Drug charges may easily cost you your job

A recent study found that many workplaces see increasing rates of drug use by employees. This is after years of prevention efforts intended to removed drug use from professional environments. While some employers see this as an expected result of changing attitudes about some drugs at the national level, e.g., marijuana, other employers may increase their efforts to eliminate drug use in the workplace with more frequent drug testing and harsher penalties.

If you face drug charges of any kind, beating the charges is not only necessary to keep you out of jail, it is important for your ongoing employment. Even if you do not receive jail time as a part of a sentence for a conviction, you may still lose your job and have great difficulty finding another comparable opportunity.

Drug use on the rise in many sectors

Over the last several years, the national conversation on marijuana use in particular shifted seismically, ushering in a new wave of public opinion that seems to favor legalizing the drug in many instances, at least for medical use. Now, the majority of states in the union have laws on the books that allow for medical uses of marijuana by the public and some of them very publicly legalized the drug for recreational use.

However, even in some states that allow recreational use, employers still retain the power to deny employment because of drug use, even if it is legal. It is entirely possible that you could legally partake in a drug and still lose your job because of a failed drug test, even if the drug does not affect your performance negatively.

While marijuana makes a lot of the headlines these days, drug use is up across the board. The recent study indicated that employees were also using methamphetamine and cocaine in increasing numbers, both of which are not as easy to test for as marijuana.

For employers, this presents a dilemma. Not all drug tests account for all substances, and not all substances stay in the body for the same amount of time, meaning that a single drug test cannot accurately determine the drug usage of an employee.

Many employers must either choose more carefully the drugs they screen for, or consider loosening their drug use policies as the laws continue to reflect changing attitudes in the public. However, some employers may respond to increased drug use by increasing the frequency of drug screenings.

Protecting your rights and employment

Don't let drug charges cost you time and resources as well as your employment. Protecting your source of income is crucial, no matter how serious or trivial the charges. Make it a priority to identify strong defenses you can use to overcome the charges and keep your rights and employment protected.

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