Oral Fluids Coming to Mandatory Guidelines

DATIA has posted the memo approved on Jan. 26, 2012, by Pamela S. Hyde, SAMHSA’s administrator.

Pamela S. Hyde, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), has approved a recommendation to include oral fluid as an alternative specimen in the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs and also to add Schedule II prescription medications oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone to them. While it may take a year for these additions to take effect (SAMHSA must publish them in the Federal Register, seek comments, and receive HHS and OMB approval), Hyde's Jan. 26, 2012, approval is a big breakthrough for manufacturers of oral fluid testing products.

The addition of these prescription medications is of major importance, as well, because abuse of prescription opioids is soaring.

The Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association has posted the memo approved by Hyde. It came to her from Frances M. Harding, director of the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and asked Hyde to approve the two changes that were recommended by SAMHSA's Drug Testing Advisory Board on July 13, 2011. Harding wrote that the DTAB recommendations were reviewed by the Prescription Drug Subcommittee of HHS' Behavioral Health Coordinating Committee and the Counselor to the HHS secretary has been briefed on the recommendations.

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