Pubdate: Wed, 11 Apr 2001
Source: Goldstream Gazette (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 Goldstream Gazette
Author: By Myron Von Hollingsworth


Editor's note: The following is in response to a News Gazette editorial.

From the very first "drug test" to the present, the very nature of the
methods used for "screening" reduce these "tests" to nothing more than
"lifestyle testing." Furthermore, only certain lifestyles result in a
"failure" of these tests. It's not about public safety or employee safety
and it is not about identifying true real-time impairment of employees.

It's about fear, control and oppression. My former employer blatantly
practised "random enforcement" of their "random lifestyle testing policy,"
depending on who you were and how important you were to the company. I quit
my management position after 10 years for that reason alone.

Moreover, the most popular methods of testing (urine, blood and hair) do not
measure true, "real time" impairment. They only measure non-psychoactive
metabolites that can be present days or weeks after the effects of
substances have subsided. ("Soft" drugs remain "visible" longer than "hard"
drugs - prompting people to use the more damaging, addictive and deadly
substances - like alcohol - to avoid detection.)

What we have is a flawed system whereby a majority of impaired people aren't
detected until after they have hurt or killed someone else or themselves.

However, many unimpaired individuals involved in accidents are
fired/prosecuted because they "tested" positive for something that took
place days or weeks ago.

Meanwhile, those who would have other individuals submit to the tests claim
"it may not be a fair or effective test but it is all we have." This
excuse/dilemma will no longer hold water. Saliva testing will prove to be
cheaper (current methods can average U.S. $60 and up per test). Those truly
interested in the "bottom line" will have the chance to prove it.

Saliva testing will be simpler (it can be performed by almost anyone, with
chain of custody problems being next to nil).

Saliva testing will be much less time consuming (it can be administered
onsite - before and even after a shift - instead of having to drive people
to the "clinic").

Most importantly, saliva testing will measure and indicate, without a doubt,
what employers, insurers and others in "authority" say they fervently
require and want: true, current, real time, up-to-the minute impairment of

The media needs to keep this story in the news and publicize the efficacy
and popularity of this new technology as it develops in order to expose
those who are justifiably concerned for the safety and well being of
individuals and societies. Then, those who use current methods merely as
instruments of intimidation, punishment, control, fear and terror against
one's lifestyle will be exposed for what they are.

Whereas we must choose between living in a free society or a drug-free
society, it will be obvious they have chosen the latter while betraying and
forsaking the former.

- -Myron Von Hollingsworth, Fort Worth, Texas
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