Is Drug Testing Preventing People From Working?

Drug testing is being associated with an issue that America is trying to deal with: unemployment. A feature on the Bucyrus Telegraph revealed that there are employers who are facing challenges in filling positions, because a number of applicants either fail a drug test – or quit coming to work after the first few days. Several business owners in Crawford County in Bucyrus, Ohio, expressed that the biggest factor in the drug tests is marijuana. Jodi Demo-Hodgins of the Crawford-Marion Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, shared: “Marijuana is a factor very frequently… A lot of times there is just chronic use in families. They don’t see it as a drug because it is something that was just always done. They don’t see the dangers. In the ’70s, there was a boundary. People didn’t go to work high. If you fast forward to 2012, society in general just kind of winks at it.” The issue of drug use in the area has “exploded” over the last four years, as described by Toni Shaum, a lab supervisor at the drug testing collection site Workable. Workable program manager Connie Rook shared that for this year alone, the lab has recorded 218 urine-test failures, and that the failure rate has consistently grown over the years. In 2008, around 3 percent of individuals fail a drug test; in 2010, that rate has increased to 4.38 percent. Halfway through the year 2012, the rate is at 4.4 percent. Steve Crall, vice president at IB-Tech, said: “Each time we test, I can guarantee that 25 percent are going to fail. In April, we added hair testing… I can’t tell you how many people quit because they knew they were going to fail. I have 25 percent not pass the drug test, but I would guess the real number is somewhere closer to 50 percent.”

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