Home > Drug Testing, Drug-Free Workplace > Do You Employ Teens? Drug Test Them.

Do You Employ Teens? Drug Test Them.

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Employ a teen? Consider drug testing.

The Partnership for Drug Free America recently released a study with shocking figures:  1 in 10 teens smoke marijuana. This number has skyrocketed since 2008 and has many alarmed. And with good reason. Not only are more teens now trying marijuana than cigarettes, but they also view this illegal drug as “normal” and no big deal. Blame it on poor parenting, the media or even a 70’s resurgence but one thing is clear – we’ve got a pot smoking problem on our hands.

What’s the Big Deal if Teens Smoke Weed?

If you’re from the “hippie days” you might not think this is a big problem. Outside of the fact drug use for anyone, especially teens, is still illegal in our country, it’s also producing unwanted side effects we will see in the years to come. For the physical side effects, long-term marijuana use can:

  • Distort perception
  • Hijack concentration
  • Create problems with learning and memory
  • Interrupt thinking
  • Increase anxiety and depression
  • Lead to addiction of future (and even more harmful) drugs
    (source: DrugAbuse.gov)

For the mental and emotional side of things, teens hooked on pot now may struggle in the future from addiction. This will lead to a less-qualified workforce and fewer applicants for long-term, stable jobs.

Can I Drug Test Teens?

If you’re employing someone of legal age to work for you, you have the right to send them in for drug testing. Several in the DOT industries must abide by regular drug testing of employees, but from what I see in my Worcester walk-in lab, I’d say every employer with teens on the payroll needs drug testing. Statistics show it’s becoming highly likely that your teen employee is using drugs. And the thing is that if they aren’t smoking pot, their friends probably are, and what’s to say they won’t eventually try it. By implementing drug testing at your workplace for any teen, it might act as a deterrent for them to try weed.

As we learned a few weeks ago with the Dairy Queen incident, your employees getting in trouble with drugs can happen at any time. Especially if you have teen employees, be smart and implement drug testing. Statistics show, you’ll probably need it eventually.

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