Random drug testing is the most effective format. In the USA, random drug testing is used by a growing number of corporations, drug rehab centers, prisons, the military, police and fire departments, government agencies, and more recently, schools. Currently, this method is used in 23 of the 50 United States. It may also be used on teens by their parents, or mandated to be performed at school. The goal of random testing is to discourage drug use among employees, inmates, or students by not telling anyone who or when or where they are to be tested in advance.
Critics of drug-testing programs argue that employees have a basic right to privacy. Employers cannot intrude on this privacy without serious cause and in a manner that is reasonable. Routine and random drug testing, they claim, clearly violates an employee's right to privacy. First, these programs, by their nature, subject employees to humiliation and invade their privacy routinely and randomly, not because there is reasonable suspicion of drug abuse. Second, drug testing is not an effective means for screening out employees whose on-the-job performance is being impaired by drugs. The results of drug testing only indicate that traces of a drug are present in a person's body, not whether a drug is affecting a person at work. In some cases, a drug used days earlier will still register on the test. (Marijuana can be detected for as long as a month or more after use.) Furthermore, the results of drug tests are notoriously unreliable. Even under the most ideal conditions, 1000 of every 100,000 samples taken will give erroneous results.
Drug testing has become a very big issue for many companies. Approximately eighty-one percent of companies in the United States administer drug testing to their employees. Of these, seventy-seven percent of companies test employees prior to employment. Even with the commonality of drug testing, it is still a practice that is generally limited to larger corporations which have the financial stability, as well as the human resources to effectively carry out a drug testing program. In the United States, it is suggested that as many as 70 percent of drug users are employed. Now this is a huge chunk, but as a result of drug testing, these big corporations have a significantly lower percentage of the employed drug users on their workforce. Inversely, medium to smaller companies tend to have more. United States companies, who employ more than five hundred workers, employ only percent of the employed drug users, while medium size companies, employing only twenty-five to five hundred employees, have 43 percent of the employed drug users on their payroll, and smaller companies, with fewer than twenty-five employees, provide jobs for the remaining 44 percent.
Now, why is it important for companies to perform drug tests? First, drug users are a third less productive than the average employee, and tend to take more sick days. They are almost four times more likely to cause an on the job accident and injure themselves as well as someone else. They are also five times more likely to injure themselves outside of the workplace, which in turn affects both performance and attendance. Now I?m sure almost everyone can attest to the fact that drugs, including alcohol can cause some serious injuries. A study by the United States Postal Service
found that ??substance abusers, when compared to their non-substance abusing co-workers, are involved in 55 percent more accidents, and sustain 85 percent more on-the-job injuries? (Why Drug Test). Another study conducted by the National Council reports that ?80 percent of those injured in ?serious? drug-related accidents at work are not the drug abusing employees but non-using co-workers and others? (Why Drug Test). All of these facts relate back to the general duty of the employers to provide a safe work environment for all of their employees. Companies also want to create a safe, productive work environment in order ...
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