Major League Baseball announced they will start testing for opioids and cocaine. As part of changes announced Thursday to the joint drug agreement between MLB and the players’ association, marijuana will be removed from the list of drugs of abuse and will be treated the same as alcohol.
Opioids are classified as a drug of abuse under the joint program, which began in late 2002 and until now has limited testing to performance-enhancing substances and banned stimulants. Talks to add testing for opioids began after the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1. A medical examiner’s office said the 27-year-old died due to a toxic mix of alcohol and the painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his body.
Players and team staff will have to attend mandatory educational programs in 2020 and 2021 on the dangers of opioid pain medications and including practical approaches to marijuana.
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