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Substance Use Policies Violate Employee Rights (by Byron Wood).

Updated: Jun 13

If you work in a safety sensitive occupation such as nursing, aviation, law, or the trades, and your employer suspects that you have a substance use problem, you will be thrown to the wolves. This is what will likely happen to you: You will be required to see a physician for an addiction assessment. Your employer will choose the physician that you have to see. Regardless of the severity of your substance use problem and whether or not it has impacted the workplace, the physician will demand that you completely and indefinitely abstain from taking any psychoactive drugs. You may be required to stop taking medications that you are using to treat a mental illnesses such as anxiety disorder. You will not be allowed to take over the counter medications to treat colds, headaches, allergies and other illnesses. You may even be discouraged from taking medications that you are using to treat an illness such as a bipolar disorder. Abstinence will be enforced through random drug testing which will cost you over $10,000 a year. The random drug testing could occur at any time, and is enforced even when you are on vacation. You will only be allowed to attend certain private clinics for the drug testing, so depending on where you live you may have to drive an hour or more to get to the clinic which will disrupt your work schedule and private life. When you submit to a drug test, somebody will stand beside you and watch the urine come out of your body which is both humiliating and harmful. You may have to blow into a breathalyzer dozens of times a day. Toothpaste, breath fresheners, body lotions, perfumes, hand sanitizers, house hold cleaners, certain foods and certain medications may result in false positives, which will result in punitive action against you. If you have a substance