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Pot PoliticsMarijuana and the Costs of Prohibition$
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Mitch Earleywine

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195188028

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195188028.001.0001

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Is Drug Testing in the Workplace Worthwhile?

Is Drug Testing in the Workplace Worthwhile?

(p.40) 3 Is Drug Testing in the Workplace Worthwhile?
Pot Politics

Sara Smucker Barnwell

Mitch Earleywine

Oxford University Press

Drug testing has emerged as many employers' answer to the problem of employee substance use. Drug-testing programs seek to provide an objective basis for mandatory employee referral to treatment programs, prevent the onset of drug use among abstaining workers, diminish productivity losses and workplace accidents ascribable to substance use, minimize cost increases for employer-paid health care expenses, and decrease drug-related work turnover. In short, drug testing endeavors to identify or prevent the development of problems in order to maintain a healthy and safe workforce. Despite these admirable goals, drug testing programs do not appear to accomplish these aims, and require considerable expense. In order to understand how drug testing promotes worker health and safety, this chapter examines the literature on the effectiveness of drug testing in the identification of workers whose substance-use impairs job performance.

Keywords:   employee drug testing, drug abuse, employee substance abuse

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