Current Issues and Enduring Questions

Topics: Employment, Drug test, Tests Pages: 4 (948 words) Published: November 9, 2008


Over the past several decades, mandatory drug testing policies at workplaces and schools has become more prevalent than ever. Although some people may view this as having only beneficial results, not everyone agrees, and some view this process as an ethical dilemma. As with many ethical dilemmas, there is a vast array of opinions held by individuals. The purpose of this paper is to examine some of these viewpoints in order to allow the reader to better understand this issue, enabling him or her to make a better informed decision as to whether mandatory drug testing is justifiable.

History of Mandatory Drug Testing
Mandatory drug testing of employees and students alike has become an ever-present issue among Americans in the 21st century. The evolving story of drug testing is complex, multifaceted, and sometimes controversial. "Almost overnight, testing has grown into a $1 billion industry (Hafner and Garland 65). Tens of thousands, if not more, of employees and students are being tested each year. Furthermore, there are a great number of individuals that agree or disagree with this seemingly commonplace practice.

Although drug tests have been available for many years, it wasn't until the Reagan administration that mandatory drug testing at the workplace and school became ever-present. President Reagan signed an executive order that required all federal employees to subject themselves to a drug test, if requested.

Arguments for Mandatory Drug Testing
While some students and potential employees may view mandatory drug testing as wrong or as an invasion of privacy, some employers, parents, and school administrator's view testing as a preventive measure. This viewpoint theorizes that mandatory drug testing can help reduce the number of workplace accidents and juvenile delinquents. Additionally, some schools and corporations...
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