Cocaine pp 167-182 | Cite as

The Role of Drug Testing

  • Mark S. Gold
Part of the Drugs of Abuse book series (DOAC, volume 3)


Perhaps the most controversial drug-related issue to originate in the 1980s concerned drug testing. In 1982, a National Institute on Drug Abuse booklet on employee drug abuse failed to even mention the subject of drug screens; by 1990, over 60% of 1000 companies conducted some form of employee drug testing.1 This increase in drug testing emanated from an increasing awareness of the deleterious effects that drug use inflicts on businesses in the form of increased health care costs, greater safety risks, increased employee theft, and decreased productivity. Consider the following:
  • As many as 65% of the young people entering the work force have used illegal drugs.2

  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that one out of eight workers between the ages of 26 and 35 abuse drugs, including alcohol, while at work.3

  • For younger workers aged 18 and 25, the numbers are even higher: 20% use drugs on the job.3

  • Drug users incur medical costs that on average are three times as high as the rest of a company’s employees.

  • Drug users are absent from work twice as often as nonusing employees.4

  • Users are five times as likely to be involved in accidents when off the job.4

  • Contrary to the beliefs of many people, the majority of drug users are employed (see Figure 8.1).


Drug User Drug Testing Drug Screen Employee Assist National Drug Control Policy 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark S. Gold
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Neuroscience and PsychiatryUniversity of Florida College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA

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