Certain medications can interfere with the ability to do a job; for example, narcotics can interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery. This type of medication, however, may not interfere with other jobs. And other medications, such as stimulant medications for ADHD, can enhance a person with ADHD's ability to do their job. Even so, more and more companies are requiring drug testing as a prerequisite for any position within the company.
Since some ADHD medications, such as Adderall, can show up in drug screenings as amphetamines, and can signal potential illicit drug use to a potential employer, some individuals with ADHD are worried about what happens when an employer requests or requires a drug screening.
Drug screening tests are made to be sensitive; they are made to detect even low levels of different medications or street drugs. Most companies choose not to test for all possible drugs, but instead choose certain medications or street drugs to screen for. Some of the common substances screened for:
Is Drug Screening an Invasion of Privacy?
Drug screening is considered controversial; however, companies do have the right to require a drug-free workplace. Even so, many people find the practice as an invasion of privacy. Laws regarding drug screening can vary from state to state, but most have protections in place to insure privacy but allow for the company's rights. You can check with your state for individual laws. For example, you may want to ask:
- Are random or unannounced drug testings allowed? If so, do all employees need to be tested, can an employer single out certain employees for random testing?
- Are companies required to have a reasonable suspicion or probable cause of drug abuse to request testing?
- Are there certain circumstances, such as after a work-related injury or accident, that an employer can request a drug screening?
- Must the employer offer rehabilitation services to those people testing positive for drugs?
- If results are positive, what rights does the employee have? Can a second, confirmation test be requested? If so, is the employer required to pay for the second test or is the employee requesting a re-test required to pay?
Most employers will have a written drug testing policy and usually there is a written notice of testing prior to administering the screening. Some companies will provide a list of medications (prescription and over-the-counter) that may produce a positive result.
Prescription Medications and Drug Testing
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination based on a disability, however, it does not prohibit drug screening and testing. Because of this, employees and potential employees may be forced to acknowledge their medical condition to their employer, even if they did not feel it was warranted or relevant to their job.