The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), seeking to amend its drug-testing program regulations by adding four opioids to its drug-testing panel.

The suggested prescription medications to be detected using urine testing are: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone and oxymorphone, commonly taken as pain pills.

The proposal adds clarification to certain drug-testing program provisions, where necessary, removes outdated information in the regulations that is no longer needed and proposes to remove the requirement for employers and third-party administrators to submit blind specimens.

The DOT wants to add painkiller testing

In addition to proposing to add these drugs to the DOT drug-testing panel, the Agency is suggesting that the urine specimens for these particular drugs be screened and confirmed at Health and Human Services (HHS) certified laboratories currently authorized to be used for drug testing.

HHS sets testing guidelines by analyzing drug abuse trends in the U.S. and examining private sector testing results.

Public comments regarding this NPRM should be filed through the Federal eRulemaking Portal and following the online instructions for submitting comments. Include the agency name and docket number DOT-OST-2016-0189. The comment period ends March 24, 2017.

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