May 12th, 2010
There has always been a drug problem in US. Before the youth boom drug abuse in 1960s it still existed, but didn’t draw too much of public attention. Number of drugs that are illegal today (e.g. heroin) were widely used and available over-the-counter in the early part of the XX century.
In the late 1980s drug testing came into play as part of the “War on Drugs” campaign by the Reagan administration. Standards for drug testing in the workplace, school and in sports were established at that time. Despite protests from civil rights activists, many companies, especially those that were involved in industries where workers under the influence of an illegal substance could harm other workers or impose any kind of danger, began testing for drugs. Later on, random drug testing for workers in the Department of Transportation became mandatory.
Prior to 1990s drivers were often tested for alcohol, but not drugs when involved in an accident or other probable cause. At this time drug tests became stricter and easier – saliva tests began to be used by police as a way to test for drugs right there and then. Less intrusive saliva test gave quick and as accurate results as urine drug test.
Nowadays, many companies require a pre-employee drug screening following up an interview. It has become a routine process: most companies collect either urine, hair or saliva samples to detect illegal substance abuse.
Today, home drug testing devices are available to the general public. You can test yourself in the privacy of your own home now!