Test 101

Drug Test

A drug test can be simple or elaborate – depending on the purpose of the drug test. In medical situations, a screen is often ran for toxins, especially when a person is not capable of communicating what they may have taken. In these situations, blood is drawn and sent for review by a laboratory. The workplace drug test is a little less elaborate, but the purpose is to determine if a company’s employees are using illegal drugs. If you're afraid you can't pass or control your drug use, seek professional help from a drug rehab to keep your life on track.

The reasons a company may choose to require a drug test from any employee include company policy, suspicious activity, and safety. Most companies who mandate the random drug test, do so because they are given a rate cut on hazard insurance and possibly medical insurance. OSHA requires companies that operate in certain capacities to drug test their employees annually. Company policy may vary the frequency of drug testing from annually to every three months.

Some argue that the mandatory drug test violates the individual’s privacy and jeopardizes their position. However, the work place drug test is designed only to detect the use of illegal drugs, and prescription drugs are not grounds for dismissal so long as a doctor has prescribed them.

In the event of a work place injury, many companies will require a drug test as a routine part of treatment for the injury. This is to avoid paying Workmen’s Compensation premiums to cover workers who put themselves at risk for injury by using illegal drugs. Failure of a drug test immediately following an injury may void a worker’s benefits.

As a concern for work place safety grows, companies find it less costly in the long run for safety and company operations to institute policies that mandate drug testing. Future employees should be aware that this practice is becoming more and more common along with criminal background checks, and in some instances, credit checks and polygraphs.

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