Behavior and drug

Drug use and addiction are not new problems in the community, and are as old as human kind. Human beings have always had a desire to eat or drink substances that make them feel relaxed, stimulated, or euphoric. However, it is known that using drugs or substances may cause harmful or destructive effects to both the user as well as the surrounding community. The consequences or the harmful effects of drugs may depend on the type and quantity of the drug, the duration of drug use, and/or the metabolic states of the particular individual.

Addiction to drugs or substances can influence society in different ways. For example, in the workplace, they can adversely affect attendance and decrease productivity. Workplace accidents are also more common among drug abusers and can pose a danger to self or others (Crouch et al. 1342-1353). They may also increase the likelihood of workplace theft, or adversely impact public relations, corporate image, legal liability and, above all, safety. Ultimately, pre-employment drug testing programs are thought to lead to safer, drug-free workplaces, higher employee morale and increased public trust.

Specific effects of drug testing on these undesirable outcomes are increased absenteeism, accidents, high employee turnover and some other ones. Increased work absenteeism is the most frequent outcome reported among employees who use drugs. A study of pre-employment drug testing in the US Postal Services showed, after 1. 3 years of employment, that employees who had tested positive for illicit drugs use at the time they were hired had a mean absence rate of 6. 6 percent of hours worked, which was 60 percent higher than among employees who initially tested negative.

When examined by type of drug, it was found that employees who tested positive for marijuana were 1. 5 times more likely, and employees who tested positive for cocaine were more than 4 times as likely as employees who tested negative, to be heavy leave users (Normand 111-138). An association between drug use and accidents in the transportation industry has been reported, because it has attracted special attention by media and also because of its strong association with high numbers of casualties.

Impairment from alcohol and other drugs was determined to be a factor in 87% of cases in which the driver tested positive for drugs (Crouch et al. 1342- 1353). A number of studies have addressed the issue of turnover and job instability among drug users. One study examined relationships between pre-employment illicit drug use and turnover among military recruits. In a study by Blank and Fenton, 1052 naval recruits were tested for marijuana and other illicit drugs before recruitment. At the time of recruitment the sailors were not rejected if they had a positive test for marijuana.

A similar number of marijuana-negative recruits were selected as the control group. After 2. 5 years, 81% of the marijuana negative group and 57% of marijuana positive were still active in the Navy, a significant difference. In addition, 14% and 21% of these two groups, respectively, had left the Navy because of alcohol, other drug problems and/or behavioral problems (Blank and Fenton 139-150). The Lehman study in 1990 of employee substance use and on-the-job performance showed significant relationships between job satisfaction and drug use.

Employees with lower satisfaction scores were more likely than employees with higher satisfaction to report less job performance. They also indicated more frequently that the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs seriously affected their ability to work (Lehman and Simpson 309-22) Drug use has also been associated with various other job outcome measures, including counterproductive behaviors such as theft, vandalism and purposely doing work incorrectly, job withdrawal behavior, low productivity and difficult interpersonal relations at work (Mangione and Quinn 114-116).

Evidently, people who use drugs regularly can become addicted. Since there are restrictions on obtaining drugs, drug users often resort to every possible means to acquire them. These include fabricating symptoms to get drugs through a physician. People with easy access to drugs, such as those working in hospitals, medical clinics or laboratories that manufacture drugs, may be vulnerable to eventual drug use. Legal medications may also be used in an illicit way or abused when not prescribed for the right reasons or medical conditions.

Consequently, pre-employment drug testing can play an important role in limiting the use of drugs by preemptively identifying persons already engaged in the use of illicit substances; therefore, mandatory on the job drug test should be allowed. Works Cited Blank D. L. , Fenton J. W. “Early employment testing for marijuana: Demographic and employee retention patterns. ” NIDA Research Monograph, 91, 1989. Crouch D. J. , Birky M. M. , Gust S. W. , et al. “The prevalence of drugs and alcohol in fatally injured truck drivers.

” Journal of Forensic Science, 38, 1993. Lehman W. E. , Simpson D. D. “Employee substance use and on-the –job performance municipal employee from the large city. ” Journal of Applied Psycology, 77(3), 1992 June. Mangione T. W. , Quinn R. P. “Job satisfaction, counterproductive behavior, and drug use at work. ” Journal of Applied Psychology, 60, 1975. Normand, Salyards S. “An empirical evaluation of preemployment drug testing in the United States postal service: Interim report of findings. ” NIDA Research Monograph, 91, 1989.

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