Capt Gary Lead instructor and course developer at Explorers Guide Maritime Academy
We were just informed by Quest Labs of the new US DOT drug testing requirements. These changes help address issues with opiates, designer drug and adulterated specimens.
These changes include:
1) Expanding the drug test panel to include four Schedule II semi-synthetic opioids: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone
According to Quest Labs- “According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), "hydrocodone is the most frequently prescribed opioid in the U.S." Additionally, the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index" data shows that hydrocodone continues to be one of the most detected opiates in the U. S. general workforce. It is commonly known as Vicodin®.
If you are on any of these drugs, it is very important to bring you doctor’s prescription with you when doing a drug test. The same for any of the other drugs being tested.
2) Add MDA (methylenedioxyamphetamine) as an initial test analyte. MDA is short for methylenedioxyamphetamine, an amphetamine-like designer drug.
3) The lower pH cutoff, for both HHS and DOT mandated testing was raised, from 3 to 4 to identify an adulterated specimen on October 1, 2017
A common practice is to buy urine on the black market. When required to do a drug test, tap the sample to the inside of the leg with a hand-warmer attached to maintain proper temperature.
“Collectors at every Quest Diagnostics drug testing collection site are trained and well-versed in the latest DOT policies and procedures.
These new rules clarified and emphasized that the collector should discard any initial urine collection specimen that was questionable (e.g. due to temperature or suspected tampering) when a shy bladder (the inability to urinate) event develops during the subsequent direct observation collection.”
This is still considered the DOT "5-panel" drug test because there are no new classes, or groups, of drugs. Because all of these drugs are opioids, the test will continue to be referred to as a "5-panel' test.
The other drugs in the “5” panel includes: cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, methamphetamines, and Phencyclidine (PCP).
Due to operational considerations, the laboratory testing for codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone will be broken out into three different groups in the reporting.
OPIATES (SEMI -SYNTHETIC)