Is Drug Testing the Answer?
With thousands of people dying of overdoses every year, it is apparent that one of the world’s biggest persistent problems is drug use. In Indonesia’s mainstream media, we can see that artists, politicians, and even those who are in authority are caught using, buying, or in possession of illegal drugs.
With this, we interviewed an individual working in one of Indonesia’s private rehabilitation centers to understand further about the country’s drug problem.
Recognizing Illegal Drug Users
The recent pandemic has forced the citizens to adapt to a new way of living causing thousands of people to feel more stressed than ever. Due to this stress, our source confirmed that there has been a surge of new users recently. Our source further informed that everyone from the age of 13-50 is capable of using drugs. People who fall under the age range of 17-50 are classified as Drug Users. Most drugs that they use are crystal meth, weed, and cocaine, with the latter being common for more affluent people. Based on our source, there are two reasons why people use illegal drugs: stress and recreation. With this information, we can infer that workers are at risk of drug abuse.
For drug users who use it due to stress, some have anti-depressants, while others are using illegal drugs. Meanwhile, the ones who use drugs for recreational purposes mostly know how many pills they can take before they get addicted. They are also capable of flushing the drugs out of their system before they go to work.
The negative effects of drug abuse in workplaces
A study entitled “A Substance Use Cost Calculator for US Employers With an Emphasis on Prescription Pain Medication Misuse” explained that alcohol and drug abuse by employees causes many costly problems for businesses and industries ranging from lost productivity, injuries, and increased health insurance claims.
In Indonesia, the results of the National Narcotics Agency’s research in collaboration with the Center for Health Research of University Indonesia in 2011 showed that the prevalence of drug abusers in Indonesia (among the population aged 10 – 59 years) was projected to increase every year. Of approximately 4.2 million drug abusers in Indonesia, 70% of the abusers (equivalent to 2,940,000 people) were the workforce. Drug abuse in the workplace created various problems for both abusers, colleagues, and workplace leaders. Economic and social losses arising from the impact of drug abuse in 2011 amounted to Rp. 48.2 trillion.
In fact, drug abuse by workers in the service industry has put the lives of others at risk. Several publicized public transport accidents, particularly plane crashes, were indicated to have ties with the use of drugs.
Citing Merdeka.com (12/1/2017), in at least five years, there have been findings that four pilots have abused drugs. The Head of the National Narcotics Agency, Budi Waseso, said that almost all plane crash incidents in Indonesia during the period were caused by the pilot using drugs.
As for America, from 2010 to 2015, the FAA noted that there were 64 pilots who violated the prohibition on alcohol and drugs. Throughout 2015, there were about 1,500 personnel responsible for aviation safety, including 38 pilots, who tested positive for drugs.
Drug Testing for All Employees is the Answer
It is tough to determine if your co-worker or employee is using illegal drugs because drugs affect everyone differently. In most instances, users conduct a research to figure out the maximum dosage they can take to avoid addiction. They might also use drugs on and off.
Drug Testing for employees is therefore beneficial for a company to which the source also agrees. Through the test results, a company can immediately identify the employees who use illegal drugs and those with prescription medication. But, the source also highlights that the company should at least allow the employees to be rehabilitated to get the help that they need. The company should not stigmatize these people since most illegal drug users are already victims and are highly in need of proper help.
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