Drug Testing of Employees

The term drug testing refers to the testing of biological material in order to detect whether the person being tested is using or has used specific drugs. Drug testing can be done in a variety of ways the most common is the random testing of employees.

As the name conveys this involves testing them at random intervals. Individuals can also be tested before they join their place of employment or after a work related accident.

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Drug Testing is usually done in one of three ways. The first is the most common known as Urine testing. In this the individuals Urine is collected in a specimen jar and tested for any drug traces it might have. The second is by using hair, in this assessment the person will give one or two strands of hair from his/her head. Since hair grows over time trapping whatever was is in the individual’s blood the test is most useful in confirming long term drug use.

Sweat, Saliva and Blood tests are uncommon however are very accurate and follow the same principle as the Urine analysis meaning they are used to check for metabolites. Finally there is a Drug testing kit known as Drug alert which consists of a pre-moistened cloth. The cloth is used on the employees’ working area, door knobs, clothing, etc to pick up traces of illegal drugs.

Urine analysis has been found to be at least 25% inaccurate as they can show false positive results. Meaning the agent can show metabolites in his urine common to illicit drugs while using everyday items such as cold medications or poppy seed. It is also unable to show if the individual is currently taking drugs, only that he did so in the recent past.

Additionally it cannot determine the quantity of the drug used. Hair tests can only give accurate depictions of what the individual was taking in the past few months.

However, it gives inaccurate results as well in the case of Mediterranean individuals due to their thick hair which holds higher concentrations of any drugs they might use when compared to Caucasians who use the same amount. Bleached hair can also cause false positives due to the similar chemical compounds in its makeup.

Urine tests can also show traces of medication taken. Revealing the diseases the individual might have. Hair and blood can be used for genetic testing allowing executives to have fore knowledge of what diseases their employees might be susceptible to in the future (Holmes).

The main issue itself raises several moral, ethical, economic, legal and social issues. Many of which question the rights and personal interests of the individual employee in and out of the workplace. This essay will attempt to show the fallibility of Employee Drug testing in companies today and the dangers associated with making this practice mandatory.

Reasons for the Claim

1)      Indiscriminate Drug Testing Is Unfair

It is Unfair to expose jobholders, who are not even suspected of using drugs to these evaluations. People who are required to do urine testing have to go through a humiliating procedure whereby they must be escorted to a neutral area such as a stall or a clean room, wear a hospital gown and in both cases urinate into a container while a third party watches them to ensure that no deception occurs.

The sweat, saliva and blood test, though less obtrusive than the urine analysis in terms of collection are still embarrassing for the person involved. Such inquiry can cause a loss of dignity in the individual being tested. A person should not have to humiliate himself in order to continue working in an organization.