Specific question about DOT physicals and getting hired.

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by jsomerville, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. jsomerville

    jsomerville Bobtail Member

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    Nov 22, 2019
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    Greetings all, I have a question about my specific situation and becoming a truck driver.

    I've spent the last few weeks doing research on the process for getting hired on as a new driver and have learned a lot, but in all my Googling I'm coming up a bit short on this issue.

    I am currently taking buprenorphine for an addiction problem that I had. I have been on the drug for 4 years and have started tapering off as the likelihood for passing the DOT physical while being on an opioid (even a partial agonist like bueprenorphine/suboxone) is slim based on my research.

    Even if the doctor agreed that I was side effect free and passed me, it seems that companies do their own physical after the fact and would likely not accept me based on that. After 4 years it's time I come off the medication anyway so that is fine. It was ultimately my goal anyway.

    My main question is as follows: Will a past history of substance abuse prevent me from passing the DOT physical? I have been clean and sober for over 4 years now, no alcohol, no drugs of any sort other than what is prescribed to me. I went through a well respected rehab program at the beginning of those 4 years as well. I have no criminal history and have never received so much as a speeding ticket at 32 years old either.

    Based on that information does anyone know if this is going to be a major roadblock for me?

    Thank you very much for your help.
     
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Don't reveal anything that isn't specifically asked for.
    @Moose1958 has details on certain drugs for CDL drivers.
    If you can pass a DOT physical, urine drug test, hair follicle drug test, you should be ok.
     
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  4. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Which state do you live in?
    What's the nearest town/city?
    This tells us the hiring area you live in for various companies.
     
  5. jsomerville

    jsomerville Bobtail Member

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    Nov 22, 2019
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    I'm in Florida. Nearest city is Orlando. I've heard that FL can be slow with outgoing freight, but I'm willing to stay out for weeks at a time at least for the first few years.
     
  6. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    I never god stuck in Florida pulling refrigerated freight. Always heard it's hard to get out of there, but I never experienced it during 18 years of pulling reefers.
     
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  7. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    I'm not trying to be snarky. My best advice is to get totally off this drug before you attempt to enter this industry. Yes, it's possible to get a doctor to say you need it and maybe a medical examiner will approve it. The primary problem you are going to find is nobody will hire you. Not worth it in the long run. Get clean stay clean then enter.
     
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  8. jsomerville

    jsomerville Bobtail Member

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    Nov 22, 2019
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    Yep - That is my intention. As I said it was my goal from the start, wanting to get into trucking is just a convenient catalyst for it to happen now rather than... I don't know... another 2 years from now. I have already lowered my dose so I should be off completely within a month or so.

    My bigger concern is the discretion of the doctor him or herself. I mean one of the questions is "have you ever failed a drug test or been addicted to an illegal substance?" ... Now technically the truth is that I have not. I have never failed a drug test, and the drugs I was using were legal. I guess I don't have to elaborate to a no answer as long as it's the truth?
     
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  9. austinmike

    austinmike Road Train Member

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    Your good. Don’t volunteer any information. Good luck -
     
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  10. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    If you have never had a positive test then you are OK. Besides even if you had and that test was not a DOT test it doesn't count anyway. Get clean, stay clean and hammer down! The medical examiner is not going to get into your history to this degree. Remember to answer the questions honestly, just DO NOT volunteer information not asked for!
     
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  11. Dumdriver

    Dumdriver Road Train Member

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    They don’t test for it- yet, but that’s gonna change soon. They added some synthetic opioids (Percocet etc etc) to the testing at the beginning of 2018 so it’s just a matter of time.

    As others have stated, your best bet is to just come off it and that way you have no worries. Just taper very low and slow before you jump.
     
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