DOT Physical And Prior Use Of Prescription Medication

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C's Comment
member avatar

I have a history of depression. 15 years ago I was prescribed antidepressants for the first time, I took them for a few months, and then stopped on my own accord and stopped going to the doctor without informing them. Five years ago I did the same thing, with a different doctor.

My question is, if I disclose this to the DOT examiner, will they require documentation from a psychiatrist stating that I no longer need the medication? In other words, since technically I stopped taking the medication without my doctor's approval (because I just stopped going in) will I have to go to a doctor to get an evaluation and a statement saying I am no longer depressed/no longer need medicine?

My other question is, can they somehow search my medical history to find out that I was prescribed this medication? Meaning if I check "no" on question 14 (have you had a history of depression) could they be like "well I see here that you've been prescribed SSRI's in the past so what's that about?" I don't think they can do this, but I saw a comment on this forum from someone who said there's a big database they can punch my SSN into and see everything I've ever been on. Is that true?

I've never been on any medications that are on the no-fly list. My concern is only that I do not want to go through the process of getting (and paying for) an evaluation, but I also don't want to get caught "hiding" something.

DOT:

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

In your first sentence, you wrote that you have a history of depression. Two paragraphs later, you wonder if you should disclose it on the DOT physical?

The background investigation that many companies invest a great deal of money towards may find out about your past in due time. That would get you sent home quickly. Not prying, but what is your status since you stopped taking the prescribed medicine? If you have been functional without them, I would think it was a bad diagnosis, but I’m not an MD.

DOT:

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.

Hobo's Comment
member avatar

Don't lie. About anything.

C's Comment
member avatar

In your first sentence, you wrote that you have a history of depression. Two paragraphs later, you wonder if you should disclose it on the DOT physical?

The background investigation that many companies invest a great deal of money towards may find out about your past in due time. That would get you sent home quickly. Not prying, but what is your status since you stopped taking the prescribed medicine? If you have been functional without them, I would think it was a bad diagnosis, but I’m not an MD.

First let me be clear I am not intending to game the system or "get away" with anything. But at the end of the day, I am 99.99% sure that I would love OTR trucking, and it would be a darn shame if I didn't get my chance at it just because I took SSRI's for a couple months years ago.

My status since not stopping the medication: just fine. I am no longer depressed. The bouts of depression that I have dealt with were largely due to situational factors, and I have not been in that situation for a long time.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

DOT:

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.

C's Comment
member avatar

Don't lie. About anything.

Okay. But can you answer my first question then? If I am honest will they require me to get re-evaluated based on the fact that I didn't get explicit permission from my old doctor to go off the meds? That's really the only thing I'm worried about because it would be such a hassle. And an expensive one.

Hobo's Comment
member avatar

Clem, just stop. You are looking to get away with something. You're fishing for someone to tell you it's ok to lie because it's convenient for you. You have a history of depression, if asked that question the answer is 'yes' whether you like it or not.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

To answer your question.... We dont know.

Each doctor and company will have different requirements and policies on this. My company didnt care I took Effexor when my sister died 5 years prior. I was told by that doctor "anything over three years and it doesnt matter". However, my friend at another company was told she needed to get a doctor to clear her for the same med also years prior. Two doctors at the same company could have different judgment on such a topic, so even at the same.company you could get different results. The doctor is signing that you can safely do the job so some may be more lenient than others. CDL schools will send you to really lenient doctors who require the minimum, and companies can be more selective.

If you want to be completely sure, see your family physician and get clearance now. It will be a much bigger hassle if you go to orientation and get sent home.

as for this quote...

I am 99.99% sure that I would love OTR

Get that out of your head. This is one of the strangest and most unique industries on the planet. You cannot be sure about anything until you get out here. Every one of my students said the same thing "This is so much harder than I ever expected".

One friend couldnt deal with making all of the decisions. Another couldnt deal with harsh winters and trekking snowy truck stops to use the restroom at 3 am. Most cant deal with the isolation and being away from home and family.

good luck

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

Clem C.

Each person's evaluation of this industry will be different as Rainy said. But don't ever, ever lie on a trucking application. Trucking companies pay big bucks to find things out. Hobo gave this advice and I'm also giving it to you. Once you screw up on an application, or get there and get sent home for a drug related situation, you're almost toast. Go back to your original doctor, explain how things were then, and how things are now. He might just give you a check up and send the evaluation to a perspective employer. But the longer you procrastinate on this the harder it will be.

Raptor

C's Comment
member avatar

Thank you guys. I know how it sounded but I was really just trying to know what I should prepare for. I think that's a fair concern.

Get that out of your head. This is one of the strangest and most unique industries on the planet. You cannot be sure about anything until you get out here. Every one of my students said the same thing "This is so much harder than I ever expected".

One friend couldnt deal with making all of the decisions. Another couldnt deal with harsh winters and trekking snowy truck stops to use the restroom at 3 am. Most cant deal with the isolation and being away from home and family.

good luck

Of course I cannot be sure. But I bet when you first applied you probably thought you would enjoy the job. Otherwise why did you apply? Of all the people on this forum who love the lifestyle and have had great success, I am willing to wager that the majority of them were thinking "I could probably do this" before they applied. Of course, all the people who *didn't* make it also thought the same thing. Anyway, I have good reasons for believing I can do well in trucking, but you don't know what those reasons are.

Maybe after I make it through training I'll be given the benefit of the doubt. Thank you all again for your help. I've been lurking and reading a lot of your stories and you're all a super friendly bunch. Hope I can join the family soon.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Clem, You make a valid point...

We are here to help you set realistic expectations and develop a base of truthful knowledge before you commit.

Have you read these links?

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

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