Revised Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Using Urine Now Includes Four Types of Opioids

The revised federal mandatory guidelines for workplace drug testing were effective on October 1, 2017, and include the authority to test for four semi-synthetic opioids: oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone. These are prescription opioid pain medications commonly known as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, Dilaudid, etc.

These four prescription pain medications were added to the standard testing panel because data indicate that, although they are prescribed, they are the prescription pain medications that are most frequently used without medical authority. However, under the revised Mandatory Guidelines, positive drug-testing results that have a legitimate medical explanation (e.g., supported by a valid prescription), as determined by a medical review officer, will not be reported to federal agencies.

These revised guidelines affect all federal employees in a testing designated position, which is defined by each agency’s Drug-Free Workplace Program. Visit the SAMHSA Drug-Free Workplace Programs website for additional information, including frequently asked questions.   Read the full press release here.

Don’t have a Drug-Free Workplace Policy?  Check out these resources:

The Drug-Free Workplace Toolkit provides step-by-step guidance for starting and maintaining drug-free workplace policies and programs.


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