425 Chemical Dependency in the Workplace
June 21, 2010
Allie Pashley, PsyD
Workplace Drug Screening Opinion
Organizations are continuously hiring people; people to fill newly opened positions and people to fill recently vacated positions. Regardless of the position a person is to fill in the organization that is considering hiring him or her, the organization needs to ensure that they are hiring quality people; people who are hard working, honest, trust worthy and drug free. A way to ensure the person being hired is drug free is to do pre-employment drug screening; the way to ensure the employees remain drug free is to conduct periodic on-going drug screening. Here is a glimpse into whether drug testing is legal or ethical, the various drug testing programs, the types and reliability of the tests, the appropriateness of the tests, whether the tests should be mandatory or voluntary, and who should be tested and the reasons why. Drug Testing: Legal-Ethical
Ensuring that one’s business remains a safe place to work, and the employees are not using or abusing drugs is a right of the business and the business owner. Drug testing is generally not considered an intrusion on an individual’s privacy however the manner in which the test is given and the procedure that is used may end up crossing the line (Cohen & Cohen, 2007). Providing the drug testing is done consistently the process is completely legal and ethical. Drug testing works best for all concerned when the organization has a clearly written drug policy that is shared with all employees and all prospective employees (Stanley, June 2009). A well written drug policy tells the employees that the organization they are working for has no tolerance of drug use and abuse. Drug Testing Programs
“Drug testing has become one of the most effective techniques in promoting a drug-free workplace in America” (Carroll, 2000). Various types of drug testing programs include reasonable suspicion testing, voluntary testing, special conditioning testing, pre-employment testing, follow-up testing, random and comprehensive testing (Carroll, 2000). Reasonable suspicion testing generally occurs only after an individual has given those in control a reason to believe the individual may be using drugs. Voluntary testing is when an individual voluntarily agrees to be tested for a drug testing program. Special conditioning testing happens after an employee’s is involved in an accident at work; the company wants to ensure the individual was not under any influences. Pre-employment testing is something the majority of businesses now subscribe too. Most businesses will inform an individual they are interested in hiring that the offer of a position will be contingent on his or her passing the pre-employment drug screening.
Some businesses will offer treatment programs to any employee who discovers that he or she has a drug or alcohol problem and comes to them for help. This type of program allows the individual to keep his or her job while attending a rehabilitation program. Upon successful completion of the program, the individual will be expected to endure follow up drug testing to ensure that he or she remains drug free. Finally random and comprehensive testing is randomly done drug testing for all employees; this form of testing is a good way to ensure the employees are not using drugs. Types of Drug Tests
There are many types of drug tests available today, urinalysis, hair analysis, sweat test, and FACTOR 1000. The majority of workplace drug testing, done for pre-employment purposes is a traditional urinalysis (Cholakis & Bruce, 2007). Urine is generally used because it is considered less invasive, it is a natural byproduct from the body, and it is fairly easy to collect (Carroll, 2000). Hair analysis is used to detect drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and heroin. The hair strand can give the tester the history of the...