Federal agencies Drugs Transportation Transportation

Opioids vs. opiates: DOT final rule makes technical corrections to drug testing regs

Photo: JannHuizenga/iStockphoto

Washington — The Department of Transportation has issued a final rule, effective immediately, that makes minor technical corrections to regulations governing drug tests for workers in safety-sensitive jobs.

The final rule, published in the April 23 Federal Register, is intended to ensure consistency with recent amendments made to DOT’s “Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs” regulation. The changes added requirements to test for oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone. These substances, along with the previously covered drugs morphine, 6-acetylmorphine and codeine, will now be referred to as “opioids” rather than “opiates.”


The term “opioids” also will be used in DOT’s annual information collection requirement, as well as the department’s instructions to employers for collecting information.

The final rule applies to Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Office of the Secretary of Transportation, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regulations governing drug testing.

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