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Drug Abuse Tests


Testing 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.

Drug abuse testing is mandatory by law for many jobs and professions, such 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.

There 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 our 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.

Others 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.

In 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 guidelines allowed.

When drug 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.

Whatever 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.




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