The federal government has recently expanded guidelines for testings its employees in the workplace to include opioids. The guidelines were implemented by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA).
These new guidelines cover all federal employees and it went into effect October 1. The opioids that were added are all prescription drugs that are commonly prescribed for pain. They are: Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, Hydrocodone and Hydromorphone. These drugs were chosen because they are among the most commonly abused opioids on the market.
With approximately 2.7 million civilian employees, the U.S. government is the largest employer in the country. In addition, our country is fighting an opioid epidemic and these guidelines are much needed. Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) said, “We felt it necessary to make these revisions because of advances in science and technology and because of the increased misuse of prescription opioids.”
For more information, read the full press statement about the mandatory guidelines for opioid drug testing on the SAMHSA web site.