Laboratory testing of urine has become commonplace. Urine drug tests are administered by a wide range of private companies utilizing laboratories of varying quality and technicians with a wide variety of skills. Many things can skew urine drug tests. One obvious problem is the way an individual laboratory monitors the correct collection of the person being tested.
Another is the quality of the urine specimens that are collected, contamination, the effect of transportation delays and variables including the issue of having multiple people handling and storing the specimen. Problems of dilution or adulteration of samples of urine drug tests cannot be underestimated. Follow up testing should be part of the procedure so that adulterated urine samples can be detected.
These private companies that administer urine drug tests are in business to make money. They have a vested interest in participating in a concerted effort by certain government agencies and certain politicians and religious leaders to foist drug testing on as many people as possible. They have sold this intrusive and dubious plan through scare tactics often involving the fear of lost workplace productivity or workplace safety.
It may be a simple coincidence that widespread use of urine drug tests administered to civilian workers with no prior history of drug use or increased rates of accidents or poor productivity blossomed in the Orwellian significant date of 1984.
In 1984 Judy Bruntan and Bob Angerola published a study that suggested that drug users were over four times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident, absent at a rate 2.5 times that of non drug users, filed workmans compensation claims at a rate 5 times that of non users and other statistics that seemed to give scientific credence and credibility to the notion that drug use by workers was a serious safety and productivity problem.
But a closer look at the methodology of their supposed scientific study was simply proof that, as the famous statesmen Benjamin Disraeli stated “There are three kinds of lies. Lies, infamous lies and statistics.
A few years later, a United States Chamber of Commerce official testified in the United States House of Representatives regarding drug use and called for urine drug tests to be administerd by employers. The official noted that recreational drug users were two point.three times more likely to seek time off, three point seven times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident and other similar statements, all taken from the original flawd studies of Bruntan and Angerola.
What was the methodology used to determine these drug statistics? Where are other scientific studies that confirm those statistics? Not surprisingly there are none.
There are other examples of these type of statistics that have become urban legends. For example, a study by the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company that is purported to come to the conclusion that “drug users were five times more likely to file a Worker’s Compensation Claim and they received three times the average level of sick benefits” is often quoted. However, that study has never been published and is thus not open to peer review.
Companies give urine drug tests to many types of employees and under many different conditions. There are many circumstances that can cause urine drug tests and their results to be worthless. Furthermore urine drug testing and other forms of drug tests are a multi million dollar industry that rests of lies, infamous lies and dubious statistics.