Peeing for Profit

Peeing for Profit Who would ever think that pissing in a bottle would become such a huge enterprise, with several corporations getting in on the action? But that’s what has happened. And we have the “war on drugs” to thank for this. Consistent with what seems to be a national obsession over drugs, a report called “Drug Monitoring and Abuse Testing Business” noted that revenues for drug testing businesses grew as much as 15 percent annually during the first half of the 1990s. In 1996, the drug testing market took in around $628 million in revenues, increasing to about $737 million in 2001. It has been estimated that about 61% of all major businesses test their employees, plus more than 500 school districts test their students. Currently an estimated 20-25 million Americans are tested for drugs each year, compared to around 7 million in 1996. One method of drug testing is the “Drug Alert” tester, of SherTest Corporation, which targets family members. This device, the company claims, can be used to increase love and care between parents and children by “breaking down the barriers of denial between parent and child.” A cursory examination through the Internet of various companies in the drug testing business is quite revealing. Top begin with, drug testing is part of a much larger market. A market research firm (www.marketresearch.com) reports that there is a “point-of-care (POC) diagnostic test market” which is “expected to reach revenues over $900 million in 2008.” A company called Beckman Coulter says that there is a $35 billion marked in biomedical testing alone, of which $21 billion comes from testing for illegal drugs. Home drug testing has become a “cottage industry” with ads all over the Internet that meet the needs of parents who fear that their teens are using drugs. Many home drug test kits, along with methods of circumventing them, are available online. Some examples from the Internet include: • Mrs. Test (www.mrstest.com) - features home drug testing kits (e.g., “10 Panel Multi Drug Urine Test Kit,”“1 Step THC Marijuana Urine Drug Test Cassette,” “Cocaine Cassette Drug Urine Test,” plus about 30 more similar kits); • Drug Test Systems (www.drugtestsystems.com) – “The Professional Choice for affordable drug and alcohol testing supplies” that includes the “Drug Check “No-Step Drug Test Cups”; • Test Country (www.testcountry.com) – the “Home Test Kit Superstore”; such products as the “PDT-90 Confidential Hair Testing Kit”; • Meth Test Source (www.lowvoltsource.com/drugtest/meth) – “are you an employer who needs to conduct random or comprehensive drug testing on a regular basis? Checkout our 10-packs for great value on quantity purchases.” Thousands of parolees, most of whom have trouble kicking their drug habit (due in large part to the dearth of treatment available, both inside and outside of prison), fail their drug test. Those on parole are constantly being tested, so naturally some companies have sought this unique market in order to make a buck. Many on parole have discovered a special kit called the “Whizzinator” that includes a “prosthetic penis” connected to a “pouch of battery-warmed reconstituted urine concentrate.” This kit is made by a company called Puck Technologies of Signal Hill, California. It sells for $150. A testimonial on their web site boasted that a man passed the tests “over 100 times” (www.thewhizzinator.com). A Canadian company called Clear Test distributes a product called “The Urinator.” Their web site claims that the product can be used “hundreds of times” and that clients even “rent it out to their friends.” Another company, known as “Clear Choice of New York” (www.clearchoiceofny.com) claims that “We are positive you will test negative.” (This is another example of the beauty of capitalism: if there is a demand for a product, someone willing to take the risks - including aiding in some illegal activity - will provide it.) Drug testing has come under much criticism because many of the tests are not very effective. A study by the American Civil Liberties Union (2002) challenges the effectiveness of drug testing, charging that it is a “pseudo-science.” They note that drug testing is not effective as a deterrent to drug use among young people and that it is “expensive, taking away scarce dollars from other, more effective programs that keep young people out of trouble with drugs.” They also note that drug use “does not pose significant productivity or safety problems in the work force.” The report cited noted that the only drug that has been demonstrated to have a negative impact on job performance is alcohol. Randall G. Shelden is a professor of criminal justice at UNLV. His web site is: www.sheldensays.com.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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A New Day For All Of Us

In a not too distant future the" what's in your body"inquisition may well expand into the "what's in your mind" police state. Accordingly, new testing may be required for entry into any school, for a drivers license, a passport, a bank account, a mortgage, any type of insurance,etc.,etc....What state is your body and mind in? The state of fascism ,of course. Hooray! for the UrineNation, we fear everything now.PISSING OUR FREEDOM AWAY.

Clear as Mud

Can someone clear up the trend I'm seeing of rural school districts jumping on the random drug testing band wagon? Are they being approached by drug testing companies and sold down the river? Because in my area I'm not seeing much in the way of parents or teachers bringing the issue to the table and asking for such programs. Instead I see the testing programs sliding in right under the table, while parents and teachers are leading their busy lives and not attending school board meetings. And I see that the school boards seem to prefer going about their business with little attention drawn to their actions. Or is this simply politics?.....as in it pads their resumes nicely to show they instituted a drug testing policy in their school district? I'm trying desperately to understand the motivation.

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