The Senate passed the Opioid Crisis Response Act which includes a mandate to create and issue guidelines for drug hair testing.
 - Photo: Creative Commons

The Senate passed the Opioid Crisis Response Act which includes a mandate to create and issue guidelines for drug hair testing.

Photo: Creative Commons

American Trucking Associations has praised Senate-passed legislation that, in its current form, includes provisions to create guidelines for drug hair testing.

A provision contained within the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 directs the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to report to Congress on creating and issuing guidelines for hair testing. The Secretary of Health would have 30 days to report on the status of hair testing guidelines, eventually outlining a schedule with benchmarks and estimated date for delivery for completed guidelines.

The bill also contains reporting requirements on the development of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and a deadline for completing work on oral fluids testing.

Currently, only urinalysis is recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as a proven drug testing method. Proponents of hair testing argue that it has advantages including a longer detection window, easier collection, and results that are harder to fake.

Hair testing is only part of the comprehensive legislation aimed at combating the Nation’s opioid crisis and it was passed by the Senate with a nearly unanimous bipartisan vote. The Opioid Crisis Response Act must now be reconciled with the House of Representatives’ companion bill that was passed earlier this year before it can be signed into law by the President.

“We thank Senator Thune and his staff for their continued persistence and commitment on this issue of hair testing,” said Bill Sullivan, ATA’s executive vice president of advocacy. “Our fleets need to depend on – and need the government to recognize – the most accurate, reliable and failsafe drug testing methods available. The time has come to get this done.”

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