What are the laws on prescription pain meds while driving rigs

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by Dogs, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Dogs

    Dogs Bobtail Member

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    I am wondering if you have a prescription for vicodin, for back pain, a narcotic, if you can take it while driving rigs? can you have it in your truck? and what are the laws on prescription medicines, which ones you can take; and does your company, the doctor, the DOT, State law, our who regulates this, etc. :biggrin_25511:
     
  2. eckz

    eckz <strong>"Radio Rambo"</strong>

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    I had a kidney stone, they put me on vicodin. I was allowed to drive by my company but you can't have them with you on the road. If you have something chronic that causes you a need to take them regularly the DOT Physical doctor may not allow you your medical card, and most companies will probably shy away from you for insurance reasons... It's kinda sad, but true.

    Some people would be responsible, and leave them at home, while others would abuse the privilege, and it's hard for companies to distinguish between the two so in most cases i'd assume that they won't even bother. This is one of those laws where for some reasons i wish it was a little more lax, but for other reasons i'm glad that it is the way that it is because nobody stops you from going out and getting in your car after taking one.. and when is the last time you heard about a car wreck caused by pain medication?

    I hope this helps, good luck to ya.
    oh i almost forgot, IF you were to get some special circumstsance you'd need to go through the FMCSA who governs all the rules and reg's regarding this kind of stuff. They also have a list of disqualifying medications on their site, and one of them is vicodin.
     
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  3. WiseOne

    WiseOne Inactive contact bullhaulerswife

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    I know the federal government regulates this, but I have never heard of truckers not being able to take this. Vicodin is simply Hydrocodone with some Ibuprofen or Acitomeniphen with it, etc. I used to take it while I drove along with Prozac and Xanax and had many, many a drug tests and never had any problems. Of course when I took the drug tests I would tell them what I was on at the time so I reckon that helped. I wouldn't see you having a problem with that...BUT, the fact that you have back problems will make most companies shy away from you for sure. Touchy situation on that one. Also, the FDA is trying to take that, and others, off the market now according to Wikipidia...

     
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  4. WiseOne

    WiseOne Inactive contact bullhaulerswife

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    Thanks, eckz, I did not realize that Vicodin was in there. Appreciate the info!
     
  5. eckz

    eckz <strong>"Radio Rambo"</strong>

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    Also, as far as the drug test goes, Barbituates and hydrocodone (since it's synthetic opiates, and not real opiates) do not show up on standard NIDA-5 drug tests. There are seperate tests, the only time that stuff would be administered is if you got into a bad accident and the prosecuting attorney wanted some fuel for his fire to burn you with. =)

    Too many people abusing stuff, it drives me crazy. Vicodin has never effected me negatively enough to really worry about in the times that i've taken it, i could drive my car after taking one, i'm sure i could drive a truck too but the law is the law.
     
  6. eckz

    eckz <strong>"Radio Rambo"</strong>

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    Trying to find the list again so i can link it, I don't remember where i looked before.
     
  7. eckz

    eckz <strong>"Radio Rambo"</strong>

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    Wow, the FDA is a bunch of idiots. The death rates they are quoting are significantly less than those caused by cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. I'm so annoyed with these crappy government agencies not thinking before they speak for the sake of justifying their own existence.

    I'll bet there were even more people in our country who were stabbed to death than there were people who overdosed on fricken' asprin. Let's outlaw knives! >.<
     
  8. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    You're right the FDA are a bunch of idiots and the real people that pay are the true chronic pain sufferers. Vicodon is a schedule 3 narcotic and is forbidden under FMCSR §392.4(a)(3). Ask you doctor for a non-narcotic pain killer and sometimes they work just as well. Don't risk losing everything if some lawyer finds out if you are in an accident. It could even mean your freedom.
     
  9. eckz

    eckz <strong>"Radio Rambo"</strong>

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    Agreed. Even as silly as it is, all drugs effect people differently and i'm sure you can operate your CMV fine after taking one of those, but it effects people differently so the government and the FMCSA needs to account for those "idiots" who abuse things like Vicodin and may cause an issue, although to my knowledge there are no recorded issues in a CMV caused by prescription pain medication.

    I did read an interesting study, though, that claimed somewhere around 17"% of bigtruck accidents pertained to the driver being on either prohibited or non prohibited prescription drugs, and i'm curious to know how they decided that it was a contributing factor.

    I'd be inclined to believe that the driver was at fault, and agreed with them on the issue only to excuse his own stupid actions. "Yeah, yeah, it was that chantix i was taking that made me do it!"

    Eh.. People are stupid, and i hate politics.
     
  10. striker

    striker Road Train Member

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    I've taken Hydrocodone while being on the road several times, mostly for horrible tooth aches. My employer jus tleaves it up to me, if I don't feel safe driving, I let them know. It's the same with my allergies, even though I take OTC meds for them, on days when I'm really bad and the pills are marginal at best, I either stay home, or encourage them to get me off early.

    The last time I was on Vicoden for pain, I had to take a random, I just let the test facility know about it in case it came up.
     
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