When most of us were young we were taught the necessities of life. They were listed as food, clothing, and shelter.
What we later came to learn is that these things do not come to us for free. To qualify for them, an even more basic necessity must be obtained. That is gainful employment.
Sadly, for millions of people, there is one obstacle to achieving this goal in life. And that is drug screening. The focus then shifts to jobs that do not require a drug test.
For those that have difficulty getting by without drugs, focusing on these jobs is best. It offers a better chance of finding an occupation that will not interfere with your lifestyle.
For some taking drugs may be a recreational addiction. But for others, it may be a medical necessity. So whether it is an illicit drug like marijuana, or prescription meds, kicking the habit may be difficult.
Drug testing is how employers check on whether their hires may have drug issues. Considering most jobs have multiple candidates, this becomes a good way to narrow down to the best candidates.
Drug screening is often a part of pre-employment checks. It can also be carried out randomly and as a part of annual physicals.
Where there have been workplace accidents and suspicious behavior, testing may also be requested as a precaution. This means they an employee can expect to be tested now and then.
This testing is also more frequent in highly sensitive jobs like healthcare, transportation, and construction. Athletes are also often drug tested to ensure no undue advantage.
Before considering why employers in these and other occupations require testing, let’s discuss why people use.
Why People Take Drugs
One reason that is often the hardest to overcome is genetics. It has been found that those born of parents with addiction issues will often endure similar problems. The same goes for those born in a social environment where drug and alcohol problems are rife.
The social acceptance of these practices can also influence people. With marijuana legalization, people now feel freer to try this substance, even without a medical need. More can be expected to indulge in this newfound freedom as more states approve recreational use.
For others, taking drugs can be a form of self-medication. Rather than deal with problems like physical pain or depression through conventional medicine, they use other means.
Different drugs can elicit different reactions. Some can numb people from their pain, while others will make them hyper-focused. It all depends on what the user wishes to get out of the experience.
Loneliness and unhappiness can also drive people to try and become addicted to drugs. Low self-esteem and lack of motivation are also amongst the negative emotions that can cause this self-harm. For those with a history of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, drug-taking can be a way to cope.
Now that know what encourages drug use, let’s move on to employers and their need to drug test.
Why Employers Drug Test
Drug screening is vital to ensuring a safe workplace. Having employees on drugs working can be dangerous to themselves, other employees, and customers.
For instance, in construction, an inebriated worker operating machinery can harm both human life and property. This also brings up liability issues.
When a business can ensure their employees are working responsibly, it also instills confidence in clientele.
Employees that are on drugs are also unlikely to be as productive as those that are clean and alert. This means the employer will be paying for substandard services.
To avoid these risks, drug screening begins right at the hiring stage. Special attention is often given to those discovered to have drug offenses during background checks. Employers feel they can mitigate the risks of a bad hire through this testing.
Random testing is meant to be a deterrent for those already employed. With little notice of when to expect a test, the hope is that employees will stay off drugs.
Some workplaces provide easy access to prescription medications. This is especially common in the healthcare industry. It is common for employees here to end up becoming addicts and sourcing their drugs from the work.
Drug testing helps confirm if there is an addiction problem with employees showing signs. Once identified, they can either be put through rehab, otherwise penalized, or even prosecuted.
Employers may also need to drug test as a result of certain federal and state regulations. This typically falls under the purview of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
How Drug Screening Works
There are many ways to test for drugs. Hair, saliva, sweat, blood, and urine can be used. Most drug screening is however conducted using urine samples.
The samples are often collected under supervised conditions. This is to deter people from trying to cheat the drug test. People will often try to do this through such tactics as:
- Using synthetic urine
- Submitting another person’s urine
- Adding water to dilute the urine
- Adding chemicals to the urine sample
Sometimes people will delay the test to give drugs time to work their way out of their system. Even just a few days is enough to produce a clean urine sample.
To comply with SAMHSA regulations, employers are required to give some notice on drug testing. Pre-employment drug screening is considered the norm.
Private employers may not however have the right to random test. They may however be entitled to if employee behavior indicates a need. Or, if there has been a workplace accident.
Drug screening can often be a source of anxiety for employees. For those that do take drugs, it can automatically lead to dismissal from their job.
This makes it a good idea to opt for occupations that do not require drug testing. Many can be quite lucrative and offer more flexibility and freedom. Let’s now look at some of the best picks.
Jobs That Do Not Require Drug Testing
1. IT Consultant
More and more companies are adopting and upgrading computer systems to manage various aspects of their operations. Many, particularly SMEs, lack the resources to fund a full-time department or IT expert for this work. As an IT consultant, you will have the freedom to pick and choose projects.
It is a field with fewer experts than is needed due to the challenging work. So expect much demand for your services if you are proficient. This can be highly lucrative work with a great payoff.
This is a great occupation for those wanting to be their own boss. While you can opt to join an accounting firm or department, this may require taking a drug test. There is however much demand for accounting and bookkeeping services from individuals and smaller businesses.
There are various niches within the accounting world that you can choose to specialize in. This can help in cultivating a professional career that is respectable and well-paying.
3. Restaurant Manager
This can be a high-pressure career. There are a lot of demands from managing reservations to budgeting. You also have to deal with sometimes temperamental staff and demanding customers.
It can however be a rewarding career in the hospitality industry. Good and consistent performance often comes with good pay and much recognition.
4. Real Estate Agent
This is another independent career that offers much flexibility. You can pick and choose your clients and working hours. Once licensed, it is easy to set up your own business and market your brand.
It is a great job for extroverts as it requires plenty of interaction with property buyers and sellers. It is often necessary to also cultivate contacts amongst other realtors and contractors. For those that can be self-motivated, it can be a highly rewarding career.
There is much freedom in being able to choose what projects to work on. There are many niches to consider such as marketing, fiction writing, travel, and video scripts.
You can easily work from home, helping to minimize costs and allow a flexible work schedule. Just as with accounting jobs, some writers that work for companies may be required to drug test. However, those that work as freelancers are typically not subject to this requirement.
6. Online Tutor
There is a strong demand for online English tutors in many parts of Asia. Many working professionals from this part of the world have found that learning the language can be a big help to their careers. They are willing to pay good money for private tutoring.
There are also may such work opportunities in these countries. You can easily secure a work visa and travel abroad to offer your services in person. With a low cost of living, beautiful cities, and welcoming people, it can be a great opportunity.
7. Web Developer
Building and upgrading websites is big business. As more and more firms seek to build their online presence, web development becomes more necessary. The skills needed to do this work can be gained formally or informally.
As a highly sought after service, you can easily build up a client portfolio. Working as an independent contractor means not having to subject yourself to any drug testing. You can pick and choose your projects and clients.
8. Fashion Designer
For those with creative talent, this can be a thrilling career choice. There does not need to be a set schedule to work within, though there may be deadlines. You can work independently to develop your designs and collections.
This industry does not have much oversight so drug testing is not done. Drug taking is often reportedly much of the lifestyle. It can however impair your skills and make it difficult to meet up with obligations like client meetings.
Most photographers work freelance. They work on various projects, often given goals, and work on their own schedule to meet client demands. There is a lot of freedom meaning you will need to be self-motivated and organized to succeed.
Unless working as a staff/news photographer, it is unlikely for drug testing to be required. There are multiple niches to choose from including event, scientific, fashion, and commercial photography.
10. Events Organizer
This job entails a high degree of organization, networking, and creative thinking. It can also be high pressure as clients often demand perfection and uniqueness. For those that thrive on such challenges, this can be a good career choice.
You can build your professional reputation on as many or few events you organize. How you market yourself and provide quality service can help build your business. This is another self-employed endeavor that frees you from having to drug test.
Taking drugs can be a choice. But it can also be medically necessary or even an undeniable compulsion. Whatever way you look at it, one needs to be realistic.
If you are unlikely to give up drugs, you need to figure out a career path that works for you. Your best chances of success lie in choosing jobs that do not require drug testing.
Thankfully, many options exist to suit just about any talents and ambitions. A common trait amongst most of these jobs is they encourage independence.
That means that for someone that takes drugs you need to have boundaries. You cannot afford to get so strung out or inebriated that you cannot perform your job competently. Not only will it make you lose customers, but also the confidence of your work peers.
If you know that work stress will drive you to overindulge, avoid jobs that are high stress. Opt for those that are less demanding and more flexible.
It is important to be careful about how you indulge in drugs and allow it to affect your work life. Also, consider the impact on your personal relationships and growth.
Life is all about striking a balance. Know when to indulge and when to restrain yourself.