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Family Physician
Family Physician, Board Certified MRO
Category: Drug Testing
Satisfied Customers: 12816
Experience:  Medical Review Officer - Physician Trained and certified in drug test interpretation
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, I'm following a post regarding a prescribed use of

Customer Question

Customer: ***** *****
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I'm following a post regarding a prescribed use of Hydrocodone prior to a DOT drug screen ... I'm not presently taking Hydrocodone, but did take it some 45-60 days earlier ... I'm concerned about hair/follicle testing. My apologies for the long introduction ...
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Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Drug Testing
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 10 months ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

First, the usual DOT drug testing procedure is via urine testing, which would definitely not detect any use of hydrocodone 45-60 days before testing. However, if hair drug testing is performed, it does look back for about 90 days, so hair drug testing can detect drug use 45-60 days prior to testing. Hair drug testing is not good at detecting single uses of a drug, so if you used the hydrocodone one time about 45-60 days before testing, it will likely be missed. But if you used the drug on several occasions within the 90 day period with the last use 45-60 days before testing, then it will typically be detected.

It is also important to note that the hydrocodone is frequently missed by drug screening tests for opiates. The screening test for opiates is oriented towards morphine and the drugs that ar metabolized into morphine, such as heroin and codeine, but hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opiate that is not metabolized into morphine, so will frequently be missed by s screening drug test. However, the more advanced testing, such as GCMS, will be able to detect all of the various opiates, including hydrocodone, and the advanced testing is more often done during hair drug testing.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.

Expert:  Family Physician replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry for the delay in answering your question:

The DOT drug testing program is exclusively urine based AND it does not include testing for the semi-synthetic opiates such as hydrocodone.

Also, there is no legal basis to take a negative employment action based on legal prescription use of a medication (in this case the hydrocodone).

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