March 15, 2005
Workplace Drug Screening Opinion Paper
Drug testing is become increasingly popular tool used by business' today to weed out the potential employment candidate that may have drug problems. This testing does not determine whether a potential candidate has any issues with alcohol abuse, but will help a company determine whether or not the potential employee might be using other substances, such as prescription pills or illegal drugs. This may be a bonus to the company to find out this information upfront, but what about ethics of this practice? Unless the employee is abusing drugs in the workplace it really is none of the business of the company to dictate what an employee does at home or off work hours. That is the argument.
To explore further, let's take a look at what types of drug test are available today. There are five primary types of drug tests: urine, blood, hair, saliva and sweat. The most common test used is urine testing. Most companies use them because the cost is cheap and there are many facilities that can do urine tests quickly and cheaply. For the tester, a urine test can be manipulated. Just by abstaining from drug usage for a short period of time and flushing the body with water you can receive a negative for drugs urine test and still be a drug user. The second type of testing listed is blood tests. The blood tests are the most expensive and the most effective. For the tester this is considered a very intrusive form of drug testing. Because they are so expensive and take more time than urine tests they are not very commonly used by pre-employment screenings. Hair testing is very accurate. The hair test can detect drug usage over a long period of time If someone that is being tested is a regular drug user the hair test will detect it. There is not way the tester can manipulate hair testing. This form of testing is about three times more expensive...