Random Drug Testing This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Over the past few years, public concern with illegal drug use has intensified. This national problem affects many sectors of society, including the business community. Just five years ago, only 3 percent of the Fortune 500 companies reported that they used some form of drug testing. Today, 40 percent of them do. Generally three types of drug testing can be used: 1) incident driven, 2) probable cause, and 3) random testing.

Incident driven testing is a system in which employees are tested because of a specific incident. If an employee were to collapse on the job, for example, or be responsible for an avoidable accident, he or she might be tested for drug use. This type of system is the most justifiable, and the easiest to defend.

The second type is called probable cause testing. In this type of system, someone is tested if there are signs of drug use. This type of testing, while slightly more controversial than the first, is still generally accepted because there are grounds for the test.

The third kind, random testing, is the most controversial. In random testing, employees are chosen randomly and tested for drug use. People who favor this type of testing claim that if you have nothing to hide, being tested shouldn't bother you, and that it is crucial to find drug users before they cause any damage. However, I believe random drug testing is wrong, and should not be allowed.

Random drug testing is unacceptable because it defies the idea that one is innocent until proven guilty. Testing without cause goes against one of the most basic principles of our legal system. It is also a flagrant violation of constitutional rights. The fourth amendment states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons ...shall not be violated ...but upon probable cause ..." We should never let anything destroy these principles, because they form the basis of our democracy.

Also, these drug tests are not 100 percent accurate. For example, if one eats poppy seeds or takes certain prescription drugs before the test, the test will be positive for heroin use. Also, there have been cases where the lab technicians confused urine samples, or were incompetent and did not test correctly.

The damage done by a faulty drug test is irreparable. News of that sort spreads through a company like wildfire, and it takes a long time to correct an inaccurate test, resulting in months of unemployment and loss of reputation. Even if the result is corrected, the damage has been done and a lurking suspicion may remain in co-workers' minds that the tests were accurate.

Some argue that random testing dose little harm and is only meant to protect lives, but we must remember that almost all breaches of liberty have good intentions. Just as it would be wrong to violate the First Amendment by banning groups like the Ku Klux Klan or Nazi party, it would also be wrong to violate the Fourth Amendment by allowing random drug testing. We must protect our liberty in every way, and uphold the safeguards that the constitution provides. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

kram mush said...
Feb. 25, 2014 at 12:39 pm
now we know who takes drugs
 
Jack Mioff said...
Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:02 pm
The whole innocent until proven guilty is being practice in ur article. That is why they are being tested. To prove they are guilty
 
da bx best kept secret said...
Jan. 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm
leave kids alone they want to mess up their life then let them. u cant held them if they dont want it
 
MySpace replied...
Feb. 10, 2015 at 4:12 am
No! Would you let your children playi with knifes? Would you let your teens play with guns? For people like you America is going down deeper and deeper
 
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