Question about meds and my DOT med card...

CamCigBigRig

New Member
Hey guys, new to the forum. Been driving for 3 years, so I guess I'm still pretty green behind the ears? Idk, I've driven everything thus far from OTR to local to dedicated. Van, flatbed, reefer. All lengths and pretty much everything but tanker. My question is about meds. I recently got put on Buprenorphine and Diazepam. These two medications have changed my life, even saved it. My doctor agrees. I cannot go off of them. But trucking is my life... I know DOT and FMCSA law, and I know these things can be on a case by case basis. So, with that said, I'm going this week to renew my medical card and tell them about the meds. I even have a letter from my doctor stating that I am under her care, have been med compliant, and that the medications in no way impede my ability to drive. My question is, if I bring this letter to the DOT physical doc, will he/she still pass me? What can I do to increase my chances? My medications and my Class A are my lifelines. I can't live without either. Is there any particular kind of DOT doc/clinic I'd have better luck with. Please help! Any answers/input are appreciated. You can even email me at [email protected]. Thanks, y'all. Have a safe shift, and hammer down!

- Cam
 
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Getfit Tommy

Highway Hero
It's a touchy subject... and one that I am all too familiar with.

You can pass the DOT drug screen, but there are meds that you need a DME for, and getting your doctor to have your back (so to speak) usually requires a long-standing relationship.

Narcotics per se are not allowed.... but Opioids, which are synthetic derivatives can be acceptable to a point. Again, the DME helps tremendously.

A doctor doing a medical exam may pass you in the pee test (the lab passes you) but that does not mean that he doesn't have the right to delve into your HIPPA info and find out what you filled, when you filled, how much you filled with your "ancilliaries" and he maintains the right to say "no, I'm not passing you"

He can report his findings to the DMV or he can just let you find another consortium.

Benzos are NOT banned like many people think they are. With a DME you will be O.K, but here's the rub.

Let's say you are on a light dosage of Benzos. Your doc has deemed that you are safe to operate a CMV.

A drunk driver pulls right out in front of you working on his 3rd DUI.... and this time he don't make it to see another day. You are sent in for the test... immediately.

A good attorney will turn you into the criminal. Even with your DME and a clean driving record. Your doc will be there, the last consortium that issued your Med Cert will be there and maybe even the Pharmacist.

It won't look good. You may not get that far into it. If you release this info to a new company, the insurance carrier will just say "too much risk"... sorry we don't have any openings at this time (even though we are advertising on CL)

SSRI's make people tired as do SNRI's. Type 1 Diabetics are always on edge. So many different types of insulin and mistakes are easily made.

Heart conditions: Allowed, even if it's COPD and a bottle of Nitro.

Many drivers at some point in their careers realize that there are times when they should not be on the road, yet they do it anyway... and cross their fingers.

Changes are coming, but added to all the new regs, many bad things are also coming... not just for truckers but also for consumers.

A failed Medical Examination can ruin you unless you get it ameliorated.

So far, all I know of that is in concrete is: NO suboxone or Methadone... Morphine or Fentanyl and Oxy.

If you aren't 100% behind that wheel at all times.. you might want to consider another line of work if you can't kick the meds, but sometimes this scenario is just out of the question.

A physicians DME should carry a lot of weight, but these days, it doesn't.

Driving a big rig 24/7 as a career choice as a skilled laborer is highly demanding.. and equally unforgiving.

Most guys need something, and if they don't now, they will later, after the body manifests its breakdowns and malfunctions.

Smoking, drinking, taking illicit drugs, taking prescription drugs... it's all a ticking time-bomb.

Add some texting, hunting for your favorite I-tunes, falling asleep at the wheel, talking on the CB, trying to navigate a limited GPS unit....

and don't forget watching all those spot-mirrors and all of your gauges.

Trucking at times seems to be the equivalent to the perfect recipe for disaster, yet we pul it off... somehow, some way

and they say "stress" is the number one killer

HIPPA protects you.. up to a point, but you stated that you are on meds that "you can't live without"

I'm curious as to just what they are. I have a very good idea, but if you can't live without them, is that because of addiction? Mental? Physical?

I mean, I doubt if it's that you can't live without them because you will die if you stop taking them.

Sometimes in life you have to make sacrifices... and that old cliche "you can't have your cake and eat it to.

Point is: If you can't "live" without them... are you willing to sacrifice them so that you can operate safely in this line of work?

I'm sure it's tough choosing drugs over a career, but maybe you must?

I don't think looking for a clinic that will overlook your issues is the answer.

Sooner or later, trying to get around something that needs to be dealt with will bite you in the ass.

What do you really want to do? Check yourself before you ... wreck yourself?

Dunno mang.

Damn, I just wrote another essay. Oh well, nobody gonna read it anyway...
 

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
If you aren't 100% behind that wheel at all times.. you might want to consider another line of work if you can't kick the meds
I know this is about medications and health but let's be honest...the second you stick your huge coffee mug up to your face and block your view for a sip you're not 100% behind the wheel.

The second you check your mirrors you're not 100% behind the wheel. And you're SUPPOSED to do that. Frequently.

The second you get behind a reefer with mirror doors blasting you with the sun that's behind you, you're not 100% behind the wheel.

So much stuff makes us not 100% behind the wheel it's ridiculous.
 

Getfit Tommy

Highway Hero
Well, that was kind of my point...


A huge part of our job involves the mastery of "distracted driving"....so... when it comes to changing radio stations, C.B channels, standing up behind the wheel... texting.... picking something up off of the floor

Who better to drive distracted than a truckdriver....

by "100%" I meant more like..... are you ****ed up or are you "there?"

I'm sure you got my point.

I rode with a Criminal Investigator for 400 miles to get to a case I had to testify on. His eyes were EVERYWHERE but the road. I offered to drive.. I mean, he had tinted windows....

He was on his personal cell, typing on his laptop, scrolling through the scanner, keying up on the 2 way... hand-checking his pager.... and we were CONSTANTLY out of lane and brake-checking people...

It's funny when I think about it now. The paranoia that some people have over LEO's.... they are so caught up in their business that they shouldn't even be driving... meanwhile, all the four-wheelers think they are being heavily scrutinized

When I see a LEO sitting on the side of the road in the middle of the night and I go blowing by... I do look back in my mirrors.. and they never move. Why?

Cuz they're either fast asleep or playing games on their phones

During the daytime; different story, but at night, especially when they are parked in a construction zone.. I'm thinkin' that cop is gettin' paid to sleep that night
 

DrDaliah

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Hey guys, new to the forum. Been driving for 3 years, so I guess I'm still pretty green behind the ears? Idk, I've driven everything thus far from OTR to local to dedicated. Van, flatbed, reefer. All lengths and pretty much everything but tanker. My question is about meds. I recently got put on Buprenorphine and Diazepam. These two medications have changed my life, even saved it. My doctor agrees. I cannot go off of them. But trucking is my life... I know DOT and FMCSA law, and I know these things can be on a case by case basis. So, with that said, I'm going this week to renew my medical card and tell them about the meds. I even have a letter from my doctor stating that I am under her care, have been med compliant, and that the medications in no way impede my ability to drive. My question is, if I bring this letter to the DOT physical doc, will he/she still pass me? What can I do to increase my chances? My medications and my Class A are my lifelines. I can't live without either. Is there any particular kind of DOT doc/clinic I'd have better luck with. Please help! Any answers/input are appreciated. You can even email me at [email protected]. Thanks, y'all. Have a safe shift, and hammer down!

- Cam
I think both could disqualify you as one is a opiate and one is a benzodiazepene.
 

Getfit Tommy

Highway Hero
I think both could disqualify you as one is a opiate and one is a benzodiazepene.
Sorry, didn't see the Bup.....

Automatic disqualification. Puts you in the MATS division, just like an addict in rehab.

Benzos will not DQ you IF you have a physician who will write you a DME

On the other hand it does not mean the trucking company has to hire you nor does it mean that a ranfom medical examiner has to pass you... they reserve the right to say no without an explanation

As of right now benzodiazepines are not tested for in the DOT urinalysis


Morphine, Fentanyl, Oxy, Subox or Bup are absolutely NOT allowed

If you are taking Bup, that means it was prescribed for rehabilitation from a narcotic, opiate or opioid

If you had gone "cold turkey" you wouldn't have had to use another highly addictive med ...replacement therapy...even if it works, means you are still addicted

My question would be this: to what? Hopefully not an illicit drug b/c if you appeal to the FMCSA/DOT and were looking to get this exponged, it would be one thing if it was a prescription drug like hydrocodone... it would be another thing if it was an illicit drug that had not been prescribed and was a narcotic

All depends. We have plenty of drivers that are prescribed benzodiazepine and plenty of drivers that are prescribed opioids but they must carry a DME with them at all times

This does not mean that they will come out on top if they're involved in an accident even if it was a no-fault
 

Getfit Tommy

Highway Hero
Also very soon each state we'll have a qualified medical examiner who can look at your local pharmacy and see what you've been prescribed even if it is not on the banned list

They will have access to information just like any doctor that shows what you filled, when you filled it , and how much you are prescribed

Again, someone other than your personal physician reserves the right to say "no" to a med cert

They don't have to take responsibility for someone they don't know even if your own doctor sent him a letter
 
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