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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 155013 Find in a Library
Title: Ethical Issues in Mandatory Drug Testing
Author(s): C B Cohen
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 13
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the ethical issues involved in mandatory drug testing of employees or prospective employees concludes that educational programs and other approaches to drug abuse would be preferable because they do not invade the privacy, liberty, and dignity of large numbers of individuals, the vast majority of whom are not drug abusers.
Abstract: Testing for illegal drugs appears to provide a quick solution for the complex problems of drug abuse. Unfortunately, testing does little to address the social problem of drug abuse in our society, although it does reinforce the illusion that we are doing something about it. Drug tests are not completely accurate, and applying mass screening programs will produce more problems than it will resolve. The ethical issues relate to the possible goals of drug testing programs: (1) ensuring the safety of others, (2) ensuring the safety of individuals who use drugs, (3) deterring potential drug users, and (4) preserving the integrity of businesses. Among the ethical issues are how to weigh individual freedom and privacy against the needs of society, the undermining of the presumption of innocence, and obligations of employers to the well-being and protection of their employees, A further issue is whether the goal should be deterrence and punishment or rehabilitation and treatment. 18 references
Main Term(s): Drug testing
Index Term(s): Drug prevention programs; Employer-employee relations; Legal privacy protection
Note: DCC
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