Drug testing vs. drug checking

Image, drug testing specimen jars

People keep asking us what we recommend for drug testing, or when our next drug testing day is because they want to get themselves tested for a pre-employment drug screen. We don’t do that. We do drug checking, not drug testing.

Drug testing isn’t drug checking

Drug testing is where someone asks you to pee in a cup or give them some of your saliva or hair so they can see if you’ve been taking drugs.

Sometimes it’s appropriate, like if you’ve been driving erratically and caused an accident.

Most times it’s not appropriate in the slightest, like when you’re applying for a job or when you’re asking for help from WINZ.

Pre-employment and assistance-related drug testing is, to be honest, pretty gross. There is little evidence in favour of its use. There is, however, a crapload of published evidence that it:

  1. Has no positive effect on people’s performance in the workplace,
  2. Does almost nothing to curb workplace accidents, as most of these are caused by other factors, such as fatigue, alcohol, hangovers, or dangerous work practices.
  3. Actively damages the relationship between an employer and an employee as it creates a feeling of mistrust between them.

You can also throw a false positive if you’re taking medication to help manage the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Hypertension
  • Pain
  • Sleep disorders
  • Weight loss
  • Nasal congestion (severe colds)
  • Coughing
  • Hayfever
  • Acid reflux/GERD
  • Arthritis
  • UTIs and other inflammatory-type infections.

Source: https://www.goodrx.com/blog/these-15-medications-can-cause-a-false-positive-on-drug-tests/

Instead of demanding bits of potential employees like some kind of weird serial killer-style trophy collector, why can’t employers talk to people freely and frankly about what can happen if people do their job under the influence or coming down or hung over?

Imagine how it would be if employers actually trusted their employees and treated them like adults that could do their job responsibly. Wild, right?

KnowYourStuffNZ doesn’t want your pee in a cup, thx

We do drug checking, not drug testing. We want to make sure there’s nothing untoward in your substance before you put it in your body. We don’t want bits of your body and we definitely don’t want any of your secretions. Ew.

We know that you’re a grown-ass adult and you can make decisions that are right for you based on clear and factual information. So we’ll treat you like a grown-ass adult. Hopefully your employers will too.

We will never support workplace drug testing, nor recommend it for employers. If, as an employer, you insist on using this pointless waste of money and you want your employees to feel that you don’t trust them, do not ask for our help.

Further reading

A Case Against Workplace Drug Testing by Prof. D. R. Comer on JSTOR
A Discussion of the Ethical Implications of Random Drug Testing in the Workplace by Dr. T. Christie on Sage Journals

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