Compliance » New Workplace Drug Problem Not Detected By Standard Test

New Workplace Drug Problem Not Detected By Standard Test

DRUGS PILLS 39062878 420

April 27, 2015

A serious new workplace drug problem has emerged, and it has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana, writes Fisher & Phillips attorney A. Kevin Troutman. The drugs are opioid painkillers, which include hydrocodone and oxycodone. They have become widely prescribed, widely abused, and they are dangerous. Deaths associated with opiod abuse are now more common than from heroin and cocaine combined. In the workplace, added danger stems from the fact users are likely to be less capable of operating heavy machinery or vehicles. The problem for employers is compounded because the conventional five-panel drug test does not detect opiods, and because their use is sometimes associated with conditions protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The writer provides some advice for employers about what they can do to address the issue in terms of testing and education, while remaining in compliance and respecting employee rights.

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