In recent years, the number of people who have tested positive for drug and alcohol abuse has been increasing at a rapid pace. Some of the reasons behind this include the ever-changing social environment, the effects that substance abuse can have on health, and the fact that many employers are now opting to conduct drug tests.
However, there are some issues with regard to drug testing that you need to understand before deciding whether or not it is a good idea for your organization to do so. This includes how drug testing will be conducted, what kind of drugs will be tested for, and how often, among other things. In addition, you also need to know about the different types of drug tests that are available, as well as the pros and cons of each type.
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What Is a Drug Test?
A drug test is essentially a test used to detect substances like marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and heroin. These substances are generally referred to as illicit drugs because they are illegal to use.
There are several kinds of drug tests that can be performed based on the type of substance that you want to screen. For example, urine tests, saliva tests, hair tests, blood tests, and breath tests can all be used to detect particular substances. However, these tests all have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to detecting illicit drugs.
With urine tests, for instance, they can detect certain drugs within a few hours after ingestion. The disadvantage of such tests is that there is no way to tell if someone was using drugs prior to taking the test. As a result, false positives may occur.
The same thing applies to saliva tests, which take longer to perform than urine tests. Hair tests, on the other hand, can only detect marijuana use. Blood tests can detect both marijuana and opiate use, but they are expensive. Breath tests can detect either alcohol or drugs, depending on the type of machine that’s being used.
All of these tests have their own drawbacks and benefits. Therefore, it is important to do thorough research into the type of drug that you want to screen for before conducting any drug tests. The best way to find out more information about drug testing is by contacting a professional.
If you’re interested in learning more about the different drug tests that are currently available, check out our article about the different types of drug tests here.
When Is It a Good Idea for an Employer to Conduct Drug Testing in Organization?
Employers should conduct regular drug tests to make sure that employees are free from drug use. If it turns out that one of your workers is abusing drugs, then you can take various disciplinary actions against them, including firing them.
However, drug testing isn’t always a great idea. Here are some circumstances under which employers shouldn’t conduct drug tests:
First, employers should never conduct drug tests just because they feel like doing so. Doing so could lead to serious consequences, including legal troubles. Even though there are laws that protect employees from random drug testing, there are still ways through which an employer can get caught. And once caught, it doesn’t matter whether the employee was actually guilty or not.
Second, employers shouldn’t conduct drug tests merely because they think that the drug problem is widespread. There’s a chance that the results of a single drug test may turn out negative even though everyone else involved might have tested positive. This could cause major problems, especially since the employer would have no means of determining the actual status of every employee.
Third, employers should never conduct drug tests during work hours unless they’ve got proof that the employee is abusing drugs outside of work. Otherwise, it’s likely that the employee would end up missing work due to having to go to a medical facility for treatment, or worse yet, getting fired.
Fourth, employers should never conduct drug tests without first consulting a professional to determine whether or not it’s a good idea to do so. Doing so could lead to numerous problems, including wrongful termination lawsuits and civil rights violations.
Fifth, employers shouldn’t opt to conduct drug tests simply because the company is going through difficult times. Doing so could hurt morale and create a hostile working environment. On top of that, there might be legal ramifications, too.
These guidelines should help employers decide whether or not conducting drug tests makes sense. However, you should always consult a professional whenever there are questions regarding an employment policy, lest you end up in a situation where you regret making that decision later.