Texas’ Rules and Regulations on Drug Testing

In Medical Toxicology

Rules and Regulations on Drug Testing

How do you solve an age-old problem that has grown globally and continues to do so? This is a question that many have asked in the past years. Countless methods and strategies have been tried and tested. Many of these have failed, some may seem to work, a few are sometimes unlawful. Millions of resources have been spent and yet it still goes on. How exactly do you fight and finally end illegal drug use and distribution? Governments and medical authorities from all over the world are in a quandary when it comes to this issue. Although there are ways and actions that are taken, the fight goes on.

The big problem is that illegal drug distribution is a business. In fact, it is a billion-dollar business that encompasses countries and it is believed that most governments benefit from it too. It is not easy to put a stop to business with a global reach and a web of connections. It might not just be possible. However, some countries are trying their best to fight illegal drug abuse and distribution. Regardless of size and economic stature, the same grievance affects these countries. There are different approaches in fighting illegal drug distribution. It depends on the country. Some European countries focus on the treatment of drug abusers, some countries like the U.S. focus on the punishment of drug pushers. This worldwide effort requires all the cooperation from various parts of the society for it to work. It might be hard and there is no guarantee but it is better than nothing at all.

In a federal country like the U.S., the separate states have their own specific laws in terms of illegal drug abuse, drug testing, and punishment for those who sell or handle drugs. Cannabinoids are legal in some states and prohibited in others. Some states restrict employers to require drug testing from their employees. Some have not, including the second biggest state in the U.S.: Texas. This means that if an employer asks someone to have a drug test, he or she must do so or else there are consequences to be suffered. This includes being denied a job in the state of Texas as stated under the provisions of the Texas Labor Code. Drug testing is also necessary to acquire a motoring carrier registration. These are just the basic Texas’ rules and regulations on drug testing.

In Texas, one of the drug testing models often used is from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TLDR). The general rules basically cover things like employees must not be under any medication unless prescribed by a doctor or licensed medical professional. There are three types of test, the first one is pre-employment. People who received an initial job offer should undergo a drug testing prior to getting a final offer. It is followed by the annual type of test which says that all employees must have a drug test once in every twelve months. The last one is random testing. This is a random urine test conducted and at least 25% of a company’s employees are tested each year. A consent form is also compulsory, stating that the subject permits testing and allows the release of the result to a medical review officer (MRO), the company and the TLDR. An employee who tested positive and went through rehabilitation has a chance to go back to the company; as long as the said person submits a return-to-duty test. Follow-up tests are also necessitated and all of these should be negative.

Companies have their own designated MROs to review and analyze all the testing information that the medical laboratorysubmitted. The MRO should fully be qualified and with substantial experience in substance abuse disorders. It is strictly confidential and the laboratory should surrender the result only to the designated MRO.

So, what are the implications of a positive drug test? One, a person will be disqualified from being considered for a job position. If a person is already an employee in a company, he or she might be dismissed or fired from the job. Some companies might dole out less disciplinary actions. However, there are several factors that are considered; work history, employment length, job position and performance, and past disciplinary actions, if any.

Drug testing is essential in institutions. It is difficult to be in such a situation but it also a good way to get help. Some drug abusers do not get the help they need because of being in denial; of convincing themselves that they do not have a problem. Yes, it is a struggle at first. But undergoing a drug test may just be what some of them need to jolt them back to reality. If this is the case, acknowledging is the first step in getting help. Then comes the responsibility. It is a person’s responsibility to take care of his or herself. This includes the will and determination to clean up their lives.


Marie Hickman

Marie Hickman is the Social Media and Content Specialist for Physician Partners of America. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., Physician Partners of America (PPOA) is a fast-growing national healthcare company committed to combatting the opioid crisis through interventional pain management. Founded in 2013 with three employees, it has rapidly grown to more than 500, and manages a wide range of medical practices.

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