Although many people think that drug testing is a nuscience, it is essentialto improve the workplace. Seventy-four percent of all drug users are employed,and one out of every six has a serious drug problem! Would you want them working for you Plus, the financial impact on business is severely staggering because of drug using employees (Psychemedics, 1). According to federal experts, ten to twenty-three percent of Americans have used or currently using dangerous drugs while on the job, and forty-four percent of drug users even admit to selling drugs on the job.
Drug abusers cost an mployer on average $7,000 to $10,000 per employee annually (Jussim, 14) (Psychemedics,1). Today, millions of workplaces have begun giving test, hoping to eliminate drugs from the employees and the workplace. The majority of drug testing is done in large factories and offices or on people who transport goods , such as by truck or plane (Jussim, 11). The large companies that use testing today is Exxon, IBM, Federal Express, United Airlines, AT&T and the New York Times (Jussim, 12). The tests usually look for drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin, PCP, barbiturates and amphetamines (Jussim, 11).
In most companies applicants applying for new jobs that test positive are given a second chance to apply (Jussim, 13). About sixty-eight percent of companies do mandatory screenings before they hire a person, such as if they were a candidate for the job, rather than part of their application. A variety of test can be given. About eighty-two percent of companies use urine test, the most popular because they are inexpensive. Twelve percent use the blood test for an even more accurate reading. Hair testing is used by about one percent of companies.
This method is one of the most accurate tests ecause it can detect any drug used in the past ninety days (1994, 1), this test is used by about 1,700 corporations alone (Psychemedics, 5). Only about one percent use performance testing, such as walking in a straight line or having a person touch his nose with his finger (1994, 1). Employers claim that workers who use drugs have lower productivity rates and an increased number of days missed, sixteen times more to be exact. As well, they are at a greater risk of getting themselves injured or injuring a co-worker (Jussim, 13).
When this happens it is bad for the company because it may have a awsuit filed against them, costing the company even more money (Jussim, 14). Furthermore, lost productivity by drug users costs business an estimated one-hundred billion dollars each year, because they are one-third less productive that other workers (Hospitals,1) (Psychemedics, 1). Workers who use drugs also make more medical claims than others (Jussim, 13). In fact, they cost their employer 300 percent more in medical costs and benefits than non drug using employees (Psychemedics, 1). Thus, they drive up the premiums of health insurance paid for by the company (Jussim, 13).
In addition, it is a proven act that drug addicts are more likely to cheat their companies or even steal from them, which eighteen percent admitted doing (Jussim, 14) (Psychemedics, 1). The percentage of workplaces that give drug tests rose from about eighty-five percent to eighty-eight percent in just one year alone. The number of tests given has risen 300 percent in a ten year period (1994, 1). Since companies have started using tests they say that they have seen a major improvement in work quality, discipline and employee morale (Jussim, 15). Secondly, drug testing promotes better health for all people.
Increasing the umber of drug tests in the U. S. will give potential drug users a very good reason not to start using them. Since drug tests are becoming cheaper and more common, people are starting to invest in them more (Jussim,11). The tests that are currently done today are include urinalysis and bloodanalyze, along with tests on hair, saliva, brain waves, breathe, and some even keep it as simple as to walk a line (Jussim, 12). As the technology increases in this world so does the accuracy of the tools we use. In the future, it can be assumed that the drug tests will diminish most drug use.
As soon as drug testing was introduced, the usage of drugs and the positive test rate began falling steadily (1994, 1). The fear of being caught is a major deterrent for not using drugs. People know that if they use drugs now, they have a lesser chance of getting a good, high paying job in the future. Not only is drug testing being given to employees, but is also being given to students, prisoners and arrestees (Jussim, 13). This is probably a good idea because drug usage hinders the progress of a students learning. Now days people argue that drug testing is a violation of privacy, but those eople don know the true effects of drug use (Buddy, 1).
The people who are giving the tests are hoping that the person being tested is clean because they want him healthy so he is not at risk for himself or others (Jussim, 15). Furthermore, they also claim the tests are not fair because they monitor the employees off duty activities, and they believe that is their own business (Jussim, 13). However, as long as a person is employed by a company, that has the right to keep checking in on a person to make sure he is not putting himself or others at risk.
Plus, it is heaper for the company to give the tests than to have workers that are high on drugs and not making much progress (Psychemedics, 5). In addition, there is no better example of caring for a person s health than parents giving their children these tests. Parents don t want to have their children harm themselves in any way, and they just want to do what is right and the best for them (Jussim, 13). Not many parents give home drug tests, instead most of the testing goes on in clinics and other treatment centers (Jussim, 11).
People still argue that drug testing is unfair because they say it is naccurate, it makes them prove they e using drugs and a person should be innocent until proven guilty (Buddy,1) (Jussim, 16). This doesn t make sense because if the test is actually inaccurate, the person can repeal it and take another test. As for the innocent until proven guilty theory, it is a persons choice to take the test, but if he refuses he might not have a job. It is the employer s right to know if a person is currently capable of completing the tasks that are needed. If the person is not able to he is costing the company money and putting everyone in danger.
Lastly, drug testing must be done because it promotes a better society for everyone. By using these tests, more people will think twice about using drugs. They know that drug use may keep them from getting the job they dream of. There is evedence that this is working, for it is known that the number of people that use drugs is on a steady decline. By detouring people away from drug use we can make a safer, more perfect society. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act was passed by Congress in1996. This act authorizes states to impose mandatory drug screening on all welfare recipients.
Then in 1999 the Michigan state legislature passed a bill that required welfare recipients to submit monthly urine tests to see if they are using drugs. If they refuse to give the urine samples their benefits will be denied, and if they continue to refused to take the tests, their benefits will be terminated. Experts say that the incidents of drug use among welfare recipients is about the same as the general public, but the state doesn t want the money they give them to go to the purchase of drugs. Today the only state doing this is Michigan, but experts hope that the trend will catch on in others tates.
In Charleston, South Carolina, a hospital, in cooperation with the local police department, requires that health care providers give positive drug test results of pregnant woman to the police. While it is not unusual for laws to require health care providers to report evidence of child abuse, this concept is not usually applied to pregnant women who abuse their fetuses by taking illegal street drugs. This is a pretty good idea for the most part, but using this method might scare woman who use drugs from going to the doctor or any health care providers. This could possibly harm the child even more.
This case is now in the Supreme Court to see if it qualifies under the search and seizure or discrimination laws in the Constitution of the United States (Gould, 1). Furthermore, Major League Baseball, the National Football League and several other sport organizations, both professional and amateur, have teamed up to crack down on players that use illegal drugs. They are following the example set by the Olympic Games. If a player tests positive for using drugs he is usually suspended for a few games and given a fine, but in the Olympics athletes who use drugs are not allowed to compete and are a disgrace to the country (Jussim, 12).