I would like to give credit to the Oakland Press for many of the facts in this blog.
I have Bipolar Disorder. I have been gainfully employed as a school counselor for 12 years and as a teacher before that for 4 years. I have owned a condo in Rochester for 11 years. I also own 2 cars. This new law will allow authorities to test for prescription drugs, and a routine traffic stop could potentially lead to a felony of operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating substance.
This law needs to be amended to target the people who get high off of legal and over the counter substances...not maintenance medications that treat chronic illnesses. With that said, if a medication in any class makes a person drowsy, he/she should NOT drive.
I feel the need to share that I take 1 of the medications on the list, and this law could potentially cause me to be fired if I get convicted of a felony which would then make me dependent on the system to live. Educators are held to a higher standard than most companies with felony and misdemeanor convictions. Importantly, I DO NOT have any side effects from this medication. It does not impair my ability to operate my vehicles.
While I can be irrational in my opinions on mental health topics, I am very proud of mysef for keeping an open mind and not completely freaking out over this law. I truly believe the spirit of the law was not intended to target people for taking maintenace medications. I do not believe our legislation intended to make 25% or more Michiganders unable to drive and go to work. The problem is...administrations change over time, and the intent of the law does not always matter to new legislators. I have seen this with education in enforcing certain aspects of district contracts.
This law needs to be amended immediately. I expect Tom McMillin & Jim Marleau to support this. Then again, I have no confidence that either one cares enough to stand behind people with mental health needs. I hope they prove me wrong.
These are not medications that are in the controlled substance category. Benadryl and Sudafed are even on this list! Many of these drugs are maintenance meds, taken daily with NO side effects. Here is the list:
Amitriptyline - Elavil, prescription antidepressant
Buspirone - Buspar, prescription antianxiety drug
Carbamazepine - Tegretol, prescription anticonvulsant
Citalopram - Celexa, prescription antidepressant
Clomipramine - Anafranil, prescription antidepressant
Cyclobenzaprine - Flexeril, prescription skeletal muscle relaxant
Desipramine - Norpramin, prescription antidepressant
Dextromethorphan - Coracidin, Robitussin, over the counter antitussive
Difluoroethane - Dust Off, over the counter dust remover commonly used for huffing
Diphenhydramine - Benadryl, over the counter antihistamine
Doxepin - Adapin, prescription antidepressant
Ephedrine - Quadrinal, over the counter stimulant
Fluoxetine - Prezac, prescription antidepressant
Gabapentin - Neurontin, prescription anticonvulsant
Haloperidol - Haldol, prescription antipsychotic
Hydroxyzine - Atarax, prescription antihistamine
Imipramine - Tofranil, prescription antidepressant
Lamotrigine - Lamactal, prescription anticonvulsant
Meclizine - Antivert, prescription antihistamine
Metaxalone - Skelaxin, prescription skeletal muscle relaxant
Methocarbamol - Robaxin, prescription sedative/muscle relaxant
Mirtazapine - Remeron, prescription antidepressant
Olanzapine - Zyprexa, prescription antipsychotic
Orphenadrine - Norflex, prescription sedative/anticholinergic
Oxcarbazepine - Trileptal, prescription anticonvulsant
Paroxetine - Paxil, prescription antidepressant
Phenazepam - Fenazepam, sedative/hypnotic prescribed primarily in Russia (no legitimate medical use in US)
Phenytoin - Dilantin, prescription anticonvulsant
Promethazine - Phenergan, prescription antihistamine/sedative
Propofol - Diprivan, sedative/hypnotic used as anesthetic in surgical procedures
Propranolol - Inderal, prescription antihypertensive/antiarrhythmic
Pseudoephedrine - Sudafed, over the counter nasal decongestant
Quetiapine - Seroquel, prescription antipsychotic
Sertraline - Zoloft, prescription antidepressant
Toluene - Toluol, commonly abused solvent
Topiramate - Topamax, prescription anticonvulsant
Tramadol - Ultram, prescription narcotic analgesic
Trifluorethane - found in Endust cleaning product, commonly used for huffing
Trazodone - Desyrel, prescription antidepressant
Valproic acid - Depakote, prescription anticonvulsant