Pubdate: Wed, 21 Aug 2002
Source: Daily Independent, The (KY)
Copyright: 2002 The Daily Independent, Inc.
Author: Myron Von Hollingsworth


In regards to the city of Greenup's plans to initiate random drug tests for 
some employees, 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.

Moreover, the most popular methods of testing (urine, sweat, 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.

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 while, at the same time, many unimpaired individuals involved in 
accidents may be fired/prosecuted because they ``tested" positive for 
something that took place days or weeks ago on their own time.

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 will no longer hold water.

Saliva testing will prove to be cheaper, simpler and less time consuming. 
Most important, saliva testing will measure what employers, insurers and 
others in ``authority" say they want: up-to-the-minute impairment of 

The media needs 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.

Myron Von Hollingsworth
Fort Worth, Tex.
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