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coolbusdriver
Top Member

Canada
1509 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2007 :  3:28:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Would someone who has panic attacks be allowed to drive a school bus? I know that laws will be different according to where you live, but just in general, would you want this person driving your kids everyday?

guzaldo
Advanced Member

421 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2007 :  4:17:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you are talking about someone who cannot handle an emergency because they panic or do these "panic attacks" just come on. In either case that person probably should not be driving a school bus. I am not sure panic attacks is a medical condition like insulin dependent diabetis, high blood pressure or say blind in one eye that would be detectable by a physical.

I would hope this condition would show itself in the interview or during training. I fear a lot of districts/providers hire using the mirror test - if they can fog up a mirror they get hired - that is not good for the passengers they transport.
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mlkdrives41
Top Member

USA
2055 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2007 :  8:30:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is nothing in NY State regs that address panic attacks. I knew a driver once who suffered with them. Medication helped but there was an incident where another driver had to go rescue the driver and students because of suffering one. I don't think it would show up at interview unless it was something fairly frequent. When I was a kid I had them and it was brought on by being in certain places that I felt unsafe, like the grocery store or somewhere outside my house. Some people feel that way crossing bridges which could be a problem for a SBD.

Nothing great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm!
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SOS
Advanced Member

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  09:52:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In Georgia there is a question on the DOT physical relating to mental health that must be answered by the applicant. I suppose if a driver was ignorant enough to not answer this honestly it could be slide by.

NO way would I want someone who has panic attacks driving mine or anyone else's kids around in a school bus or any other form of transportation.

The risk is already high enough out in the urban jungle I can only imagine what could happen should the driver go into a panic attack with students on board.

NO, NO, absolutely NOT!

You gotta Love em' to Carry em'

Edited by - SOS on 05/13/2007 09:53:43 AM
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Buskid
Top Member

USA
3368 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  11:12:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit Buskid's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If I remember correctly, the long DOT physical form that we used to have to fill out had a question regarding anxiety-related disorders. The past two physicals that I've had to fill the long DOT physical form out for, though, seem to've been revised to not include that question, although it still has a box to check for other psychological disorders; e.g., depression.

I wonder if it would matter what the specific dosage and/or type of medication the applicant is taking to control their anxiety disorder is. I've always been under the opinion that some of the more common medications available to treat such problems could be looked down upon by the physician performing the physical.

Because all medications the applicant is currently taking should be listed, the physician should know there is a potential problem and go from there. Just out of personal experience, the physician I go to for my physicals is a real stickler when it comes to prescription medicines, but that doesn't mean others are the same.

Edited by - Buskid on 05/14/2007 09:05:36 AM
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Carp_26
Administrator

United States
161 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2007 :  11:37:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If it's controlled by medication, shouldn't be a problem. I'm assuming for your physical you must provide information on all the meds taken anyways. I know people who drive who are on other meds for depression, anxiety, etc. Society throws a pill at most conditions today.
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SOS
Advanced Member

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2007 :  05:13:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So because society "throws a pill at most conditions today" it makes it okay to drive a bus with sedative medication in your system? I think not! In our district we don't even allow drivers to operate a bus if they took nyquil the night before.

Absolutely unacceptable to have sedatives, and many other forms of prescription and non prescription medications, in the system while transporting students. If a disorder is severe enough to need medication to control it is too severe to be driving a school bus. What if said person forgot to take their meds and went into an attack while on route? What if they took the meds and all of a sudden developed a reaction while behind the wheel. Wouldn't it bee just fine to have a driver keel over while driving down the road ??? It is simply not worth the risk to the students. Nor is it worth the risk to the rest of the motoring public.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited in my part of the woods even in a personal automobile, least of all while driving a school bus for heavens sake.

You gotta Love em' to Carry em'
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Carp_26
Administrator

United States
161 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2007 :  4:07:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How do you know what they take? They come running into your office to tell you? I think not! Here in Ohio, medication is disclosed during the physical and the board appointed physician determins your status as a driver. Lots of drivers take meds, it's a fact of life.

Edited by - Carp_26 on 05/22/2007 4:08:44 PM
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SOS
Advanced Member

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2007 :  7:47:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For crying out loud Carp have you never heard of a drug screen. That is how we know what someone is taking. Other than that once we train and advise during such training what is and is not acceptable to have in the system while driving our students around is left up to the honor system. Following any accident you can count on the driver having a drug screen and God help 'em if they come up with substances in their system that they know they are not allowed to take and drive the bus. I suppose next you will say you would be comfortable with your own children riding around with someone under the influence. I seriously doubt it, I darn sure wouldn't.

You gotta Love em' to Carry em'
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Carp_26
Administrator

United States
161 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2007 :  3:56:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Drug screens aren't checking for Nyquil, they are used for illegal drugs. Not those perscribed by your doctor.
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SOS
Advanced Member

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2007 :  11:02:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
AHHHHHHHH hello Carp, Nyquil is 25% alcohol. I guarantee you a breathalizer will pick it up. Drug screens for CDL drivers include opiates, most not necessarily all, prescription narcotic pain medicine is opiate based. I have yet to hear of a doctor that prescribes these types of drugs give approval to drive anything and certainly NOT A SCHOOL BUS. The prescription bottle has many warning labels about not driving, until you know how you will react to the medicaiton. Any doctor that prescribes sedatives or narcotic pain meds would be out and out right off his/her rocker to tell a patient it is okay to operate a CMV, school bus or otherwise, while taking such medication.

The original post was QUESTION ABOUT PANIC ATTACTS and SHOULD A DRIVER THAT SUFFERS FROM PANIC ATTACTS BE ALLOWED TO DRIVE A SCHHOL BUS. And the answer IMHO, is NO!

Absolutely unacceptable to have sedatives, and many other forms of prescription and non prescription medications, in the system while transporting students. Not only is it unacceptable and against public policy, it is ILLEGAL for many of the aforementioned to be in the system of a CDL driver while driving.....

Rather than argue about what substances are looked for in a drug screen how about you answer my last question. Would you want your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, or what ever relationship riding in a school bus when the driver is under the influence?

You gotta Love em' to Carry em'

Edited by - SOS on 05/28/2007 11:08:55 AM
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drivin4safety
Advanced Member

United States
259 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2007 :  5:32:07 PM  Show Profile  Send drivin4safety a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
If you've been subject to random drug screens you are probably already aware of this, if not then here goes. I have been the subject of random screens, you have meer hours from notification until when you are required to give the sample. It is then tested and if anything is found you may then respond to it with whatever prescription drugs and OTCs you are taking. While I agree with SOS about the Dr.'s responsibility it is also and more important the driver's responsibility to know what possible reactions a med can have. If a med will have adverse conditions then it is the drivers responsibility to declare himself unfit for duty. Also where I'm at the supervisors both commercial and govt. are required to take substance abuse recognition courses. In regards to the initial question of the topic I would not want a panic attack stricken driver in charge of a bus full of students. I believe it is also one of the disqualifiers for a CDL here.
Mike
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kscalf
Senior Member

USA
73 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2007 :  12:07:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit kscalf's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If you have hours between notification and the time you report for drug testing, then your drug testing program is probably out of compliance. Testing must occur immediately upon notification. Usually this means, within the reasonable time to show up at the testing facility (5-15 minutes). IF it takes longer, your supervisor is required to document the delay. Delays are considered positive tests according to the feds.

Prescribed drugs are a tricky area of the drug testing procedures. When a UA shows up positive for one of the 5 classes of prohibited substances (alcohol is done with a breathalizer), the Medical Review Officer for the drug testing lab contacts the employee to determine whether or not there is a prescription for the drug identified. The feds don't recognize medical marijuana, so it is always a positive test, but for other prescribed medications including pain killers and anti-anxiety drugs, the drug test would be returned as "negative" to the company. It is quite possible that we have truckers throughout the interstate system and even bus drivers on drugs we might wish were considered "off limits".
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80-RE4
Top Member

USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2007 :  4:25:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I believe that kscalf is correct about the drug test procedures. If someone's tests shows a (+), the DR. will call the employee and ask about any prescription medications. I think? or would assume that the employee would have to prove that they have a valid prescription.

I've heard the rumor that if you have a HALLS before an alcohol test, you will show up (+), but I'm not sure. What I do know is, that if you eat too many poppy bagels, you will produce a possitive test, so stay away from the poppy seeded bagels! One driver kept testing possitive for it, and SHE was not using drugs, they finally figured it out!




Edited by - 80-RE4 on 05/29/2007 4:26:44 PM
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drivin4safety
Advanced Member

United States
259 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2007 :  6:49:32 PM  Show Profile  Send drivin4safety a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Don't know about the rumors, but I'm just going off of my personal experience. I've been called while on route (driving semi) and told to report @ such and such clinic immediately upon finishing the route. I am usually about an hour away from the trucking terminal when the call comes in. I have been told that I have "X" amount of time to get there. My truck is tracked by sattelite (qualcomm system with extras) and they know when, & where I stop and for how long. In the past two years between SB and semi trucking I've been called to drop a sample for testing 15 times. One time I had to laugh both the trucking outfit, and the school district called on the same day. As luck had it I went from one clinic for the trucking company to the clinic that the school district uses. I was walking out of the first one when my TD from the school called. We both laughed long and hard after that one. I have never had a positive drug screen, nor have I had to go back with any prescription or OTC lists. I'm proud to say I'm clean, always have been, and I am really picky on what the Dr. tells me to put in my body. I've really annoyed a couple of doc's that way, but given what I choose to do as a proffession, I will continue to do it that way. I really made the doc think when I turned down narcotics after I broke a couple of ribs. By the way, I do sometimes get the feeling I have a target painted on me as far as drug screens go.
Mike
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SOS
Advanced Member

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2007 :  10:40:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kscalf

If you have hours between notification and the time you report for drug testing, then your drug testing program is probably out of compliance. Testing must occur immediately upon notification. Usually this means, within the reasonable time to show up at the testing facility (5-15 minutes). IF it takes longer, your supervisor is required to document the delay. Delays are considered positive tests according to the feds.

Agree, except we give them no longer than 1 hour to report to testing facility.

Prescribed drugs are a tricky area of the drug testing procedures. When a UA shows up positive for one of the 5 classes of prohibited substances (alcohol is done with a breathalizer), the Medical Review Officer for the drug testing lab contacts the employee to determine whether or not there is a prescription for the drug identified. The feds don't recognize medical marijuana, so it is always a positive test, but for other prescribed medications including pain killers and anti-anxiety drugs, the drug test would be returned as "negative" to the company. It is quite possible that we have truckers throughout the interstate system and even bus drivers on drugs we might wish were considered "off limits".



Agree in part.

In the state of georgia drivers, CDL and otherwise, are prosecuted and convicted on a daily basis for DUI from prescription medication. The same field sobriety tests are given roadside and urine and or blood tests are preformed if the FST is failed. DUI is not just for alcohol and most certainly can be enforced for any substance in the system that causes a person to drive irratically. Our local policy is that NO INTOXICATING DRUGS, prescription or otherwise, and no ALCOHOL in any form in to be in the system WHILE TRANSPORTING STUDENTS. NO EXCEPTIONS.

You gotta Love em' to Carry em'

Edited by - SOS on 05/30/2007 10:45:59 AM
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kscalf
Senior Member

USA
73 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2007 :  11:00:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit kscalf's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SOS

quote:
Originally posted by kscalf

If you have hours between notification and the time you report for drug testing, then your drug testing program is probably out of compliance. Testing must occur immediately upon notification. Usually this means, within the reasonable time to show up at the testing facility (5-15 minutes). IF it takes longer, your supervisor is required to document the delay. Delays are considered positive tests according to the feds.

Agree, except we give them no longer than 1 hour to report to testing facility.

Prescribed drugs are a tricky area of the drug testing procedures. When a UA shows up positive for one of the 5 classes of prohibited substances (alcohol is done with a breathalizer), the Medical Review Officer for the drug testing lab contacts the employee to determine whether or not there is a prescription for the drug identified. The feds don't recognize medical marijuana, so it is always a positive test, but for other prescribed medications including pain killers and anti-anxiety drugs, the drug test would be returned as "negative" to the company. It is quite possible that we have truckers throughout the interstate system and even bus drivers on drugs we might wish were considered "off limits".



Agree in part.

In the state of georgia drivers, CDL and otherwise, are prosecuted and convicted on a daily basis for DUI from prescription medication. The same field sobriety tests are given roadside and urine and or blood tests are preformed if the FST is failed. DUI is not just for alcohol and most certainly can be enforced for any substance in the system that causes a person to drive irratically. Our local policy is that NO INTOXICATING DRUGS, prescription or otherwise, and no ALCOHOL in any form in to be in the system WHILE TRANSPORTING STUDENTS. NO EXCEPTIONS.



If a driver was pulled over for being impaired, and tested as a result of a field sobriety test, that is true in Washington State too. And you are right, it doesn't matter if they drank a bottle of over-the-counter Nyquil or were drowsy from taking antihistimines for their allergies. However, it is the random tests that would not necessarily be returned as "positive" if the Medical Review Officer could verify a prescription and had no reason to believe that the driver was misusing the prescription. Our MRO services are contracted by a national corporation and they informed me that there are many drivers (long-haul and others) that are currently taking oxycontin, methadone, or codeine under the care of a doctor. That seems a bit risky to me, but they indicated that the random drug screens would be returned to the employer as "negative" as long as a valid prescription was used.
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80-RE4
Top Member

USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2007 :  6:47:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And what bothers me is

L A I D L A W Transit

on an icy day, failed to sand their bus lot, resulting in a driver taking a serious fall.

Script for that driver: Narcotic Pain Killers
Outcome: An addiction to Narcotic Based Pain Killers

I hope that the driver, who has been out of work since, SUED LAIDLAW for all that driver could have, including pain killer medication addiction therapy!
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SOS
Advanced Member

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  10:06:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Soo sad for the Laidlaw driver to suffer injury due to the employers neglect. Yes he/she should have all that he/she is owed. Most likely had to fight tooth and nail for work comp to pay the bill for his/her injury.

Still dosen't change the fact that this driver, or any other, should be disqualified from driving a CMV while taking the narc meds. Just isn't safe, never has been never will be. When a driver under the influence of any mind altering drug or drink that driver must be placed out of service until such time as their system is clear of any such influencing substance. No exception.

I have been kept away from work more than one day due to taking medication that although legal would alter my senses and reaction time. Days that I was otherwise perfectly capable of doing my job but for the effects of rx meds. I guarantee you no doctor is going to clear a driver for CMV or otherwise and suggest it is safe to drive while taking most prescription pain/anxiety medications. Just isn't going to happen not in this lifetime. Further I can't imagine any doctor clearing a driver to drive any type of vehicle, least of all a school bus, while suffering from anxiety attacks. I suspect that any doctor prescribing meds, specifically narcotic or barbituates, would flip if they found out said patient was driving a CMV under the influence and most don't want patients operating any type of dangerous equipment.

Now what an individual driver decides they are capable of while under the influence is another story. I know first hand one driver that felt like taking percocet and driving the school bus was okay. She no longer works for our district.



You gotta Love em' to Carry em'
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80-RE4
Top Member

USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2007 :  06:15:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
(FYI= THE LIST of medications used in my post can be found at this website http://www.anxietysecrets.com/loungeFrame-11.htm

I do not know the laws from state to state, I am just giving an opinion.

======================================
======================================
======================================
======================================
======================================

What kind of panic attacks was the driver in coolbusdriver's post having? I believe that a doctor would have to be the one to decide if that driver was fit to drive. SOS: I believe, although, I may be wrong, that different states have different rules pertaining to this issue.

Drivers who are taking medication, up to, and including those intended to treat anxiety and depression, are allowed to operate a school bus. This is allowed in Massachusetts, however, it may not be allowed in Georgia.

If a school bus driver seeks help from their doctor, I believe they should be specific and make sure to let their doctor know that they operate a school bus, this way, the doctor can make sure to prescribe something safe. I am not sure how one would be able not to tell their doctor where they work because I believe it is required to be on file.

I believe, but I'm not positive that these are safe medications to take:
Once again, I AM NOT POSITIVE IF THESE MEDICATIONS ARE SAFE FOR SCH BUS DRIVERS! JUST LISTING WHAT I FOUND ON A WEBSITE, SO A BUS DRIVER WOULD HAVE TO TALK TO THEIR DOCTOR! I AM NOT DR. AMTRAN!!!!! The only background I have in this field is about 4 to 5 college classes in: Substance Abuse, Chemical Dependency, Drugs in the Human Anatomy, and two other related classes.



Azaspirones=BuSpar (Not sure about this one?)

Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
(Celexa,Effexor,Wellburtin,Paxil,Prozac??,Zoloft?,Lexapro,Cimbolta)

I believe that school bus drivers SHOULD MAKE SURE TO TELL THEIR DOCTORS "NO" AND :REFUSE: TO ACCEPT THESE MEDICATIONS

Ativan, Centrax, Dalmane, Klonopin, Librium, Paxipam, Restoril, Serax, Tranxene, Xanax

(Stay away from these medications at all costs, they are HIGHLY addictive) I have seen people overdose, close to death, on these types of medications. They are extremely habit forming and bad for your system.

Maybe a school bus driver who is having panic attacks could ask for time off and seek therapy.


IN MOST STATES- EMPLOYEES HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK FOR A MEDICAL LEAVE IF THEY ARE SUFFERING FROM ANXIETY OR MEDICATION ADDICTION TO SEEK HELP WITHOUT ANY DISCRIMINATION FROM THEIR EMPLOYER.

Edited by - 80-RE4 on 06/02/2007 06:24:07 AM
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SOS
Advanced Member

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2007 :  07:24:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 80-RE4

(FYI= THE LIST of medications used in my post can be found at this website http://www.anxietysecrets.com/loungeFrame-11.htm

I do not know the laws from state to state, I am just giving an opinion.

======================================
======================================
======================================
======================================
======================================

What kind of panic attacks was the driver in coolbusdriver's post having? I believe that a doctor would have to be the one to decide if that driver was fit to drive. SOS: I believe, although, I may be wrong, that different states have different rules pertaining to this issue.

Drivers who are taking medication, up to, and including those intended to treat anxiety and depression, are allowed to operate a school bus. This is allowed in Massachusetts, however, it may not be allowed in Georgia.

If a school bus driver seeks help from their doctor, I believe they should be specific and make sure to let their doctor know that they operate a school bus, this way, the doctor can make sure to prescribe something safe. I am not sure how one would be able not to tell their doctor where they work because I believe it is required to be on file.

I believe, but I'm not positive that these are safe medications to take:
Once again, I AM NOT POSITIVE IF THESE MEDICATIONS ARE SAFE FOR SCH BUS DRIVERS! JUST LISTING WHAT I FOUND ON A WEBSITE, SO A BUS DRIVER WOULD HAVE TO TALK TO THEIR DOCTOR! I AM NOT DR. AMTRAN!!!!! The only background I have in this field is about 4 to 5 college classes in: Substance Abuse, Chemical Dependency, Drugs in the Human Anatomy, and two other related classes.



Azaspirones=BuSpar (Not sure about this one?)

Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
(Celexa,Effexor,Wellburtin,Paxil,Prozac??,Zoloft?,Lexapro,Cimbolta)

I believe that school bus drivers SHOULD MAKE SURE TO TELL THEIR DOCTORS "NO" AND :REFUSE: TO ACCEPT THESE MEDICATIONS

Ativan, Centrax, Dalmane, Klonopin, Librium, Paxipam, Restoril, Serax, Tranxene, Xanax

(Stay away from these medications at all costs, they are HIGHLY addictive) I have seen people overdose, close to death, on these types of medications. They are extremely habit forming and bad for your system.

Maybe a school bus driver who is having panic attacks could ask for time off and seek therapy.


IN MOST STATES- EMPLOYEES HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK FOR A MEDICAL LEAVE IF THEY ARE SUFFERING FROM ANXIETY OR MEDICATION ADDICTION TO SEEK HELP WITHOUT ANY DISCRIMINATION FROM THEIR EMPLOYER.



Very good information 80re. The only point of contention I will make is that certain meds are allowed in some states and not others. Federal DOT regulations are universal and NO state can supercede Fed regulation.

I am not a doctor either so I am not giving a medical opinion. I am however giving a Federal DOT regulation opinion. Clearly stated in FMCSR what the guidelines are and a doctor has to be made aware of the drivers position and specifically state if CMV driving is allowed while taking Rx meds.

You gotta Love em' to Carry em'
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80-RE4
Top Member

USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2007 :  08:09:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SOS: Thank you for the clarification, I did forget that it was a Federal Guideline, just like it is a federal regulation for random drug testing.




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kscalf
Senior Member

USA
73 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2007 :  2:45:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit kscalf's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I just attended the Substance Abuse Management and Program compliance course for the FTA. School buses are usually covered for drug testing either under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or state offices of public instruction. The interesting thing is, the United States Department of Transportation is considering regulations to cover prescription and over-the-counter meds. It is a problem throughout the industry. They have suggested policy language at: http://transit-safety.volpe.dot.gov/Publications/order/singledoc.asp?docid=223

This is a publication called the Prescription and Over-The-Counter Medications Tool Kit. Pretty interesting stuff.
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80-RE4
Top Member

USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2007 :  06:58:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It seems like a good website but very confusing. Are you supposed to purchase material? I am confused when you say that it is "a problem throughout the industry." Can you please explain further?

Are you trying to say that drug and alcohol abuse is a problem within the school bus industry? Are you trying to say that prescription drug and OTC drugs are a problem within the school bus industry?

Please correct me if I am wrong. Thank you
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KYKID
New Member

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2007 :  07:04:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit KYKID's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Panic attacks are often associated with hyperventilation which often causes a person to pass out, if their breathing can not be controlled. I am not sure but I think any known medical condition that is associated with loss of consciousness would be of serious concren to DOT PHYSICAL examiners. "no mental, nervous, organic, or functional disease or psychiatric disorder likely to interfere with his/her ability ot drive a commercial motor vehicle safely", "no condition which is likely to cause loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a commercial motor vehicle"


PANIC ATTACK SYMPTOMS
“Racing” heart
Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
Sense of terror, of impending doom or death
Feeling sweaty or having chills
Chest pains
Breathing difficulties



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kscalf
Senior Member

USA
73 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2007 :  2:50:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit kscalf's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 80-RE4

It seems like a good website but very confusing. Are you supposed to purchase material? I am confused when you say that it is "a problem throughout the industry." Can you please explain further?

Are you trying to say that drug and alcohol abuse is a problem within the school bus industry? Are you trying to say that prescription drug and OTC drugs are a problem within the school bus industry?

Please correct me if I am wrong. Thank you



Most of the materials are actually free. You follow the buttons as if to purchase, but they mail them for free (courtesy of the Federal Transportation Administration).

What I meant, is that the passenger and freight transportation industries (in general, but certainly including school bus drivers) recognize that prescribed and over-the-counter drugs can also impair a driver. The US Department of Transportation (and their subsidiaries FTA, FMCSA, FAA, PHMSA and FRA) passed the first drug and alcohol testing regulations because the risk to the public outweighted the privacy rights of the drivers in vehicles that either carried passengers or were large enough to cause significant loss of life. If you look at the regulations from states and others, they typically have mirrored the federal regulations and tested only for a specific group of prohibited illegal drugs at any time, and alcohol during safety sensitive operations.

In the training, it was mentioned that the US Department of Transportation recognizes that some prescribed medications and over-the counter medications can cause impairment. Since everyone metabolizes medications differently, it becomes more difficult to say, if you take drug A for your allergies, you shouldn't drive, but if you take drug B, you are fine. I only wanted to mention that we could see new regulations that cover prescribed and over-the-counter drugs across the transportation sectors (including school bus drivers) before too long.
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80-RE4
Top Member

USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2007 :  9:19:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks KSCalf, Maybe they should have a list of medications OTC and Prescribed that aren't allowed vs allowed. I had to take anti-biotics and they made me very tired. I wonder if that type of antibiotic would be on the {don't take) list for school bus drivers.

Thank goodness I took it on a Saturday when I was off.

Edited by - 80-RE4 on 06/21/2007 9:21:47 PM
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kscalf
Senior Member

USA
73 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2007 :  4:02:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit kscalf's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 80-RE4

Thanks KSCalf, Maybe they should have a list of medications OTC and Prescribed that aren't allowed vs allowed. I had to take anti-biotics and they made me very tired. I wonder if that type of antibiotic would be on the {don't take) list for school bus drivers.

Thank goodness I took it on a Saturday when I was off.



The public transit system in LA has created a couple of lists...one that has OTC and prescription medications that should not be taken while driving and another that they say can be taken at least 8 hours before driving. I'm not sure what it looks like, but they said they would share it. You could find their website and contact their HR person for the name of their drug and alcohol program manager.
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80-RE4
Top Member

USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  10:37:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's good to know that the LA county supplies that info for their drivers so they don't take the wrong type of flu or cold medication, etc. Back to the panic attack question:

If someone realizes that they are about to have a panic attack, can they just pull the bus over and take a couple of deep breaths? I am wondering what brought the panic attack on that coolbusdriver was talking about in her thread? Was there a reason that she-he had a panic attack?

Meaning:
Did someone scare the bus driver or threaten the bus driver?
Was she or he in an accident and didn't know what to do?
Were the kids on the bus giving her/him trouble?


Maybe if that bus driver sat down and thought about what he or she could do, the panic attacks would not happen.

Possibly having a plan might help, such as:

If the kids start pressing the STOP (Child Check mate button to annoy the driver), instead of the driver having a panic attack, they could simply plan out their course of action.

Instances like that could possibly help them overcome their attacks.

Edited by - 80-RE4 on 06/24/2007 10:39:46 AM
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coolbusdriver
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Canada
1509 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  6:02:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
If someone realizes that they are about to have a panic attack, can they just pull the bus over and take a couple of deep breaths? I am wondering what brought the panic attack on that coolbusdriver was talking about in her thread? Was there a reason that she-he had a panic attack?


panic attacks do not always have a reason for starting, they just do. I was asking because I heard that someone who drives a bus does have them and is on medication for it. (was seen taking the medication at a school while waiting to pick up kids) I have not heard if this was acceptable or not and was just wondering if this could end up being a safety issue.
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80-RE4
Top Member

USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2007 :  8:34:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks coolbusdriver.

Well this is an interesting topic, seeing that 1 in 15 adults have a panic disorder, or at least according to this website: (article)

Understanding Panic Attacks
You are in "Understanding"

Other pages in this section: Signs & Symptoms Anxiety Questionnaires Understanding Anxiety Answers to your questions Anxiety Treatment Strategies My Story Aspartame Danger


The most essential thing to learn about panic attacks are the experience of panic itself. Once it happens, a person's life changes dramatically. Panic attacks bring on the fastest and most complex changes known in the human body. It is experienced as overwhelming, uncontrollable dread, as if one is terribly ill, about to die or lose one's mind. It drastically changes the the functioning of major glands, heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, eyes, and the largest muscle groups. Even violent poisons or traumatic injuries have less effect. A cascade of stimulants and hormones - adrenaline, epinephrine, glycogen, cortical, norepinephrine, among others - flood all the cells of the body via the bloodstream. The impulse is to run, get out, or hide.

The immediate cause is believing one is trapped and helpless, by some overwhelming threat. While panic can happen as a consequence of crime or disaster, it doesn't matter whether the threat is real. Often, panic happens after several weeks or months of stress. It happens more often with persons who are very worried, perfectionist, socially avoidant, or who have had abuse in childhood. Heredity may play some part. What keeps panic going, and getting more intense and frequent, is worrying excessively about it and strenuously avoiding situations that appear to bring panic . Look up Signs and Symptoms of Panic Disorder for more details.

Panic attacks masquerade as a variety of medical disorders. Panic mimics some medical conditions almost completely, causing years of misdiagnosis. These are hypoglycemia, complex partial seizures, drug effects, heart arrhythmia and hyperventilation syndrome. Panic partly mimics others: angina, asthma, irritable bowel, colitis, vertigo, mitral valve prolapse, post concussion syndrome, hypertension, postural hypotension, and hiatal hernia. Almost everyone who panics believes they have a serious physical illness, and go from doctor to doctor for several years as symptoms shift. Yet panic is easily diagnosed by professionals experienced in panic.

About 7.2% of all adults, or 1 in 15, have a panic disorder which is a primary part of their disorder, (NIH, 1993). In any given year, about 1/3 of American adults have at least one panic attack; most of these adults never develop repeated panic attacks. This startling data means that a phobia/panic disorder is the most common emotional disorder, more common than alcohol abuse or depression. Phobia/panic disorder also has the lowest rates for seeking help and finding it, about 22%. Phobia is the most common and the most hidden condition at the same time.

After a few months of panic, about 10% of people become housebound and unable to leave home alone. After a few years, about 30% of panic sufferers have a loss of job, pay or job responsibilities. Some 17% are at risk for alcoholism and about 40% risk a chronic depression as life opportunities are cut off. A majority have marital problems and much reduced travel and social life. The economic cost has been estimated at about $2600/year in misdirected treatment, and about $12,000 a year in lowered job earnings. For most, panic closes life off like a prison.

Techniques to eliminate panic attacks
http://www.anxietypanic.com/understanding.html





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