Random Drug Testing for All? The Chilling Proposal That Could Eradicate Your Privacy

The practice of random drug testing has become popularized in both the workplace and in public schools. But according to a recently released paper by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the controversial practice is, at present, “underutilized” and ought to be expanded to include people of all ages in virtually all aspects of daily life.

The white paper, authored by former United States National Institute on Drug Abuse Director (and present-day drug testing consultant and profiteer) Robert Dupont (along with input from staffers at various drug testing labs and corporations) argues: “The major need today is the wider and smarter use of the currently available drug testing technologies and practices. … This White Paper encourages wider and ‘smarter’ use of drug testing within the practice of medicine and, beyond that, broadly within American society. Smarter drug testing means increased use of random testing rather than the more common scheduled testing, and it means testing not only urine but also other matrices such as blood, oral fluid (saliva), hair, nails, sweat and breath.”

ASAM’s paper calls for the expanded use of random drug screening among patients undergoing palliative care as well as those seeking emergency medical treatment, psychiatric treatment or obstetric care. Adolescent patients, as well as geriatric patients – “The geriatric population has been the target of drug dealers, who may even take them to medical appointments and then trade prescriptions for cash,” it alleges – also ought to be targeted for increased drug test monitoring. “Drug testing (in clinical settings) needs to become as common in medical practice as clinical diagnostic testing is in the management of hypertension and diabetes,” Dupont writes. (This outcome seems unlikely since most testing in clinical settings would arguably need to be voluntary. To date, the Supreme Court has only upheld mandatory random drug screening to apply to certain safety-sensitive public employees and/or public school students engaged in athletics or other extra-curricular activities.)

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.