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Drug Testing - What happens if I fail?

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If you fail a workplace drug test your employer will likely take disciplinary action against you which could lead to you being fired. It is important for you to read your employment agreement carefully so you are aware of what the implications are for you if you were to fail a workplace drug test.


The more common drug tests are:

•    pre-employment testing – testing job applicants for drug use,
•    random testing – testing employees on a random basis, with or without cause and with or without notice,
•    periodic testing, carried out at specific times, for example, if employees have an annual medical examination
•    post-incident testing, carried out after certain events or on-the-job incidents have occurred, work-related accidents included
•    testing on reasonable suspicion, where the employer has a reasonable cause to suspect drug use based on an employee’s actions, behaviour or appearance, and
•    post-treatment testing – testing an employee after counselling, rehabilitation or treatment for any drug problem, including drug dependency.



Where would drug testing be done?

Drug testing can take place in any kind of professional practice, like a doctor’s clinic. All testing should be carried out by a trained professional such as a registered nurse or a trained laboratory person.



What is allowed to be in your system to pass a drug test?

The only time you can pass a test with drugs in your system is if you can prove these are drugs that have been prescribed to you by a medical doctor, dispensed by a pharmacist, are current, and for which you have followed the stated dose accurately. If you are taking drugs that do not fall in to these categories, then the best bet is to stop taking them, so that you can be confident in breezing through the test.



Drugs in Sport

A big problem in sport, especially at a professional level today, is people using performance-enhancing drugs to help improve athletic performance. Many sports have banned their use.

In fact in most cases, to gain entry at a high level of sports such as the Olympics, you must undergo a drug test.  Many representative sports also require you to take a drug test upon joining a team. This is a good thing because it means there is equality for athletes and it promotes the image of sports as being "clean" and "doping-free" in the public arena.



Drug testing Procedure

Before you take a drug test the person enforcing the test should explain how the testing will be carried out, the procedure that will take place, the procedure for consenting to testing and the consequences of refusing consent. Make sure you take into account that each work place or sports team is different and all deal with situations differently. They should also inform you on the type of testing and the possible outcomes.

All throughout the process you are entitled to your rights to privacy, and information gathered as a result of these tests is to be kept confidential.