Drug addiction has become one of the world’s greatest problems to solve. Some countries even launched an all-out war on drugs led by the United States. It is a continuous battle that requires cooperation with the government, institutions, and other essential parts of the society. Since time immemorial, the war has been waged. Even though there are milestones and achievements, it is still quite a struggle to stop the production and distribution of illegal drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (now known as Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA), there is a spike on the usage of illicit drugs in the US alone. The number has gone from 8.3 million in 2002 to an approximated 12.4 million in 2013 (as published on drugabuse.gov). It appears to continually grow over time.
In the US, each state has its own laws and regulations regarding drugs, drug control and abuse. For instance, states like California, Alaska, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida etc. legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Some states like Alaska and Colorado allows recreational use. Each individual state has their own ways and laws to fight drug abuse. Some critics say that the war on drugs has failed, focusing more on punishment rather than treatment and prevention. Some believe that it is a war that has to be fought over and over again. Therefore, it has been a requirement nowadays for schools, workplaces, hospitals and so on to conduct drug testing. This an attempt to, if not eradicate, at least regulate substance usage and reliance.
Take a look at Florida’s rules and regulations on drug testing as an example. First off, when should be testing done or allowed? In Florida, it is authorized if there is a valid reason for suspicion of substance abuse. Say for example a person exhibits erratic behavior, there is a report of drug abuse from a proper and credible source, and if there is evidence that he or she has used or possessed illegal substances in the workplace. This is defined as “reasonable-suspicion drug testing”. If an employer will be able to provide detailed occasions to back up claims and requests for a drug test, then it should be complied. If an employee has a history of drug abuse and participated in rehabilitation, counseling or intervention, a follow-up might be necessary. Drug testing is also required to prove that an applicant is fit to work. A written notice for the testing should be given 60 days in advance as declared by the law. All drug testing should be administered by a certified SAMHSA or Florida Agency Health Care Administration (FL-AHCA) approved laboratories. Then, it must be checked by a licensed medical professional. Non-compliance or refusal to undergo the testing may be grounds for discharge or being fired. For job applicants, a positive result will hinder any chance of being hired. Also, companies are legally-bound to compensate their employees who went through the testing and proved to be negative. If the test results are initially negative, companies are allowed to have a confirmation test or a “second” test.
Furthermore, there are a lot of terms that are defined in the Florida statutes on drug testing. These are important terms to familiarize with, especially those who are requested to undergo the testing. The word “drugs” is generally known as an umbrella term for abused chemical substances which may be medical or otherwise. In the Florida statutes, there are certain drugs that may be tested in a person. These are as follows; alcoholic beverages e.g. wine or intoxicating liquors, amphetamine, cannabinoid, phencyclidine (PCP), barbiturate, benzodiazepine, synthetic narcotics and designer drugs. If a person is positive, the state requires that he or she go through a “drug rehabilitation program”. This refers to a service provider that aims to solve the problem, mainly to help the addict recover from the substance abuse. Other than the “reasonable-suspicion drug testing” (as aforementioned), there is also what is known as “mandatory-testing position” which is applicable to jobs that necessitate the person to handle firearms or work in life-threatening environs.
It is a well-known fact that drugs disrupt a person’s life in ways more than one. People who are addicted or reliant on drugs might find themselves ruining personal relationships, employment chances and having physical and mental problems. That is why it is very important to be able to learn more about drug abuse and drug testing. Researching and knowing more will enable a person to know about their rights, not only as employees of a certain company, but human rights as well. Some companies might overstep their boundaries and violate certain human rights. Reading on these topics will enable a person to understand and know where he or she stands. Finally, it might a hassle for some people but it is better to deal with it and follow the law.