Satish Singh Negi
Research has recently shown that there has been a high rate of drug abuse amongst the working population. The highest number of this has reportedly been amongst workers involved in transportation and moving industries, construction workers, service occupation workers, food industries and more. The alarming rates of the illicit drug abuse - including alcohol had made regular leaves, protests by the employees against the employee, thefts, low production rates etc a commonplace at the workstations.
For the above stated reasons, organizations are largely conducting employee screening for drugs or alcohol - the most common an old technique is the breath alcohol test. But it is seen that alcohol can be detected even after 2 days in the hair, thus this test is more effective when compared to the breath alcohol test which detects alcohol ranging from a few hours to twenty-four hours of its intake.
Certain industries are regulated by the DOT, that is, the United States Department of Transportation. As per The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, the employees in the transportation sector such as - aviation, trucking, railroads, pipelines etc requires the respective employees to undergo a drug and alcohol test.
Besides the DOT drug screen, there are other companies which are not included in the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, yet they are practicing the drug and alcohol tests due to employee productivity concerns. It has been observed by many organizations that their competent workforce has not been delivering as much as their potency is, are lethargic at work etc.
Also, these tests are not just limited to organizations, but they can also be used privately, for instance, by parents, to keep a check on their teenage child, or by a wife on her husband (by the way, men are within the bracket of one of the highest drug abusers), and more. The non dot drug test can also be taken for government employees.
Taking such tests, even though they are non DOT drug tests, on the part of the employee should be taken as a team building, motivational exercise, only to boost one's self-confidence and on the employer's part, it is indeed a very commendable and voluntary move taken by organizations to set up for the workplace a better environment.
At any level, be it a DOT drug screen, or a Non DOT drug test, one must not be reluctant to take the test. Once this fact is understood, the whole environment will change around us, only to tell us that we took the step for the better of not only ourselves, but also our folks, friends and co workers.