Random drug testing has often been in place in schools, especially if a student or a worker seems that he or she is under the influence of a substance. However, a recent article states that student drug testing isn’t necessary, as students abusing drugs these days aren’t into hard drugs but, rather, prescription drugs that are harder to find in the system with a random saliva or urine test.
So, how do you go about testing students, or employed adults for that matter, if they obviously seem like they’re under the influence of a substance?
This can, in fact, be a difficult matter and, in some states, asking a person to submit to a random drug test is considered illegal. In a blog entry on About.com, one writer mentions that not all states consider random drug tests legal and that, in some cases, random drug and alcohol testing may violate the ADA, as alcoholism is considered a disability. Yet, logically, should a person, whether drunk from alcohol or “high” on prescription pain killers, be allowed to stay in the workplace, be it an office, school, or a manufacturing plant with heavy machinery?
Some workplaces and schools have asked employees, or students, to disclose which medications and prescriptions they use regularly or often, so that, in the event of a urine or saliva test, those analyzing the sample can tell which drugs are regular medications and which the person has been abusing recently. Arguments against this, as specified in the About.com post, include invading a person’s privacy and medical information.
Although the basic drug test looks for five types of illegal substances, drug tests may need to be modified in the future to pick up any drugs – be it cocaine or Tylenol – and question the student or employee about his or her medication habits after the result of the drug test. In addition, as some states consider random drug testing illegal, a company, as suggested by the About.com post, suggests that companies develop a clear policy about drug testing, so no workers are confused about random drug testing, if done, and the repercussions of testing positive or refusing to do a drug test.