Disadvantages of Drug Testing

Published: 21st July 2009
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Unless you are an employer, chances are that you can think of several disadvantages of drug testing. Although companies and employers view it as a valuable tool, the majority of employees feel that there are only disadvantages. The first advantage that employers see in testing is that it gives them control. Drug testing allows employers to evaluate potential or current employees based on activities that they participate in outside of the workplace. Additionally, the other advantage most employers see is the cost efficiency. Unlike many areas within companies, it is one investment that is relatively inexpensive. Although employers may see these and other factors as advantages of drug testing, the majority of employees only see the disadvantages.
The first and most obvious disadvantage of testing is the obvious invasion of privacy it presents. Although the process of mandating drug tests for employees has been held up in various courts of law, the entire process still feels like an invasion of privacy for most individuals. This disadvantage is so noticeable because employee testing violates privacy on various levels. For many, the whole concept is nothing more than a way for employers to judge current or future employees based on what they do in their personal time. Although these activities have no impact on that person's ability to work, companies still have the right to pry into this area of their employees' personal lives. In addition to the concept of drug testing feeling like an invasion of privacy, the actual process of drug testing is normally very uncomfortable. If you are required to undergo urine testing, you will be forced to give a urine sample in the presence of another individual. This lack of privacy makes the entire process very uncomfortable.
In addition to the most obvious disadvantage of drug testing, there are other facts about drug testing that most people see as disadvantages. For many people, the idea of urinating in a cup is rather humiliating. Even though this is the only way the company can collect a urine sample, it is not always the most sanitary method. For most employees, a loss of privacy and sanitary conditions are just two of the disadvantages.
Although employers normally only see the advantages, there is one main disadvantage of drug testing that they commonly overlook. Although testing can give employers control over any individual within their company, it can also cause a backlash. Because many employees are against this so much, an employer who forces their employees to undergo this process may be disliked immensely. This can cause employees to be less responsive to instruction from their superiors.
Overall, the the majority of employees within any company feel that the disadvantages of drug testing greatly outweighs the advantages. For employers who choose to enforce a testing policy, it is important to consider the consequences that could surface as a result of a stringent policy.

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