Pubdate: Fri, 19 May 2000
Date: 05/19/2000
Source: Arlington Morning News (TX)
Author: Myron Von Hollingsworth
Re: "There are better ways to judge leadership," Letters From Readers (May

From the very first "drug test" to the present, the very nature of the
methods used for "screening" reduce these "tests" to nothing more than
"lifestyle testing." Furthermore, only certain lifestyles result in a
"failure" of these tests.

It's not about public safety or employee safety, and it is not about
identifying true real-time impairment of employees - it's about fear,
control and oppression. My former employer blatantly practiced "random
enforcement of their random lifestyle testing policy" depending on who
you were and how important you were to the company.

I quit my management position after 10 years for that reason

Moreover, the most popular methods of testing (urine, blood and hair)
do not measure true, "real time" impairment. They only measure
non-psychoactive metabolites that can be present days or weeks after
the effects of substances have subsided. ("Soft" drugs remain
"visible" longer than "hard" drugs-prompting people to use the more
damaging, addictive and deadly substances - like alcohol - to avoid
detection.) What we have is a flawed system whereby a majority of
impaired people aren't detected until after they have hurt or killed
someone else or themselves. Meanwhile, those who would have other
individuals submit to the tests claim "it may not be a fair or
effective test but it is all we have."

This excuse/dilemma will no longer hold water.

Saliva testing will prove to be cheaper (probably a great deal cheaper
as currently used methods can average $60 and up per test). Those
truly interested in the "bottom line" will have the chance to prove

Saliva testing will be simpler (it can be performed by almost anyone
with chain of custody problems being next to nil).

Saliva testing will be much less time consuming (it can be
administered onsite-before and even after a shift-instead of having to
drive people to the "clinic").

Most importantly, saliva testing will measure and indicate, without a
doubt, what employers, insurers and others in "authority" say they
fervently require and want: true, current, real time, up to the minute
impairment of individuals.

The media need to keep this story in the news and publicize the
efficacy and popularity of this new technology as it develops in order
to expose those who are justifiably concerned for the safety and
well-being of individuals and societies.

Then, those who use current methods merely as instruments of
intimidation, punishment, control, fear and terror against one's
lifestyle will be exposed for what they are and what they have chosen.

Whereas we must choose between living in a free society or a drug-free
society - it will be obvious that they have chosen the latter while
betraying and forsaking the former.

Myron Von Hollingsworth,
Fort Worth