for the presence of illegal or banned substances has been in practice
for some time, and is usually conducted by professionals and
laboratories that specialize in drug abuse testing.
abuse testing is mandatory by law for many jobs and
as commercial drivers, law enforcement and other emergency personnel,
and required by most employers and sports associations. The
substances being tested for may not always be illegal; in the case of
athletes, many performance enhancing drugs and/or steroids may also
be screened for violation of rules, rather than laws.
are two sides to the issue of drug abuse testing: safety of others,
and the invasion of one’s privacy. Many people feel that had
forefathers foreseen the technology to screen our blood and urine for
the presence of chemicals, they would have included bodily fluids
into the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution; the right to be
free of unreasonable searches and seizures.
see drug screening as a way to keep them safer. For example, many
people feel that it is legitimate to “invade our
privacy” if it
will keep truck drivers or forklift operators from operating
potentially deadly equipment while under the influence of illegal
drugs. Some people wish to work in an environment where they are not
surrounded by other workers who use drugs, whether for safety reasons
or personal preference.
the world of sports, use of performance enhancing drugs gives an
unfair advantage over other athletes who do not partake in the use of
steroids or other boosting agents. Drug testing is therefore used by
athletic associations to keep the players honest and within the
abuse testing first came out, it was very easy to get false
positive results from items that were similar to illegal drugs. Many
people tested positive for heroin use from taking over the counter
pain relievers such as Motrin, and poppy seeds were another common
ingredient that gave false positive results. Over the years, the
tests have become more refined; designed to screen out potential
products or foods that could give a positive reading and possibly
deny a person employment or worse yet, show drugs in their system
after a fatal accident involving a commercial vehicle, where testing
for the presence of illegal drugs is required by law.
reason you may have for taking one, or whether you agree with these
tests or not, drug abuse testing has come a long way over the past
decade and a half.