If you’re a commercial vehicle driver with ADHD, you know how difficult it can be to stay alert and focused on the road for long hours. Adderall is a medication that’s commonly prescribed to help improve concentration, reduce impulsivity, and increase productivity. However, as a commercial driver, it’s crucial to know the rules and regulations around taking Adderall and driving.
What is Adderall and How Is It Prescribed?
Adderall is one of the most common medications prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It contains a combination of two stimulant drugs:
These drugs work together to increase the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that are responsible for regulating:
- Impulse control
Adderall is typically prescribed as a tablet to be taken by mouth, and it comes in both immediate-release (IR) and extended-release (XR) forms. The IR form is designed to be taken two or three times a day, while the XR form is taken once a day.
While the benefits of Adderall would seemingly go hand-in-hand with driving a truck or other commercial vehicle, the use of Adderall can impair driving ability and increase the risk of accidents, particularly if it is not used as prescribed or used by someone who does not have a medical need for it.
Not only that, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific regulations when it comes to using prescription medication and other drugs. Under these regulations, drivers are prohibited from using any:
- Schedule I drugs, such as marijuana
- Certain Schedule II drugs, unless they have a valid prescription from a medical professional who is familiar with their medical history and the demands of their job.
Adderall is a Schedule II drug, so it can be prescribed to commercial drivers in certain circumstances, but it is important for drivers to disclose its use during medical exams and follow their doctor’s instructions for use.
Are Commercial Drivers Required To Be Drug Tested?
Because they are classified as a “safety-sensitive” employee, commercial vehicle drivers are required to be drug tested under DOT and FMCSA regulations. These requirements are extremely strict and enforced by both agencies. Specifically, regulations require the implementation of a drug testing program that all employers in the transportation industry must follow. In order to remain compliant, the program must include the following:
- Written Policy – Employers must have a written drug and alcohol policy that outlines the requirements and procedures for drug and alcohol testing, as well as the consequences for positive test results.
- Pre-Employment Testing – All prospective employees must undergo a drug test before performing any safety-sensitive functions.
- Random Testing – Employees must be subject to random drug and alcohol testing at least once per year.
- Post-Accident Testing – Employees must be tested for drugs and alcohol after any accident that results in a fatality, an injury requiring medical treatment away from the scene, or the need to tow a vehicle.
- Reasonable Suspicion Testing – Employees must be tested for drugs and alcohol if there is reasonable suspicion that they are under the influence while on the job.
- Return-to-Duty Testing – Employees who test positive for drugs or alcohol must complete a substance abuse program and pass a return-to-duty drug test before resuming safety-sensitive functions.
- Follow-Up Testing – Employees who return to work after a positive drug or alcohol test must undergo follow-up testing as directed by the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).
DOT-compliant drug testing programs must follow specific procedures and use only approved laboratories to ensure the accuracy and consistency of results. Employers are further required to keep detailed records of all drug and alcohol testing and maintain strict confidentiality of employee testing results.
How Does Adderall Use Factor Into DOT Drug Testing Requirements?
Again, because Adderall is a Schedule II drug that contains amphetamine, it will likely show up as a positive result on any DOT drug test. Thus, it’s important to provide a valid prescription that shows you’re supposed to be taking it. However, even with a valid prescription, you may be suspended from driving until you can show that you are using the medication as prescribed and it does not affect your ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely.
In the event that you can’t provide a valid prescription, a positive result will open you and your employer up to certain consequences, including:
- Immediate removal from safety-sensitive duties – You will be removed from safety-sensitive duties, including operating a commercial motor vehicle, as soon as the positive drug test result is confirmed.
- Mandatory substance abuse program – You will be required to complete a substance abuse program, as directed by a qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).
- Suspension or revocation of CDL – Your commercial driver’s license (CDL) may be suspended or revoked by the state licensing agency.
- Disqualification from driving – You may be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a specific period of time, depending on the severity of the violation and your history of drug use.
- Loss of employment – You may lose your job, either through termination or being unable to perform safety-sensitive duties due to disqualification.
- Fines – You may be fined by the employer, the state, or the federal government.
For all its benefits, using Adderall can have extremely negative impacts on your ability to safely drive your truck or ultimately pass a DOT drug test. It’s extremely important that if you do have a prescription, you only use Adderall as prescribed by your doctor so that you can stay compliant with regulations.
Fleet Drug Testing Has The Services You Need
When you work in the transportation industry, you know how important it is to implement a DOT-compliant drug testing program. At Fleet Drug Testing, we have the services you need to comply with these regulations and make sure that your drivers and everyone else on the road are safe. Our team of experienced professionals can guide your company through DOT requirements and handle the responsibilities of staying up to date. If you would like to get started working with our team, contact us here.