Prescription Narcotic

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Chuck G.'s Comment
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Hi all! I'm new here - go easy :)

I'm going to be 59 years young next month, and after being in my own business for about 13 years, the economy has taken its toll on my business and I'll be closing the doors in a couple of months :(

I'm very interested in trucking at this point, but according to everything I've read, I may have a problem. I'm taking a prescription narcotic (Norco) on a daily basis for a chronic condition that I have. I've been taking this drug for about 8 years.

Will this be a problem? Or is it something that's ok as long as I can show that I have a legitimate prescription? Thanks in advance.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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I looked up the drug. For one it's classed as a pain reliever. And 2 I found the paragraph in quotes below in the drug warning literature. This two thing along with all the other side effects including possible self harming if taken in more than the recommended doses will be another thing that be added to why that drug will not be approved.

I would seek a Certified DOT approved doctor and get a Dot physical from them but from the little I read I would say no. The thing is pain relieving drugs alter the chemicals in the brain and that's exactly what you don't need while operating a big truck. While I am not a doctor by any means I would seek to get the drug changed for an alternative. Those if you have a chronic pain condition not sure what you could be changed to.

Hydrocodone, like all narcotics, may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery; patients should be cautioned accordingly.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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The reason Hydrocodone is in the quotes is because it's one of the drugs included in Norco. The place I quoted from was doing a break down of all the medications included in Norco and listing warning and side effects.

The other drug included in Norco is

Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen has been associated with cases of acute liver failure, at times resulting in liver transplant and death. Most of the cases of liver injury are associated with the use of acetaminophen at doses that exceed 4000 milligrams per day, and often involve more than one acetaminophen containing product. The excessive intake of acetaminophen may be intentional to cause self-harm or unintentional as patients attempt to obtain more pain relief or unknowingly take other acetaminophen-containing products

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Chuck G.'s Comment
member avatar

I looked up the drug. For one it's classed as a pain reliever. And 2 I found the paragraph in quotes below in the drug warning literature. This two thing along with all the other side effects including possible self harming if taken in more than the recommended doses will be another thing that be added to why that drug will not be approved.

I would seek a Certified DOT approved doctor and get a Dot physical from them but from the little I read I would say no. The thing is pain relieving drugs alter the chemicals in the brain and that's exactly what you don't need while operating a big truck. While I am not a doctor by any means I would seek to get the drug changed for an alternative. Those if you have a chronic pain condition not sure what you could be changed to.

double-quotes-start.png

Hydrocodone, like all narcotics, may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery; patients should be cautioned accordingly.

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks for the quick reply, Guy.... much appreciated! But due to another condition that I have, I'm not allowed to take ibuprofen or aspirin, so I'm stuck with narcotic pain relievers... that's why I'm on this drug as opposed to over-the-counter alternatives. I know about the warnings - not to drive or operate machinery until you know how the drug affects you, but I've been on it for 8 years, that's 8 years with no traffic citations or accidents. In fact, I was able to ride a motorcycle on long rides (up to 500 miles/day) while taking that drug. Unfortunately, I had to give up motorcycling a couple of years ago.

I guess that I'm trying to establish whether this drug will disqualify me from trucking before shelling out money for driving school and then finding out later that it was for nothing. I can produce a valid prescription for it, but do they ask how long you've been on it? Or is it just that it shows up as a positive on a drug test and a valid prescription would negate the positive?

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

The reason Hydrocodone is in the quotes is because it's one of the drugs included in Norco.

Yes, Hydrocodone is the narcotic portion of the drug. Its an opiate-based analagesic. Same narcotic ingredient that's found in Vicodin. You're very thorough in your responses, Guy. I appreciate that.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Not sure what they ask if you something is found in your system cause I have never had a positive drug test. Like I said go to a DOT certified doctor and take a Dot physical to find out for sure. They are less than $100 and that's only the first step. Each company has their own doctors they use and they also have to have approval.

Now don't let this scare you. It maybe a simple thing as your doctor verifying you are OK with this med and and working to get a waiver. Don't give up before you get started but you have some leg work to get done.

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.

Chuck G.'s Comment
member avatar

Not sure what they ask if you something is found in your system cause I have never had a positive drug test. Like I said go to a DOT certified doctor and take a Dot physical to find out for sure. They are less than $100 and that's only the first step. Each company has their own doctors they use and they also have to have approval.

Now don't let this scare you. It maybe a simple thing as your doctor verifying you are OK with this med and and working to get a waiver. Don't give up before you get started but you have some leg work to get done.

Thank you, Guy... will do!

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.

Dutch's Comment
member avatar

Chuck, what I found, is that it will be necessary with most companies for you to pass a DOT 10 panel drug test. Even if this is not an issue for you when going through the hiring process, it will be an issue if you are ever involved in an accident and DOT gets involved. Personally, I would hate to be in an accident situation, with possible legal percussions, and know that I couldn't pass the DOT 10 panel. Even with a letter from your doctor stating that the meds won't affect your ability to drive, you could have serious legal repercussions.

I had a similar situation about a year ago. What I found, was that discontinuing my meds was a positive thing for me. I found that they were doing more harm than good, and also, hauling dry van has been considerably less physically demanding than the tig welding job I had been doing for decades. Now I just get by on some over the counter meds on my bad days.

It might be an option to talk to your doc about a non narcotic med that would allow you to pass the DOT 10 panel drug test. Good luck!

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

The short answer is, Norco is a class 4 narcotic, and it is not allowed in your system, in your truck, or in a drug test. Unless you can find another drug that will work for you, I'm afraid that trucking is out.

Lawrence H.'s Comment
member avatar

I take norco and have had 3 drug tests in 14 months and have never tested positive for an opiate. The difference between vicodin and norco is the amount of ibuprofen in each drug. Norco is 325 and vicodin is 500 millograms. There's more opiate in a pepsi than in a norco. Its such a small amount it comes in under the minimum threshold for being positive for opiates.

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