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Screening For Drug Use: Technical and Social Aspects

NCJ Number
Issues in Science and Technology Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Dated: (Winter 1987) Pages: 36-45
J Grabowski; L Lasagna
Date Published
10 pages
This article focuses on the practical aspects of drug screening and the serious concerns raised about this practice.
Americans in both government and the private sector face the likelihood of being tested for drug use as a prerequisite to getting and keeping a job. Drug screening programs rely on tests that are expensive and can be highly inaccurate if not performed properly. Also, some legitimate prescription drugs or over-the-counter remedies contain substances that can produce false positive test results for illicit drug use. Drug tests should be undertaken with the view that they are biobehavioral/medical evaluations and not simply fear-reducing deterrents. Testing for drugs in the fashion proposed by some advocates could have major unforeseen consequences, including discouraging people from using appropriate therapeutic drugs and shifting some population subgroups from drug abuse to alcohol abuse. 7 footnotes.


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