The Hair Test, Cocaine, And You

Topic 22833 | Page 1

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Errol V.'s Comment
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I teach a Permit study class at the Swift Driving Academy in Memphis. For many students, this is the first time they deal with the trucking business. On the first day, all the students head for the Health Center for their DOT physical, and a hair follicle test.

First, to cut down on rumors, the hair follicle test is set to look back only three months. But I'm finding out that three month window can still catch people by surprise.

About every other week, a student gets a phone call from the lab saying that they have found some illegal drug in their hair. This is a total shock to the student. And on this news, that day Swift will check them out of the hotel onto the street, without a bus ticket home. No questions, just get out the door.

Recently one man was found to have traces of cocaine in his hair. I had worked with this student for several days, and I was surprised, too. On thinking of his recent health history, this guy remembered he had had a minor operation a while back. Maybe the cocaine came from that. Cocaine is legitimately used as an anesthetic, so that could be an explanation.

I'm posting this as a heads up. If you have had surgery, or you think your doctor has prescribed any medication recently - even in a one-time dose, you should check with them as to any medications that could destroy your trucking career. A note from your doctor, brought with you to the hair test, could save you.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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