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Recent increases in the use of illegal drugs and problems related to that use have raised a variety of public health and safety concerns These concerns have led many to propose drug testing as one of the best ways to combat the proliferation of drug use Although the focus is testing for drugs it is worth noting that similar calls for increased testing has risen due to the spread of HIV and the threat it poses to those exposed to it Clearly these public health and safety concerns conflict with privacy claims of those being targeted for testing Nevertheless many view the public safety threat as serious enough to override completely any individual privacy interests Indeed public opinion polls indicate that there is widespread support for a variety of testing programs even those that are random and mandatory Although drug abuse should not be tolerated in the workplace care must be taken to limit the extent to which drug testing intrudes on peoples privacy The idea is to use the technology carefully with adequate justification and with enough safeguards and precautions to ensure that testing is done thoughtfully and responsibly Both the government and private business argue that they have a significant interest in testing citizens and employees for a variety of reasons First they can fight the Adrug war by weeding out users and stopping drug use Second they can ensure safety by revealing conditions that pose a serious threat to co-workers or the public Third they test employees so they can maintain a fully responsive and effective workforce Fourth they can identify those who will be unable to work in the future Fifth it will help reduce the cost of employee health care plans Finally drug testing will help maintain public confidence in the integrity and trustworthiness of their operations Many insurance agencies argue that testing is necessary because it fundamentally causes the healthier employees to pay higher premiums
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