I have been drug tested many times over the years as a job requirement and it never fails to irritate me.
I never sweat failing the test. While nicotine, caffeine and occasionally alcohol will be found, I am quite clean of illicit drugs.
Despite my not using any drugs, I find this testing to be intrusive and annoying to say the least.
While testing has been around for quite some years now, I can safely say that it has had no impact on substance abuse that admittedly is pretty rampant in some sectors of the oilfield.
I am not eager to work next to a person who is stoned and could make a dangerous mistake. The drug testing does nothing to reduce this however. For one, the test does not determine if the drugs were used in the workplace. A person who smoked a joint a few weekends ago is not going to be dangerous to me today because of it. The other thing I have found is that the potheads in the field are really not a problem.
Over the years I have had to deal with problems due to substance abuse by workers in the field. Never have I had to bail a pot smoker out of jail due to starting a bar brawl. Never have I had to try and drag an unconscious pot smoker covered in their own vomit and feces from their hotel room in order to try and put them on a bus. I have not dealt with pot smokers so messed up from their indulgences the night before that they could not go to the field for the day. I have not seen a couple of pot smokers beat each other nearly to death in a camp room due to smoking some joints.
I have seen all of the above examples caused by people drinking too much of course. The drug testing does nothing to address this reality either.
Oilfield safety has turned into an industry unto itself. I spend countless hours per year keeping my safety tickets up to date as the requirements grow and the expirations are reduced. Despite that, I see no less field injuries now than I did 15 years ago.
The problem is that the HSE industry is building a culture devoid of personal responsibility. We used to fire incompetants. It was a very effective and simple method to reduce dangerous workers in the field. Now we are told that all accidents are the fault of the employer whether it was a lack of safety meetings or tickets or whatever. We are not allowed to point out that those who hurt themselves are most often simply idiots.
Ahh well, I still need to pay the bills and I am not going to financially martyr myself by refusing to be tested.
I will however bitch about the testing and rest assured I will be eating a great deal of asparagus prior to giving my next sample and encouraging others to do the same.
It is a small and petty form of rebellion, but still has some satisfaction. Giving the sample is not a pleasant process, why make it pleasant for those who are going to be testing it?