Why Do Employers Still Routinely Drug-Test Workers?



“These days it is rather uniform across many, many employment sectors. Most of the larger corporations, and most—if not all—of the Fortune 500 have some sort of drug-testing.” In all, Sample estimates that some 45 to 50 million workplace drug tests are taken annually in the U.S., making up a massive industry in biomedical HR…

In other words, the drug testing of employees isn’t so much a thoughtful labor policy as a compulsive habit. It’s something that we do because we’ve always done it, and we don’t know how to stop. Testing has become a national addiction, and it may be time to taper off…

That September, Ronald Reagan made it official U.S. policy, signing an executive order to counteract the “serious adverse effects” that drugs exert “upon a significant proportion of the national work force,” and ordering the heads of every agency to put in place formal testing programs. His vision for a “drug-free federal workplace” was important, he declared without any formal evidence, because federal employees who use illegal drugs “tend to be less productive, less reliable, and prone to greater absenteeism than their fellow employees.” He claimed they’re also prone to lapses of judgment, subject to blackmail, and a burden to their colleagues who don’t likewise indulge.

The national binge on drug testing had only just begun. In January 1987, an afternoon Amtrak train heading north from Washington, D.C. derailed outside Baltimore, killing 16 passengers and injuring 174…  An investigation found that warning signals that might have prevented the crash had been tampered with, but at least some portion of the blame fell to railroad engineer Ricky Gates, who eventually admitted that he’d been passing a joint back and forth with his brakeman, and that he’d taken “about three hits” by the time the accident took place. An acknowledged alcoholic, Gates had also been out drinking the night before, and apparently had a hangover. He says he skipped safety checks that morning so that he could get through his day a little faster. (Gates himself blames the narcotics, and after serving four years in prison, he took up work as a drug counselor.) …

Where chronic pain patients will end up


For decades, if people on Medicaid wanted to get treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, they almost always had to rely solely on money from state and local sources.

Now, in a dramatic shift, the federal government is likely to chip in, too. The agency that governs Medicaid is proposing to cover 15 days of inpatient rehab per month for anyone enrolled in a Medicaid managed care plan.

But in Pennsylvania, those who work in the addiction field aren’t happy with that news. While it’s a good start, they say, only 15 days of residential care isn’t nearly enough time for many people addicted to heroin, opioids, alcohol or other drugs to get clean and stay that way…

Grover And I Say Hi!

I had to make my tri-monthly trip to the drug store for Claritin-D today. (Thanks, DEA.)

Lucky for me, I had Grover along for the drive.


I can only assume that I have a secret admirer who wanted to brighten my day.

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So, instead of removing Grover, I allowed him to accompany me to Walgreens.

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He was bored, so I took him to visit my mountain.

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And a good time was had by all. (Turns out, Grover has access to some great bud.)

Arriving home, I decided that Grover and I are going to be best friends. (After all, I can’t remember the last time I washed my car.)

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Grover and I say Hi! 🙂

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(Photos taken today.)