Thursday, April 02, 2009


In Kansas, the State House “. . . just voted 99-26 in favor of implementing random drug tests for those receiving cash assistance from the state.” ( And in West Virginia, State Delegate Craig Blair has issued a statement urging that the State “…should require random drug testing for every individual receiving welfare, food assistance or unemployment benefits.” ( )

For sure there will be legal challenges and critics will also point out that the costs of such programs will be enormous. Those who nevertheless want to introduce and who are willing to vote for such measures should be obliged to submit – themselves – to the same urine tests, collected and analyzed in an identical manner to what they want to impose on those receiving public assistance - and they should agree to promptly give up their (tax-paid!) salaries and positions should the results be “positive.” If they are willing to agree to such a precondition, then heir legislative initiatives would deserve serious consideration.


At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Medical Technologist who performs drug testing everyday, I can honestly say that people have absolutely no idea what is involved in drug testing OR the complications that can arise from it!

I perform the testing and have had to educate myself on the pitfalls. People don't understand how easy it is to get a false positive test or how easy it is to destroy someones entire life because of those false positive tests.

And even when confirmation testing proves innocence, there are always people that will doubt the person.

Drug testing is such a violation of a persons privacy and dignity....we seem to be increasingly willing to give up our basic rights as US citizens in the name of preventing drug use...and the truth is that drug testing very very rarely "catches" the people who truly are addicts...and it even more rarely helps those it does catch.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger RGNewman, MD said...

Absolutely correct in all your observations. My persistent pitch has been : let anyone who seeks to impose a requirement for drug testing, and/or carries out sanctions when they come back positive, subject her/his own urine to the same procedures and accept precisely the same sanctions - and the specimens should be submitted in a way that the lab doesn't know they are "special" and thus they're handled the same as all others.

At 5:58 PM, Anonymous Garrett McGovern said...

Drug testing is practically useless in determining whether a person is problematically using drugs and, as one of the previous posters highlighted, the results are not particularly reliable. Further, it is deplorable to stop welfare benefits on the basis of a "positive" urine test. In terms of workplace testing I have never understood why employers seem to identify problems where none exist. If someone is underperforming at work then the underperformance should be dealt with on its merits. If there is a drug and/or alcohol problem the person should be given the full support of their employers to get themselves back to good health. Forget urine tests. They will cause more problems than they will ever solve and they are expensive.


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