battling the War On Terror, the rest of America will be battling the War On Drugs. Prevention, not punishment is key in changing the statistics.

Accredited Drug Testing Supports Local Community

Accredited Drug Testing Supports Local Community

March 30, 2016

Accredited Drug Testing CentersHelpful Hands, Inc. is a local charity with a mission to enhance the quality of life of children, individuals and families from our community who are in crisis.

Last year, our Fifth Annual Golf Tournament was successful beyond what we dared hope. Keeping to our mission, with the monies raised we initiated many of our programs: ‘Celebration Parties’ honoring milestones for children affected by cancer; sports programs; 4 – H camp; and we also fully-funded the Oviedo Police Department summer camp for at-risk youth in the community.

We also have a fine arts program that offers talented
children identified through the Seminole County Public Schools, the opportunity for piano lessons and a piano by partnering with the Steinway Piano Bank as well as children with a gift for the dramatic an opportunity participate in the Wayne Densch Theater Performing Arts Center camp.

There is more to be done, and this year with your support of our Sixth Annual Golf Tournament we will expand these programs and implement others. Thank you for your support of our community.

” Thank You to Jim Greer and Accredited Drug Testing Inc. our latest Premium Helpful Hands Foursome Sponsor for our 6th Annual Golf Tournament. We appreciate your support of our charitable foundation and all that you do for our community! ” -Helpful Hands, Inc

DOT Announces It Is Amending Its Drug-Testing Regulations

ACCREDITED DRUG TESTING

Importance Notice!

Effective January 1, 2018, The Department of Transportation is amending its drug-testing program regulation to add hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone to its drug-testing panel; add methylenedioxyamphetamine as an initial test analyte; and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine as a confirmatory test analyte. The revision of the drug-testing panel harmonizes DOT regulations with the revised HHS Mandatory Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal drug-testing programs for urine testing. This final rule clarifies certain existing drug-testing program provisions and definitions, makes technical amendments and removes the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens.

 

On November 10th 2017, The United States Department Of Transportation (DOT)  announced they will be amending the mandatory 5-panel drug screen to include expanded opiates, and expanding on CFR 49 Part 40.

Effective January 1st, 2018, the mandatory urine drug screening for all safety sensitive positions guided under CFR 49 Part 40 will include hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone.

This new revision of HS Mandatory Guidelines with which the NPRM
proposed to harmonize Part 40, comes in two parts.

Part 1

Previous to this newly added regulation, the mandatory drug screening was a 5-panel urine which consisted of testing for the 5 most common street drugs.

A  5-Panel Urine Analysis consists of :

Amphetamines (Meth)
Cocaine
Marijuana
Opiates
Phencyclidine (PCP)

As of January 1st, 2018, under the new revisions of CFR 49 Part 40, a DOT drug screening will test for four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone).  Some common names for these semi-synthetic opioids include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, Exalgo®.

A 5-panel expanded opiates urine analysis consists of:

Amphetamines (Meth)
Cocaine
Marijuana
Opiates
Hydrocodone
Hydromorphone
Oxymorphone
Oxycodone
Phencyclidine (PCP)

What has caused this new DOT Part 40 Amendment?

Since President Donald Trumps declaration of the Opioid Crisis, America has become much more aware of the rapidly progressing problem of drug addiction.trump opioid crisisOn October 26th, 2017, President Trump directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency, striving to take action on this salient soar effecting the lives of American citizens today.

Opioid Addiction Statistics

A governmental account of drug overdose statistics shows that from the year 2015 to 2016 the death toll due to drug overdose rose 22 percent.

opioid statistics

This upwards trend of overdose has been on a steady incline since the year 2000 and was likely to continue until President Trump declared the opioid crisis.

opioid overdose

Knowing the disease of addiction himself through the actions of his brother, President Trump can understand the difficulties those who suffer from addiction face, making it known and urging Americans to remember the phrase “prevention not punishment”.

opioid overdose

Since the Opioid Crisis Americans have been made queenly aware of the consequences and statistics of drug abuse. How the opioid crisis has affected the American economy, the American workplace, and just America as a whole. Many now know that you don’t have to be an addict yourself to feel the effects of addiction.

Policy makers have quickly taken notice of these growing trends and decided to take swift action.

The DOT is one of the most prominent government sectors. The dot itself employs about 55,000 Americans, not including the employees in each DOT regulated agency.

Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) FMCSA
“As the lead federal government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), FMCSA’s mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.”

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) phmsa
“The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) operates in a dynamic and challenging environment. The scope and complexity of our safety mission will continue to grow, requiring that we fundamentally rethink how we will use data, information, and technology to achieve our safety goals.”

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
FAA
“Our continuing mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.”

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)  
“The Federal Railroad Administration’s mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future.”

Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
FTA“The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) provides financial and technical assistance to local public transit systems, including buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, trolleys, and ferries. FTA also oversees safety measures and helps develop next-generation technology research.” “Improving Public Transportation for America’s Communities”.

UNITED STATES COAST GUARD (USCG)
  USCGThe Coast Guard does not fall under the Department of Defense. Until recently, the Coast Guard was under the Department of Transportation.

Saftey Sensitive Positions

A safety-sensitive position refers to a job in which the employee is responsible for his or her own or other people’s safety. It also refers to jobs that would be particularly dangerous if performed under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For this reason, Safety-sensitive positions are often the focus of drug and alcohol testing.

Generally, DOT regulations cover safety-sensitive transportation employers and employees. Each DOT agency (e.g. FRA, FMCSA, FTA, FAA, and PHMSA) and the USCG have specific drug and alcohol testing regulations that outline who is subject to their testing regulations.

DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance

The Director of the DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, Patrice Kelley, has been creating government substance abuse policies for many years. Under her jurisdiction, the new amendment to CFR 49 will help serve to uphold the ODAPC mission statement. ODAPC

“Ensure that the drug and alcohol testing policies and goals of the Secretary of Transportation are developed and carried out in a consistent, efficient, and effective manner within the transportation industries for the ultimate safety and protection of the traveling public. This is accomplished through program review, compliance evaluation, and the issuance of consistent guidance material for DOT Operating Administrations (OAs) and for their regulated industries.”

Part 2

HHS Mandatory Guidelines remove
methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte from the existing drug-testing panel and add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte.

What does this mean?

An analyte is by definition a substance whose chemical constituents are being identified and measured. For example, morphine is the target analyte for codeine/morphine testing.  The DOT will now focus on the MDA analyte for its testing analysis, rather than the previous MDEA. This could lead to a test confirming positive due to the difference in the initial test analyte.

Initial test analyte Initial test cutoff concentration Confirmatory test analyte Confirmatory test cutoff concentration
Marijuana metabolites 50 ng/mL THCA 1 15 ng/mL.
Cocaine metabolites 150 ng/mL Benzoylecgonine 100 ng/mL.
Opiate metabolites
Codeine/Morphine 2 2000 ng/mL Codeine 2000 ng/mL.
Morphine 2000 ng/mL.
6-Acetylmorphine 10 ng/mL 6-Acetylmorphine 10 ng/mL.
Phencyclidine 25 ng/mL Phencyclidine 25 ng/mL.
Amphetamines 3
AMP/MAMP 4 500 ng/mL Amphetamine 250 ng/mL.
Methamphetamine 5 250 ng/mL.
MDMA 6 500 ng/mL MDMA 250 ng/mL.
MDA 7 250 ng/mL.
MDEA 8 250 ng/mL

Other recognizable CFR 49 Part 40 revisions 

Creating a name change from the word opiates to opioids now expands the drug testing panel to 6 commonly abused illicit and licit drugs  (Heroin); Codeine; Morphine, Hydrocodone; Hydromorphone; Oxymorphone; and Oxycodone.

  1. The DOT added a new section reiterating that, in the DOT testing program, only urine specimens can be collected and analyzed.
  2. The DOT added language further emphasizing the existing DOT prohibition on the use of DNA testing on DOT drug-testing specimens.
  3. The final rule made minor modifications to certain section headings.
  4. The final rule moved the list of Substance Abuse Professional certification organizations from the rule text to ODAPC’s website.
  5. The final rule moved the MIS instructions from Appendix H to ODAPC’s website.
  6. Outdated compliance dates were removed and links were updated.
  7. Appendices B, C, D, and H were updated.

The revision of the drug testing panel harmonizes DOT regulations with the revised HHS Mandatory Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal drug-testing programs for urine testing.

For any questions regarding DOT Drug Testing, or DOT compliance please visit us at www.Accrediteddrugtesting.com or call (800)221-4291.