People try to cheat drug tests for a variety of reasons, but they all boil down to the same thing – avoiding get caught.
For some people it is a political fight, for some it is an invasion of privacy issue, but for most it is to cover up alcohol or drug use which will lead to termination or a choice to enter treatment for addiction if the diagnosis is identifiable, or if not, then education about substance abuse that then must be completed with firing the employee held in abeyance as they follow through with recommendation of the counselor, SAP, EAP, or medical professional.
One of the most popular ways employees cheat on reasonable suspicion tests – is actually to ‘cheat’ their way out of taking the test at all. They will seek to play on your emotions to engender sympathy or pity. They may use apologies, tears, graphic descriptions of their problems etc. All of this is designed to get you to see them as victims and to make you reluctant to ‘victimize’ them further. They will use excuses, claim innocence and even resort to anger and intimidating behavior all to get you to agree to not test them ‘just this one time’.
Falling for these sob stories is classic enabling. This is what makes drug and alcohol education of supervisors so important. Education has one overarching goal beyond helping managers spot signs and symptoms of drug use – and that is re-educating supervisors to see addiction for what it is, and illness and not a willpower problem that is influence by being under the duress of being caught.
So, An employee who feels backed into a corner by the demand for a reasonable suspicion test will do their best to divert you from your purpose. Your job as a supervisor is to hold firm and keep the discussion focused on work.
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