The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services, is asking for input on the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Testing Programs and possible updates to the Urine and Oral Fluid Analyte Table to include fentanyl.
SAMHSA published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that its Center for Substance Abuse Prevention’s Drug Testing Advisory Board will convene via web conference on Dec. 5, and the board will be discussing adding fentanyl to the analyte table.
The Department of Transportation must follow the HHS scientific guidelines for DOT-regulated drug testing laboratory procedures, so participants in the DOT transportation industry drug testing program should be aware HHS is considering this issue.
Any change to the HHS analyte table may affect the DOT testing program under 49 CFR Part 40, but only after DOT conducts its own rulemaking.
Why HHS Wants to Add Fentanyl to Drug Testing
In its proposal, the agency explained that fentanyl accounts for a large proportion of overdose deaths in the United States and is increasingly used as a stand-alone substance of abuse. According to the National Forensic Laboratory Information System 2021 report, fentanyl was the fourth most frequently identified drug and accounted for nearly 12% of all drugs reported by forensic laboratories.
The Trucking Cares Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Trucking Associations, recently donated $25,000 to Voices for Awareness, a national organization aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of illicit fentanyl in the U.S.
“The epidemic of deadly fentanyl is having a devastating effect on individuals, families, and communities," said TCF Chairman Phil Byrd. "The Trucking Cares Foundation is determined to raise awareness about this growing crisis and recognize elected officials who are shaping our government’s response."
How to Comment
SAMHSA is requesting public comment on the recommendation of adding fentanyl/norfentanyl (along with their proposed testing cutoffs) to its analyte table.
Comments can be submitted prior to the DTAB meeting, during the DTAB meeting, and up to 30 days after the DTAB meeting, but no later than January 4, 2024.
Written comments regarding the addition of fentanyl to the HHS analyte table can be submitted via e-mail to: DFWP@samhsa.hhs.gov.