How would you score on a drug test?
In the world today, the phrase drug test has become more and more prevalent. Today, anyone applying for a job may be asked to submit to a drug test. Drug testing began in the 1980’s and was used by the government to test individuals employed by the government. As this was a successful endeavor, private business also began employing this technique. It began with positions that required great amounts of skill or concentration, such as traffic control coordinators, or safety inspectors. This has grown now, and any job opening out there, from cashier to rocket scientist may require that the applicant submit to a drug test.
The most common drugs screened for with a drug test are; Cannabinoids, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Opiates, Phencyclidine, however a drug test can be administered in different ways to pick up different drugs. The top three types of samples for drug testing are blood, urine, and hair. These three things are excreted by our bodies, and therefore contain what ever was in our bodies at the time they were being produced. Blood, a common avenue for collection can retain drug information for up to a week depending on the drug. Using urine for a drug test is also a common sample, and can help detect drug use up to 30 days after the user has administered the drug. Hair however has been the newest technological break through, and although its use is limited in some situations, it has the ability to hold onto the drug information for the longest amount of time out of our three sample techniques.
Although there are a multitude of ways to collect a sample for a drug test, they each are unique and have their own pros and cons. The only way to determine the best drug test to administer is to take into consideration several things; what type of drug you are specifically looking for, how willing is the donor going to be in participating, how long ago do you suspect the drug use, and what are your means of producing results. However, even though drug testing can be considered a good thing, it has caused debates both in America and in countries abroad. The number one question facing drug tests is are they constitutional and should those administering them have the right. The answer for most instances is an easy one, they must be voluntary.
This way a potential candidate has the option to submit to the test voluntarily, or simply refuse and most likely lose the opportunity for the job he has applied. However for some positions this is not an option, such as American public transportation employees. These individuals are subject to random testing, which has been a hot debate for years. The argument for randomly testing them is self evident, they hold lives in their hands everyday, are generally on a lower social economical scale, and it is impossible to tell if every employee is clean everyday. The argument against it is equally compelling. It is that not only must we carefully check our governmental power against the working man to defend his 4th amendment rights, but that if we are to impose permanent random testing to some, where does it end. The answers are not easy, but it is certain that a drug test in one for or another will always be around.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.