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Why Drug Testing Is a Bad Idea

NCJ Number
Security Management Volume: 31 Issue: 9 Dated: (September 1987) Pages: 85-90
L L Maltby
Date Published
6 pages
Drexelbrook Engineering Company has concluded that drug testing is not in the company's best interest, would not make products safer, and would actually hurt performance and profits.
Drug testing suffers from accuracy problems, requires that the vast majority of innocent employees prove their innocence, and can have negative effects on employee morale. More importantly, drug testing tests for the wrong thing -- an effective and serious workplace safety program realizes that worker impairment, not drug use per se, is the real problem that must be tested for. While drug testing provides a simple and cheap approach to workplace drug abuse, it is ineffective. A better approach requires sound management. By carefully selecting new employees, making job performance requirements clear, monitoring performance, and offering help when performance is not up to standards, employers cannot only prevent drug abuse but can create a safe and productive working environment.


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