Drug and Alcohol Screening Benefits

drug alcohol screen benefitsDrug and alcohol screening can be very controversial, but there are a number of benefits that go along with the process. There are a number of occasions where drug testing is perfectly appropriate, such as a pre-employment measure for a job operating heavy equipment, or as a way of checking in on someone who is under parole for illegal substance use, or as a way of enforcing mental health treatment that someone entered into voluntarily. Having the option of drug and alcohol screening in these circumstances does the public good, as well as individuals. The benefits of drug and alcohol screening are as follows:

  • Ensuring safety. There are a number of jobs and tasks that people execute that can put people’s safety at risk if they are performed under the influence of a substance. Simple over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl can be dangerous to many jobs and tasks,which means that alcohol and narcotics are nothing short of life threatening when mixed with things like heavy equipment, driving or anything else that requires coordination. Having the option of drug testing people before they perform these tasks, if and when there is a legitimate need, is reassuring.
  • Containing criminality. One of the most common reasons to enforce a drug or alcohol screening is to catch people by surprise who are trying to get away with using substances illegally. I am not referring to a person who is smoking weed within the safety of their own home. I am referring to people who drive hammered, take PCP and lash out at others or get stoned and attempt endeavors that require coordination, endangering others. Knowing that the law may enforce drug and alcohol screens to catch these perpetrators as well as follow up with them after they have been caught is a positive use of a drug or alcohol screen.
  • Holding accountability. When a person has become so lost in their addiction or substance abuse that they are incapable of restraining themselves from it, they need to surrender their control to other people. Professionals who work at treatment centers need the authority to drug and alcohol screen clients to hold them accountable for their actions.

Occasions for Alcohol and Drug Screening

  • alcohol drug screen occasionsPre-employment measures. Many employers, particularly in the United States, practice drug screening as part of the interview process. Some practice alcohol screening as well, but much less commonly. The primary substance being tested for is THC. This chemical is the active ingredient in marijuana. It remains stored in the body’s fat cells far longer than any other substance. Although marijuana is becoming more accepted in the United States and Canada, many companies still enforce drug tests on employees because the company leaders are personally opposed to it.
  • Potential DUI. Police officers in most jurisdictions carry devices that screen for both alcohol intoxication and drug intoxication. Breathalyzer tests have long been toted by police officers to screen for alcohol impairment, but drug tests that can be administered to drivers are a more recent trend. Typically they come in the form of cheek swabs which can usually tell what narcotics the person has used recently.
  • Court orders. When someone is on parole, house arrest or some other court ordered form of reporting to authorities, they are frequently ordered to submit to drug and alcohol screenings to monitor their sobriety. These are necessary ways of gauging whether or not a person is following their substance related court orders.
  • Drug and alcoholic treatment centers. If a person has committed to addiction or substance abuse treatment, it is likely that they have signed a contract allowing themselves to be screened randomly for drugs or alcohol. This is part of submitting to the control of mental health specialists. They need to be able to intervene into their client’s lives as needed.
  • Self testing. Many people self test out of sheer curiosity for how they will score. Most people who do this have recently used a narcotic or have drank alcohol and want to know how they would score if a screen were enforced upon them. People can exercise this option by buying a screening test at a local pipe shop, head shop or drug paraphernalia shop.