Should I Stop Drug Testing?

 Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes


  • You don’t have to stop doing drug testing if you want to drug test for other drugs besides marijuana or drugs that you don’t care if your applicants are doing
  • By using drug panels you have the ability to customize your drug testing so you don’t have to completely get rid of it. Just customize it to drugs that you care about.
  • As the use of cocaine and opioids continue to grow, it might not be the best route to just completely stop drug testing

What does Bob Marley, Snoop Dogg, and Willie Nelson all have in common? You’re about to say they all have long hair, right? Well you wouldn’t be wrong, but something else that you may have thought of is that they also all have reputations for smoking marijuana. And if you didn’t guess that, well, surprise! Years ago they were amongst the few to advocate smoking marijuana, but now, we live in a whole new world. People are smoking marijuana openly, medical reasons, and the industry is growing every day. And your drug testing has to grow with it.

Why You Would Want To Stop Drug Testing

So why would you want to stop drug testing?  Is it because Washington D.C and eight states have legalized marijuana? Is it because 60% of Americans believe it should be legalized?   Or how about because Canada just legalized marijuana for their entire country? Hmm, okay, I could see why you would want to stop drug testing. From the looks of it, the legalization for marijuana is right around the corner! But…what about other drugs?

Opioids, heroin, and cocaine these drugs continue to be on the rise. Did you know that every day more than 115 people in the US die from an opioid overdose? Want more statistics? Check out these stats from the NIH (National Institute on Drug Abuse):

  • Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
  • Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
  • An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
  • About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
  • Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states.
  • The Midwestern region saw opioid overdoses increase 70 percent from July 2016 through September 2017.
  • Opioid overdoses in large cities increase by 54 percent in 16 states.

Can you believe those are just the stats for opioids? The stats for heroin and cocaine aren’t any better.


And according to a survey from the Washington Post , 1 in 20 American adults ages 18 to 25 used cocaine in 2015 with the highest percentage concentrated in the Northeast. And studies from the foundation for a drug – free world tells us this:

  • An estimated 9.2 million people in the world use heroin.
  • Mainly heroin accounts for 18% of the admissions for drug and alcohol treatment in the US.
  • In the young adult population (18-25 years old), heroin use doubled between 2002 and 2013.

But why am I telling you all of this? Is it to scare you into drug testing? Actually, no, it’s not. What I want to do is inform you on the continued need for drug testing that goes way beyond just marijuana.

“Robert, I don’t care if my employees are smoking weed on their free time. Since I don’t want to test for that I just don’t want to test for any of it. I’m not trying to pay for that.”

Oh, come on. It’s 2018…you really think you still can’t have it your way?

What Are Panels?

Panels! Coming in strong to save the day. Alright,  we have a lot to unpack here…so lets dive right into it! What are panels? Well panels deal with drug testing. In drug testing you can’t just take one test and have it magically reveal every drug that the person has taken. Every drug has a different makeup and each panel has the ability to identify a specific one. So testing for multiple drugs means you need multiple panels. You’d use one panel to test for maybe, cocaine or opioids. Whatever you want, really. But still not clear on things? Well let me give you an example.

Maintaining A Drug Free Workplace
The Companion Guide

The topic of Drug Testing is a tricky labyrinth to navigate these days. Let us help with the directions.

My Trip At The Dollar Tree

Recently I went to my local Dollar Tree (everything’s a dollar, it’s like my version of Target) to pick up some cups for a get together I was hosting. As I was walking down the aisles heading for my cups I run across a drug testing kit for marijuana. I first wondered why the heck they’re selling that at a Dollar Tree, but after getting past that I realized something…That drug testing kit was similar to a panel because it only tested for marijuana. If you were to use a Dollar Tree drug testing kit for marijuana it wouldn’t reveal if that person has done any other drugs. Panels are the same way. If you wanted to test for multiple drugs you’d have to buy multiple Dollar Tree drug testing kits that’ll test for all the other drugs you’d want to know if your applicant has used. Panels are the same way.

The Future of Drug Testing

Drug testing pretty much took a page from how Burger King does it…no I don’t mean using a creepy king as their spokesperson. I’m talking about how they allow you to have things your way! Drug testing essentially does the same. You get the power! When creating a drug testing program you have the ability to pick what you want your candidates drug tested for. Don’t care about your employees doing marijuana, but don’t want them doing cocaine? Then there’s a drug testing program for you!

Because of panels, you have control over what your applicants are getting tested for. So before you completely throw out drug testing, remember this little tid bit – if there’s a drug you want to remove or add to your test, there’s a panel for that.

Closing Thoughts

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