Testing and Analysis

Detection and prevention of performance impairment in the workplace can, however, be achieved by the systematic testing of performance, using validated methods under properly controlled conditions. Such testing procedures would detect potentially dangerous impairment not only from illegal drugs of abuse but also from other causes, including use of legal substances (such as alcohol or antihistamines), sleep deprivation, other medical or psychiatric illness, or episodes of interpersonal stress. Chemical analysis of blood (not urine) could provide chemical confirmation for cases in which drug-induced performance impairment is suspected, provided a research database is available to link blood concentrations to probable impairment, as exists in the case of alcohol (ethanol). Such an approach would provide a fair and direct method of coping with this problem.

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