Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

DOTJobs and Careersotr truckingSafetyTruck Driving JobsTruckers HealthTruckingtrucking companies

DOT Medical Drug Screen

DOT random drug screen

DOT random drug screen

Often truck drivers can find themselves in trouble when it comes to the required DOT medical drug screen.  A legal, prescribed drug from your family physician can lead to termination from the trucking company if you fail to follow the correct procedure.  Many times in the trucking industry, problems that arise that can cause a driver to lose his or her job could have been avoided.

The DOT drug screen looks for the use of a Schedule 1 drugs : amphetamine, narcotic or any other habit forming drug that is not legally permitted.  They also check for the usage of illegal narcotic drugs including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and phencyclidine (PCP).  Very often, drivers who have received a legal prescription from their doctor fail to understand that this information should be provided to the motor carrier, especially when facing a DOT physical or drug screening.  Most importantly, the information must be provided to the medical examiner before the screening takes place.

As an example, often truck drivers can be given a legal prescription for Lortab which is a combination of a narcotic painkiller and cough reliever with a non-narcotic painkiller for the relief of moderate to moderately severe pain.  Since it contains hydrocodone, the hydrocodone is a narcotic,  which is one of the things they look for from a DOT drug test.   Therefore, if the driver fails to tell the company or medical examiner about the Lortab, the drug test will come back as a flagged and failed screening.

Most truckers understand that this type of prescription, though legal, contains a narcotic.  By telling the trucking company that they are on this drug or others like it, they face the possibility of their employer telling them to take the two or three weeks off until they are better . . . or however long their doctor has prescribed the medication.  This simply is not worth the chance of losing your job.  If you are called to take a random drug test . . . you will now find yourself in a tough situation.

I am hearing more from drivers who have found themselves in this position.  Don’t take the chance.  Random drug tests could become more random in the future.  If you have to be on a prescribed narcotic . . . tell your company immediately.  It’s better to follow company policy and be told to take the required time off, than it is to be terminated for not following the correct procedure.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,



By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

View all posts by Allen Smith →

Tagged: , , , , ,

6 Responses to DOT Medical Drug Screen. - Post a Comment

  1. Allen Smith

    Regardless if the company has a policy or not, it’s a good idea to let them know before the test. All of this sounds good, but that is not what happened to the driver of which this post is about.

  2. Mark

    Should you quit if you know that you will test positive? It would be better than a positive test on your DAC

    • Allen Smith

      If you quit right after you were told to take the drug test it would look obvious and could be written as such.

  3. maria

    hi! my husband just graduated in trucking school. he is now in training for a trucking company in texas. he took maximum strength Sudafed sinus decongestant a day before he left. the company took the mandatory urine tests for the new recruits. I read that taking Sudafed may have a false positive result in his urine test. the Sudafed was just an over the counter drug that we thought will not be harmful. what will happen now if he is found to have that false positive result? I am so worried because we just paid a couple of grand for his tuition fee for his schooling. I hope you can reply asap. thank you and have a good day.

What do you have to say about this?

To the top