Pubdate: Thu, 31 Jan 2002
Source: Rolling Stone (US)
Copyright: 2002 Straight Arrow Publishers Company, L.P.
Author: Erika Casril
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


Casual drug users and non-drug users are equally as likely to get and keep 
a job, according to a recent University of Miami study funded by the Robert 
Wood Johnson Foundation.

"Chronic drug users are more likely to have employment difficulties than 
casual drug users," says lead researcher Dr. Michael French, "so the 
economic payoff in the workplace could be much greater if employers and 
policy-makers focused on the problematic, as opposed to the non-problematic 
or casual, drug user, in the same way that they focus on the problematic, 
as opposed to the casual drinker."

Although the study did not address drug testing, it supplies ammunition to 
those who maintain that testing does not prevent unsafe situations, like a 
school bus driver who doesn't sleep at night. A more reliable method to 
evaluate current and potential employees, argues Lewis Maltbly, president 
of the National Workrights Institute, is performance testing, which checks 
a person's vision, reflexes and coordination. "The evidence generally shows 
that drug testing does little or nothing to improve safety and 
productivitiy," he says.
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