Hydrocodone The #1 Prescribed Drug In The U.S.

For thousands of people who are in severe pain due to injuries, illnesses, and surgeries, hydrocodone seems like a port in a storm. This painkiller provides pain relief, and there are over 140 million hydrocodone prescriptions written each year—making it the #1 prescribed drug in America.

Hydrocodone is fine as long as it’s not abused, but unfortunately, it is very often abused, which is why drug screening for truckers is so important. Users can easily become addicted due to its painkilling ability. A hydrocodone abuser will take more than they’re supposed to, take it more often than they’re supposed to, will take someone else’s prescription, or will ingest it in a different way than is intended. It’s also considered abuse when an individual takes hydrocodone to treat depression or anxiety, since this is not its intended purpose.

What Hydrocodone Means For The Trucking Industry

Back in October 2014, the FDA changed hydrocodone’s classification from Schedule III to Schedule II. This means that hydrocodone is now a drug that is classified under being “useful and commonly prescribed, yet dangerous to users in terms of potential for abuse and addiction”. In fact, most people who take hydrocodone daily will become addicted to it within a week.

Why is this important for trucking companies to know about? A high rate of truck drivers end up addicted to hydrocodone due to treating work-related injuries that have resulted from loading, unloading, and inspecting their truck. Some may have even been taking the medication before becoming a truck driver. As with any narcotic, it’s very dangerous to operate heavy machinery while taking hydrocodone. This is exactly why drug screenings put into place.

When A Truck Driver Shows Signs Of Hydrocodone Addiction

Drivers who show symptoms of hydrocodone should be given a drug screening (it’s usually the 12-panel drug test that tests for hydrocodone). These symptoms include dizziness, rashes or itching, light sensitivity, shortness of breath, nausea, anxiety, depression, mood swings, hallucinations, and perhaps the most dangerous for driving: mental fogginess and drowsiness.

Some abusers also take other substances along with hydrocodone, such as marijuana, alcohol, or other medications. This is extremely dangerous, and could result in an overdose. In fact, hydrocodone abuse by itself could result in an overdose, even without the help of other substances.

The Importance Of Drug Screenings To Prevent Drug-Related Accidents

A DOT drug screening is set up to protect drivers and the public from the accidents that can happen due to drug abuse. Consortium Pool provides these drug screening programs to help truckers and truck lines stay safe and keep those around them safe, too.

Watch below for more about hydrocodone:

To find out more about DOT compliance and drug screenings, check out our DOT Compliance pageConsortium Pool is a DOT alcohol and drug-testing consortium. You can also take a look at the programs that we offer, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.