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Drug Screening in the Workplace

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Discuss legal and ethical issues concerning workplace drug testing while also addressing workplace drug prevention and education programs. Consider these issues:

o Types of drug tests, such as urinalysis and sweat tests, and the reliability of those methods
o Types of drug testing programs, such as mandatory and voluntary
o Appropriateness of certain testing programs for specific environments
o Who to test and why

Offer critical judgment (your opinion) regarding the ethical and legal implications of drug testing.

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Solution Summary

This solution address methods of drug screening in the workplace focused on what works best in deterring drug use--voluntary or mandatory programs.

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? Addressing Workplace drug prevention and education programs.

Considering types of drug testing and their reliability, methods of drug testing vary. For example, The Immunoassay Test is is employed with the use of urine to determine the presence or absence of drugs in the body by identifying the metabolized by-products of the drug (metabolites). It is widely used in workplace settings. However, the test is criticized for various reasons including: (a) its inability to specify the precise amount of the drug that was taken, (b)while it was taken, and(c) which drugs were taken in a particular category(Cohen & Swerdlik, 2005, p. 43. In additon, according to Cohen & Swerdlik, there is no way to estimate the degree of impairment that occurred in response to the drug. Another test, The Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) examines metabolites in urine to determine the presence or absence of drugs, and the test can specify which drug was used. On the other hand, GCMS cannot pinpoint the time the drug was taken or the degree of impairment that occurred as a consequence of taking the drug.

? Types of drug testing programs, such as mandatory and voluntary

Applicants may be tested for employment during a selection process. For instance, employees may randomly be tested if drug use is suspected. Many employees may not be willing submit to a voluntary drug test, because many employees view drug testing as a violation of their constitutional right to privacy (Cohen & Swerdlik, 2006). Sujak, Villanova, & Daly (1995) approached the drug testing issue from the perspective of examining the relationships between the characteristics of the drug-testing program and potential applicants' attitudes and intentions to apply for ...

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