A group of commercial motor carriers called The Trucking Alliance advocates for the adoption of hair drug testing for truck drivers issued the results of a new study showing that urinalysis is missing up to 90% of drug users.
This is the conclusion of a study by researchers at the University of Central Arkansas of nearly one million truck driver drug test results for both hair and urine tests conducted between 2017 and 2022 for drivers employed by alliance member carriers.
It turned out that hair drug tests uncovered 25x more opioids; 23x more cocaine; 13x more amphetamines/methamphetamines; 5x more marijuana; 65x more ecstasy; and 3x more PCP.
“I don’t see how anyone can reasonably argue with these drug test results, given the large disparity in positivity rates between hair and urine testing for every drug, and a sample of almost one million drug tests,” said UCA researcher Dr. Doug Voss. “At some point it’s like arguing whether the sun will rise tomorrow.”
The White House currently is reviewing hair testing guidelines being proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In 2015, Congress directed the Secretary of Transportation to approve hair drug tests as an option for employers of commercial truck drivers. Positive hair test results could be submitted to the Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which fleet managers are required to consult before hiring a driver.
DOT has dragged its feet about mandating hair testing for eight years after Congress told it to do so in one year, notes Lane Kidd, the alliance’s head of advocacy and media relations.
“In 2021, almost 5,000 people died in large truck crashes, and nobody knows how many of those. crashes involved truck drivers with an illegal drug habit,” said Kidd. “This study concludes that our family and friends are driving alongside thousands of truck drivers who use illegal drugs.”