Drug testing has often been viewed with a bit of suspicion. This is because the idea of testing for drugs has many stigmas associated with it such as being an addict or having engaged in criminal activity. These days however, drug testing is becoming more common especially in the workplace. The dangers of having an employee who may be unable to perform his duties or who may put himself and others at risk has made drug testing important now more than ever. There are also other scenarios where drug testing may be called for.
Why drug testing is carried out
- Pre-employment drug tests: Testing of potential employees for drugs has become an integral part of recruitment in many companies. A company may invest a lot of money in a new recruit and sometimes the new recruit may be required to play critical roles. It is important for the company to know for sure that the new employee is in the right frame of mind to handle the responsibilities. Jobs in certain industries e.g. healthcare, exposes a person to many controlled substances. This may be a problem if the employee has a history of dependence.
- Periodic employee drug tests: Testing existing employees is also important since many may develop drug or alcohol dependence while on the job. Employees working in very stressful fields or those exposed to drugs frequently may be at risk of developing dependencies while on the job.
- For insurance purposes: Insurance companies will always dig deep into a person’s history before agreeing to cover them. This is necessary due to the amount of money at risk. An insurer may be reluctant to insure somebody with a history of drug use because they are more likely to get in an accident, require medical care or pass on. For an insurer who is concerned with any of those situations, low risk clients will always be preferred.
- In case of an accident: It may also be necessary to undergo a drug test in the event of an accident. An insurer may need to ascertain that the accident wasn’t your fault and the police may also need to determine whether you’re at fault especially if the accident is serious.
- Social responsibility: With drug use currently at near epidemic levels, more companies are including drug awareness as part of their social responsibility. In these scenarios, employees may go out to the community and get tested for drugs in public as a way of helping drug users to gain the confidence to get tested and seek help.
Fostering a positive attitude towards drug testing
Drug testing has become a necessary activity due to the high number of drug users nowadays. Fostering a positive attitude towards drug testing helps us to remain more aware of the problem and may give us the motivation to avoid falling into the habit. For example, introducing breath tests at work can encourage employees to drink responsibly. This attitude can also help to end the stigma that drug users face and encourage more of them to seek treatment.