GUIDELINES-AT-A-GLANCE

Federal Guidelines for Workplace Drug Testing Add Opioids

As of Oct. 1, new federal mandatory guidelines for workplace drug testing expanded to include the authority to test for four semi-synthetic opioids: oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone. These are prescription opioid pain medications (also known as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, Dilaudid) that are commonly misused without medical authority. The revised mandatory guidelines pertain to urine-based testing for all federal employees in a testing designated position.

“We felt it necessary to make these revisions because of advances in science and technology and because of the increased misuse of prescription opioids,” said Elinore McCance-Katz, the assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in a statement. SAMHSA administers the testing program and provides oversight for the National Laboratory Certification Program, which certifies laboratories to conduct forensic drug testing for federal agencies and federally regulated industries.

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