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Employment and Drug Testing

  1. "Does drug testing prevent or inhibit student drug use? Members of the Supreme Court appear to believe it does. However, among the eighth-, 10th-, and 12-grade students surveyed in this study, school drug testing was not associated with either the prevalence or the frequency of student marijuana use, or of other illicit drug use. Nor was drug testing of athletes associated with lower-than-average marijuana and other illicit drug use by high school male athletes. Even among those who identified themselves as fairly experienced marijuana users, drug testing also was not associated with either the prevalence or the frequency of marijuana or other illicit drug use."

    Source:  Yamaguchi, Ryoko, Lloyd D. Johnston & Patrick M. O'Malley, Relationship Between Student Illicit Drug Use and School Drug-Testing Policies," Journal of School Health, April 2003, Vol. 73, No. 4, p. 164.

  2. "In the HLM (Hierarchical Linear Modeling) analyses for students in grades eight, 10, and 12, drug testing (of any kind) was not a significant predictor of student marijuana use in the past 12 months. Neither was drug testing for cause or suspicion."

    Source:  Yamaguchi, Ryoko, Lloyd D. Johnston & Patrick M. O'Malley, "Relationship Between Student Illicit Drug Use and School Drug-Testing Policies," Journal of School Health, April 2003, Vol. 73, No. 4, p. 163.

  3. "Drug testing of athletes was not a significant predictor of marijuana use by male athletes in high school."

    Source:  Yamaguchi, Ryoko, Lloyd D. Johnston & Patrick M. O'Malley, "Relationship Between Student Illicit Drug Use and School Drug-Testing Policies," Journal of School Health, April 2003, Vol. 73, No. 4, p. 163.

  4. "Drug testing of any kind, including for cause or suspicion, was not a significant predictor of marijuana use. These results remained for all samples, even after controlling for student demographic characteristics."

    Source:  Yamaguchi, Ryoko, Lloyd D. Johnston & Patrick M. O'Malley, "Relationship Between Student Illicit Drug Use and School Drug-Testing Policies," Journal of School Health, April 2003, Vol. 73, No. 4, p. 163.

  5. "Similar to results for marijuana use, drug testing of any kind and drug testing for cause and suspicion were not significant predictors for use of other illicit drugs among students in grades eight, 10, and 12. Within the high school subsamples, use of illicit drugs among high school male athletes and current marijuana users was not significantly different based on drug testing at the school. Even after controlling for student demographic characteristics, drug testing was not a significant predictor for other illicit drug use in any of the samples."

    Source:  Yamaguchi, Ryoko, Lloyd D. Johnston & Patrick M. O'Malley, "Relationship Between Student Illicit Drug Use and School Drug-Testing Policies," Journal of School Health, April 2003, Vol. 73, No. 4, p. 163.

  6. A positive drug test does not indicate whether an employee was impaired or intoxicated on the job, nor does it indicate whether an employee has a drug problem or how often the employee uses the drug. Thus most tests do not provide information relevant to job performance.

    Source: Lewis Maltby, Vice President, Drexelbrook Controls, Horsham, PA, as cited in Report of the Maine Commission to Examine Chemical Testing of Employees, (December 31, 1986).

  7. Companies which use Factor 1000, an impairment testing system, find that drug and alcohol use are not the most common reasons for accidents; rather, severe fatigue and illness are more common.

    Source: Hamilton, "A Video Game That Tells if Employees Are Fit To Work," Businessweek, (June 3, 1991).

  8. "Few employers have used impairment testing, and information concerning that experience is very limited and extremely difficult to obtain. The available information, however, indicates that impairment testing is not just a better answer on paper, but in practice as well. Employers who have used impairment testing consistently found that it reduced accidents and was accepted by employees. Moreover, these employers consistently found that it was superior to urine testing in achieving both of these objectives."

    Source:  National Workrights Institute, "Impairment Testing: Does It Work?" (Princeton, NJ: NWI, undated), from the web athttp://www.workrights.org/issue_drugtest/dt_impairment_testing.html, last accessed March 17, 2004.

  9. The American Management Association surveys US employers on various policies including testing for illegal substance use. According to their 2004 survey, in 1995 78% of companies did some sort of testing for illegal drugs, with 63% of companies testing applicants and 68% testing current employees. By 2004, the number dropped to just 62% of all companies testing for illegal drugs, with 55% testing applicants and 44% testing current employees.

    Source: American Management Association, "AMA 2004 Workplace Testing Survey: Medical Testing" (New York, NY: American Management Association, 2004), p. 3.

  10. While drug testing in the workplace increased dramatically in the 1980s, in 1992 it leveled off. Much drug testing in American industry is due to government mandates requiring testing, not due to the business judgment of employers.

    Source: American Management Association, American Management Association Survey on Workplace Drug Testing and Drug Abuse Policies (New York, NY: American Management Association, 1996).

  11. The American Management Association in its annual survey of companies on workplace surveillance and medical testing reports the following percentages of companies who conduct drug tests:

    Companies Which Drug Test Employees
    Business Category Testing of New Hires Testing of All Employees
    Financial Services 35.8% 18.8%
    Business & Professional Services 36.0% 18.4%
    Other Services 60.3% 34.7%
    Wholesale & Retail 63.0% 36.8%
    Manufacturing 78.5% 42.2%

    Source: American Management Association, A 2000 AMA Survey: Workplace Testing: Medical Testing: Summary of Key Findings (New York, NY: American Management Association, 2000), p. 1.

  12. The American Management Association conducts an annual survey of workplace surveillance and medical testing. In the report issued in 2000, found that employee drug testing was at its lowest level in a decade, practiced by 52% of companies surveyed in 1991, and 47% of companies surveyed in 2000.

    Source: American Management Association, A 2000 AMA Survey: Workplace Testing: Medical Testing: Summary of Key Findings (New York, NY: American Management Association, 2000), p. 3.

  13. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted the downward trend in drug testing after a large survey of 145,000 businesses. It found that "overall about 1 of 3 establishments that reported having a drug testing program in 1988 said they did not have one in 1990." 46% of the companies with under 50 employees dropped drug testing programs.

    Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Anti-Drug Programs in the Workplace: Are They Here to Stay?" Monthly Labor Review, Washington D.C.: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (April 1991), pp. 26-28.

  14. In a study of high tech industries, researchers found that "drug testing programs do not succeed in improving productivity. Surprisingly, companies adopting drug testing programs are found to exhibit lower levels of productivity than their counterparts that do not... Both pre-employment and random testing of workers are found to be associated with lower levels of productivity."

    Source: Shepard, Edward M., and Thomas J. Clifton, Drug Testing and Labor Productivity: Estimates Applying a Production Function Model, Institute of Industrial Relations, Research Paper No. 18, Le Moyne University, Syracuse, NY (1998), p. 1.

  15. It is estimated that the United States spends $1 billion annually to drug test about 20 million workers.

    Source: Shepard, Edward M., and Thomas J. Clifton, Drug Testing and Labor Productivity: Estimates Applying a Production Function Model, Institute of Industrial Relations, Research Paper No. 18, Le Moyne University, Syracuse, NY (1998), p. 8.

  16. One reason drug testing is not used by some employers is the cost. One electronics manufacturer estimated that the cost of finding each positive result was $20,000. After testing 10,000 employees he only found 49 positive results. A congressional committee estimated that the cost of each positive in government testing was $77,000 because the positive rate was only 0.5%.

    Source: "Workplace Substance Abuse Testing, Drug Testing: Cost and Effect," Cornell/Smithers Report, Utica, New York: Cornell University (January 1992).

  17. According to a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and published by the Southern Economic Journal in 2001, "Nonchronic drug use was not statistically related to either of the labor supply measures, indicating that light or casual drug use did not lead to negative effects on the labor supply."

    Source: French, Michael T., M. Christopher Roebuck, and Pierre Kebreau Alexandre, "Illicit Drug Use, Employment, and Labor Force Participation," Southern Economic Journal (Southern Economic Association: Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 2001), 68(2), p. 366.

  18. "In conclusion, this study found that chronic drug use was significantly related to employment status for men and women. On the other hand, male chronic drug users were less likely to participate in the labor force, but no significant relationship existed between chronic drug use and labor force participation for females. Perhaps the most important finding of this study, however, was the lack of any significant relationships between nonchronic drug use, employment, and labor force participation. An implication of this finding is that employers and policy makers should focus on problematic drug users in the same way that they focus on problematic alcohol users."

    Source: French, Michael T., M. Christopher Roebuck, and Pierre Kebreau Alexandre, "Illicit Drug Use, Employment, and Labor Force Participation," Southern Economic Journal (Southern Economic Association: Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 2001), 68(2), p. 366.

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