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SAMHSA Issues New Guidelines to Now Include Oral Fluid Testing

Effective January 1, 2020:  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently established guidelines to include oral fluid specimens in the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs.  The new Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Oral Fluid (OFMG) allows for the collection and testing of oral fluid specimens by federal executive branch agencies and other agencies, including the Department of Transportation and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).  Previously, urine specimens were required, which had been the requirement since the guidelines were first published in 1988.  The premise for this current change is the broad establishment and acceptance of oral fluid as an alternative specimen for accurate drug testing.

The OFMG establish standards and technical requirements for:

  • oral fluid collection devices,
  • initial oral fluid drug test specimens and methods,
  • confirmatory oral fluid drug test specimen materials and methods,
  • processes for review by a Medical Review Officer (MRO), and
  • requirements for federal agency actions.


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Regulated employers that follow SAMHSA guidelines should make the appropriate revisions to their own workplace drug policies.  Contact us if you have any questions about what these new guidelines mean for you and your business.

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