The U.S. Department of Transportation added four semisynthetic opioids to its drug testing panel on the first of this year. Now, just over 10 months later, those four—hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone—are turning up more often than their older counterparts when transportation professionals fail a drug test. New data from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index show that the positivity rate for them is “notably higher” than the positive rate seen for more traditional opiates. Prior to the January 1 change, codeine, morphine, and 6-acetylmorphine were the only opiates or opioids included in the panel. The DOT updated the list to reflect “broader prescription opiate drug use and misuse patterns.” Urgent care providers who offer occupational medicine services—especially if they administer or oversee employee drug tests—should be aware of the higher positivity rate for the four drugs. According to Quest, the standard panels used by most employers who require drug tests still include codeine and morphine.
Latest Drugs Added to Panel Turn Up More Often in Positive DOT Tests