Tuesday, November 15, 2016
When Did We Decide That?
Yes. In fact, screening for substance use that is *legal* (even if not in your state) should be *illegal.* [Alternatively, let's screen for alcohol use...that'll make millions of people really happy. (snark)]
1) Maybe you should exclude students from an AS program if they cannot meet the requirements for a job in that area. We already do that with nursing, refusing admission if they have a criminal record that includes convictions for crimes against people that are explicitly excluded from working in health care. [I don't know if we do the same for elementary education or pre-K majors.]
2) You should ask your local employers! Their workmen's comp might take a dim view of a person using power tools while high (on whatever). From what I understand, mostly from the "ban the box" movement regarding a criminal record, is that most random drug testing is for jobs where there is a presumption of a hazard to self or others. In an office environment it is usually targetted at a person whose performance has changed for the worse, not everyone. That is why blanket drug testing of persons on welfare or disability or most public employees has been rejected by the courts.
3) I dislike your framing of the "opiate" problem. What changed is that the person pushing "heroin" is now your doctor or dentist, who hands out the latest opioid like candy with no instructions at all on the risks or proper use of the latest synthetic heroin substitute. Addiction, fed by unscrupulous doctors, follows. This is very different from the way people first encounter heroin or cocaine or opium in our society, and vastly increased the risk of addiction.
Did you know that heroin was first developed and marketed as a safe, non-addictive substitute for morphine? Now people are using heroin as a cheap illegal substitute for legal prescription versions of the same opioid-type of drug.
In 1986, the Reagan Administration began recommending a drug testing program for employers as part of the War on Drugs program. In 1988, Drug Free Workplace regulations required that any company with a contract over $25,000 with the Federal government provide a Drug-Free Workplace. This program must include drug testing. In December, The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 required drug and alcohol testing of safety sensitive employees in aviation, trucking, railroads, mass transit, and pipelines. These industries included Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Maritime (USCG), Pipeline (PHMSA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and the Federal Transit Authority (FTA). According to Department of Transportation data (2008), the number of workers who are subject to drug testing is approximately 6 million.
Private employers also saw the value of drug testing and instituted Drug-Free Workplace programs. Today, approximately 90% of Fortune 1000 companies and 62% of all employers in the United States have mandatory drug-testing programs. Several states have initiated legislation that rewards employers who institute drug testing for employees. They receive discounts on workers' compensation premiums if they comply with state drug testing regulations. Today 47 of the 50 states have legislation or court cases that regulate specific drug-testing requirements. In 2008, approximately 50 million drug screens were performed on employees by 40 different SAMHSA certified laboratories.