Cultureculture

Fri May 19, 2017, 09:36 AM

More working Americans test positive for drugs

It's not just housing prices and debt that are reaching record highs in this economy. Apparently, the workforce is, too.

New numbers from Quest Diagnostics, a clinical testing company based in Madison, New Jersey, show workplace tests are finding drug use at levels not seen in a decade.

Last year, 4.2 percent of drug tests conducted on employees or job applicants came back positive. It's the highest rate since 2004, when it was 4.5 percent.

For workers who are required to undergo drug tests -- including certain federal employees, pilots, bus drivers and oil pipeline workers -- the positive rate was 2 percent. For the general workforce, the rate was 4.9 percent.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/more-working-americans-test-positive-for-drugs/

24 replies, 200 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply More working Americans test positive for drugs (Original post)
Agent_86 Friday OP
Tovera Friday #1
Currentsitguy Friday #2
Tovera Friday #15
Muddling Through Friday #5
His Daughter Friday #6
Muddling Through Friday #8
Boadicea Friday #10
Tovera Friday #16
Scary Red Friday #12
Muddling Through Friday #13
Scary Red Friday #14
His Daughter Friday #18
Scary Red Friday #19
His Daughter Friday #20
oflguy Saturday #21
Boadicea Friday #9
Tovera Friday #17
Currentsitguy Friday #3
Grumpy Pickle Friday #4
Boadicea Friday #7
Tolk Friday #11
762Justice Sunday #22
Agent_86 Sunday #23
Boadicea Sunday #24

Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 09:47 AM

1. I wish the article had a drug-by-drug breakdown.

If, as I suspect, the bulk of this increase is due to marijuana positives, then I couldn't care less. As the article mentions is happening in Colorado, a lot of places here in Oregon (where state law permits both medical and recreational use) are dropping cannabis from testing (or ignoring positive results for the weed).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tovera (Reply #1)

Fri May 19, 2017, 10:09 AM

2. In certain industries State Law does not matter.

Industries that are under heavy Federal scrutiny must adhere to those standards. Nuclear Control Room Operators, for example must pass regular screenings no matter what State they are in.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #2)

Fri May 19, 2017, 01:32 PM

15. Yeah, and I understand the need for hardcore policies in some jobs.

Obviously being high at work isn't acceptable in most jobs, but in the majority of cases all that's needed is a policy requiring a test if there's a suspicion of being under the influence is sufficient. For certain jobs, however, it's just common sense that you can't wait until there's suspicion...by then it could be too late to prevent a very serious accident. Requiring that those jobs be held by demonstrated non-users might be a bummer for a weed smoker who would never think of coming to work stoned, but it makes sense for society's risk/reward calculation.

Perhaps that could change as technology advances and a quick, foolproof testing method for whether or not someone is under the influence can be put into place for those critical jobs. If you just blow into a tube, press your palm onto the pad, or whatever when you come to work every day, that would make any other testing redundant. If/when such tech is practical, I'd expect it to be used for those jobs anyway. But as things stand, I have no problem with requiring testing for certain kinds of work.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tovera (Reply #1)

Fri May 19, 2017, 10:32 AM

5. I would be concerned about level of intoxication.

Testing positive for THC on Tuesday when the last use was Friday would not bother me. Showing up to work while high on THC would be just as bad as showing up high on Oxycodone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Muddling Through (Reply #5)

Fri May 19, 2017, 11:27 AM

6. We really do not have reliable tests for that yet

And as far as I know, nothing on the short term horizon

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to His Daughter (Reply #6)

Fri May 19, 2017, 12:15 PM

8. That will present a problem.

Regardless of Marijuana being legalized, many businesses will not be able to keep insurance if they don't drug screen regularly. (Warehouses, construction, delivery services, etc.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Muddling Through (Reply #8)

Fri May 19, 2017, 12:18 PM

10. I agree with that. My husband works in heavy industrial. They drug test pretty regularly as

part of their compliance plan, he says.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to His Daughter (Reply #6)

Fri May 19, 2017, 01:33 PM

16. That's my understanding as well.

Such technology, once practical and in place, would change the game...but it's a good ways off.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Muddling Through (Reply #5)

Fri May 19, 2017, 12:23 PM

12. I agree. There is, though, the question of what right your boss has to...

monitor your off-the-job time. If you got an STD while drunk at a party, no problem.

Do a spliff at that party and your ass is on the line.

We don't have the ability, legal or technical, to properly judge your ability to work with a hangover, prescription pills, tiny residual amounts of THC, or after a huge fight with your spouse and a talk with your divorce lawyer. So, we measure for those nasty drugs in your system.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scary Red (Reply #12)

Fri May 19, 2017, 12:32 PM

13. The boss isn't monitoring off-the-job-time;

the boss is monitoring fitness for duty, and the current technology only measures presence of most substances (excluding alcohol) not level of intoxication. Given the level of exposure a company has for injury caused by an intoxicated employee they really have no choice.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Muddling Through (Reply #13)

Fri May 19, 2017, 01:06 PM

14. That's the problem...

defining "fitness for duty" within the very finite limits of whether or not you have done illegal drugs.

.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scary Red (Reply #12)

Fri May 19, 2017, 01:51 PM

18. The issue is state of intoxiction

Today I can test for you level of alcohol impairment, I cannot for cannabis. Those can only detect prior usage, not current intoxication level. The alternative is much more subjective.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to His Daughter (Reply #18)

Fri May 19, 2017, 03:34 PM

19. That's my point. I'm not arguing intoxication is ever a good thing, but...

it's just one of many things that affect job performance.

And since it's measurable, we measure it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scary Red (Reply #19)

Fri May 19, 2017, 06:48 PM

20. We cannot measure THC levels directly and in real time

All we can measure is that there are byproducts present (used it sometime a while back). We can precisely measure blood alcohol levels. The alternative is the police style testing which is much more questionable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scary Red (Reply #12)

Sat May 20, 2017, 02:52 PM

21. Ever fly in an airplane red?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tovera (Reply #1)

Fri May 19, 2017, 12:17 PM

9. No snark, but can I ask if you would be ok for a doctor to see you and he/she has tested positive

marijuana? or someone driving a bus with your child on it? FWIW, I feel the same about alcohol as I do marijuana.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Boadicea (Reply #9)

Fri May 19, 2017, 01:40 PM

17. A doctor? Yes, actually.

Obviously not if they were high at the time...but I'm generally willing to assume professionalism in such cases unless given reson to do otherwise.

It's kind of hard for me to answer the kid's bus driver question: I'm childless and really don't like children very much.

But yeah...I might not make the same assumption of professionalism for some barely-over-minimum-wage guy with a test-once-a-year CDL. This might fall into the category of job I talk about in some detail elsewhere in this subthread: those jobs for which it just makes common sense to try and hire only complete, demonstrable non-users. Jobs like nuclear power plant techs, air traffic controllers, etc. (to use a couple pretty extreme and obvious examples). School bus drivers might well be on such a list.

At least until tech to instantly and reliably determine if someone's under the influence becomes available...and it's my understanding that that's a good ways off.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 10:12 AM

3. As a partner in an Executive Recruiting Firm

I can tell you clients in the Electricity Sector are telling us it is becoming very difficult to find new people for things like Linemen due to the very high percentage who cannot pass a piss test.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 10:21 AM

4. So, legalizing marijuana has a down side eh ?

Lefty didn't see that one coming, did they ?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 12:14 PM

7. My sister is a manager of a job finders company. Their clients include Nucor Steel, Daiken, and

other heavy industrial companies. She cannot fill all the jobs because people cannot pass a urine and hair test. She will post positions on facebook and people will always ask if they will be disqualified for marijuana.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 12:21 PM

11. I can't understand

If someone is looking for a job, they know that they will more than likely be drug tested.
Wouldn't you think it would be wise to lay off until after you get the job?

On a side note my company has a test upon hiring and the only other time you would get tested is if you are injured and need medical attention. That is required by the insurance company.
My policy with my crew is that if you do get injured, I give them the option of taking care of it using their own insurance so as to avoid the drug test or they can do it through the company.
Of course if it's something serious like if they lop off their hand or something that policy goes out the window.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Agent_86 (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 11:44 AM

22. Do a lot of jobs perform this testing prior to employment?

My older daughter is in the medical field so was tested before employment, the rest of the kids are still younger and working school/college jobs, and did not mention that there was testing as they have changed jobs. I have not gotten a new job working for someone in many years, so have no personal experience.

I have a few contract guys (between 2 and 5 at any time) working for me at my own small business, and do not drug test people as they come in, as I expect that considering the level of work required, they have the good sense not to visit a customer site while impaired, smell of any intoxicants, or talk about it.

Is this a normal thing now? To test candidates for general employment? I only use nicotine and the occasional bourbon, so am not personally invested, but I am curious.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 762Justice (Reply #22)

Sun May 21, 2017, 12:11 PM

23. I was tested before my employment in '86.

I was also randomly tested when I filled a supervisory position. Other than that it is not a regular part of our operation unless an agent is involved in an accident while operating equipment around aircraft.

I haven't asked any junior agents if drug testing is still part of our hiring process, but I am guessing it is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 762Justice (Reply #22)

Sun May 21, 2017, 02:49 PM

24. My husband works heavy industrial

And they have random drug tests all the time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Cultureculture