Articles, advices and tips for professionals in the United States of America


Mandatory Drug Testing

After graduating from college, I was surprised at the difficulty I experienced when trying to find a new job. I searched in several local metropolitan areas and had only two interviews in a year. I know plenty of people who go through the same struggle regardless of their level of education or what type of position they are looking for. Job interviews seem to entail jumping through more hoops now than ever before. If you hand in a resume you are still asked to fill out a lengthy application. You may be asked to complete a computer skills test and many employers require drug tests as a part of the application process.

I have a serious problem with the practice of requiring drug tests as a term of employment because they do not provide employers with the information that they need. Employers want to know if an applicant can be trusted or whether they may steal from the company or prove to be generally unreliable. I do not believe that drug tests can offer real answers to these questions.

The biggest problem with drug tests is that the most serious drugs such as methamphetamines and cocaine can be cleared from the human system within twenty-four hours. Employers do not test applicants for alcohol which is as dangerous a drug as any.

Another big and valid concern about drug tests relates to the technological age we are living in. It is now scientifically possible to replicate DNA and I do not believe that my personal biological materials should be made available to the world. I think that people have a right to disallow the dispersal of their DNA.

What happens if health insurance companies get their hands on the DNA available in drug tests? Would they map the genes to get a better idea of which diseases the test takers may be susceptible to and then use that information to later deny them coverage? I think that this may be a real threat. It may sound a bit like a conspiracy theory, but when it comes to businesses, you have to expect that they will do anything possible to protect their bottom line.

You may not be able to avoid taking drug tests while looking for a new employment. The consequences of some results will probably follow you for your entire life. Think carefully about what kind of gamble you may be making by taking such tests. You may have to ask yourself whether a particular job is worth it but in today’s world, any job may be worth it.


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