If we talk about drug testing in the workplace, there are some misconceptions, either by the employers or by the employees. In this article, we will talk about these myths.
Drug use has no impact when it comes to workplace safety.
There are a lot of studies that suggest drug use is one of the major contributors when it comes to an unsafe work environment. Alcohol and drugs are responsible for 1 out of 6 job fatalities according to National Safety Council. 80% of the people injured by these drug-related accidents are innocent bystanders, not the drugged-out employees. Another survey conducted by Southern Pacific railroad says that there is a decline of 71.6% in railroad accidents after they implemented a drug testing review.
Marijuana sticks to your body like glue.
There’s always a big misconception about how long cannabis stays in our body. Some say it only takes days or weeks for cannabis to exit our body. Some say months. The worst is they stay permanent in our system. A study shows that the time cannabis stays in our body will vary depending on the variation of the plant. There are varieties that have a higher concentration of THC, it takes at least 2 weeks to flush out. Some can take 3-5 days with just water as a detoxifying agent. How frequent one is using is also a factor. If you are a heavy user, it will take months to metabolize out of your body.
Drug test can’t be beaten.
Every test has a loophole. There are ways how to beat these kinds of tests or get better results. Water and Cranberry juice therapy after using for at least 1 week is one way. You can also use synthetic urine or freeze-dried urine. The point is, there is no such thing as an unbeatable test. Even if you implement a strict drug testing program in your company, there will always people who will find a way to beat it.
You can get a “False-Positive” result.
This myth is based on the fact that there are certain substances like prescription drugs that can give positive results. However, the result will still be under evaluation by the medical review officer. If the employee can give a valid reason for the test, the report to the company would be a negative drug screen. It is the initial screening data that give this myth some popularity. Initial Screening Data or Immunoassay testing is very sensitive, but it is also non-specific. Meaning this test can give a positive result, but it doesn’t tell if that drug is prohibited or prescribed. That’s why most testing centres use chromatographic – mass spectrometry confirmation test to see if the result is valid or not. One false data can ruin an employee’s life and the company’s credibility.
If you want to know more about “False-Positive” drug result, visit: https://www.drugs.com/article/false-positive-drug-tests.html
How can an employee make a difference at work when it comes to drug problems?
The best way to fight misinformation is to educate every worker in regards to drug addiction. There are ways for employers to protect themselves and their employees about this problem. We should recognize the impact of prescription and prohibited drug abuse in our workplace. Make strong policies. Expand the panel testing and include opioids like Vicodin which is 1 of the most abused prescribed drug today. The company should also train their management team as well as the workers on how to spot the abusers. Also, drug addiction is a disease. We should start to treat it as one. And lastly, don’t discriminate those who test positive. If they are willing to turn a new leaf, help them.