Following Your Doctor's Orders Could Cost You Your Job

Last year the percentage of American employees who test positive for prescription opiate drugs increased by 18%. In fact, since 2005 it has risen by 40%. Now, more of these instances were involving employees who had been in a job related accident than those who were screened before hire, but that fact shouldnt surprise anyone. However, with a rise in drug abuse that includes far more than street drugs, employers are taking note and screening their employees for prescription drugs that could alter their performance. While good in theory for those abusing drugs like this, there are plenty of Americans who are prescribed medications and take them to deal with daily pain who are beginning to suffer for those who are just out for a high.   Take Sue Bates for example. Sue had been taking hydrocodone for back pain for quite some time, as legally prescribed by her doctor. However, her employer is one of the many companies who have shifted their drug testing policies to include narcotics and opiates. Though Sue had a legal prescription for her pain meds, she was terminated for breaking their drug policy.   Bates was simply following her doctors and paid the price that under most circumstances is owed by drug abusers. Both sides of the argument have valid points. The executive director of the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace stated “Given the liability for industrial accidents or product defects or workplace injuries involving prescription drug abuse, employers cannot afford not to address the issue.”   Some consideration should be taken though for those dealing with real pain. If this is going to be a continuing problem among employers, then programs should be available for their employees with issues of this nature.   What say you, readers? Sound off in the comments section below!  

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