Occasionally, our clients ask if a positive drug test results in trouble with the law. No, we don’t call the police, but that doesn’t mean all is well. Sometimes an individual tests positive for cocaine or some other illegal drug. Are we obligated to turn the person in? Thankfully, no. We’re not trained in law enforcement and it’s not our intent to police drug use. For InOut Labs, it’s not really about morals or even personal choices.
For us, drug and alcohol testing is primarily for businesses. That’s not to say we aren’t concerned about teenage drug and alcohol abuse—or other age groups. As a parent of three teenagers I never stop worrying for a second.
Some companies drug test because they have to. Take companies that are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. These firms employ commercial truck drivers, a group that, according to a new study reported by Reuters Health, is known for its “use of legal and illegal ‘psychoactive’ substances like alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines and cocaine.”
Others organizations choose to test for drugs and alcohol. Some firms worry about accidents and the accompanying workers comp claims. Indeed, many insurers reward companies who test with lower premiums. In some cases, workers who cannot perform their duties effectively because they are in a haze, or preoccupied with finding their next high, pose a tremendous liability. Many companies are deeply concerned about medical marijuana (now legal in Illinois), and are, understandably, confused about how it might affect the workplace.
So no, we don’t call the cops; that’s not our job. But we will do all we can to help companies create a workplace that is safe for its employees, customers and the community at large.