When Can You Expect A Drug Test?
There are a number of scenarios which may require a urine based drugs test:
- Employment context urine test. Millions of people are forced to undergo drug tests as a requirement for either getting or keeping a job. This applies to both public and private sector employees.
- Sporting context. The well publicised random urine or obligatory testing for performance enhancement drugs.
- Criminal and justice system either when a suspect or a convicted criminal. Drug testing is a growing focus in order to detect and control the supply and use of drugs in prisons.
- Education. A growing trend for the random testing of students for various reasons – in particular sporting and extra-curricular.
This is not an exhaustive list but covers the majority of scenarios.
Shy Bladder And The Drug Test
As I said, a urine drugs test is a paruretics worst nightmare. It’s hard enough to pee in a public restroom at the best of times. With an added pressure of a controlled environment and an absolute requirement to produce a specimen for testing and anyone suffering from shy bladder syndrome is not likely to come up with the goods!
One would expect there to be laws and rules in place to protect the genuine paruretic? Otherwise surely it’s a form of discrimination against a “disability”? Yet the law disagrees … at least at the present time.
The most important relevant legislation in the US is the: Urinalysis Drug Tests & Disability Discrimination Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This is the first the first comprehensive civil rights statute for people with disabilities in the world. It’s certainly a big step in the right direction … as long as Paruresis is recognised as a disability. There lies the problem! It’s not clear-cut but those suffering from a shy bladder are continually confronting a belief that they are NOT suffering from a valid, recognised disability.
To formally satisfy the courts that Paruresis constitutes an official disability it must be clearly demonstrated and proven that shy bladder creates an impairment (i.e. inability to urinate). For the purposes of the ADA this proven impairment must then qualify as a disability and it must be demonstrated that the condition “substantially impairs” at least one major life activity.
In other words – you can make the claim but it’s by no means certain (unlikely we think) that your condition will be recognised. And so you will not be protected under ADA.
That doesn’t seem fair at all. We all know that it’s a genuine issue and all we’re asking for is to be provided with an alternative solution to satisfy the testing.
Here in the UK there is a little more flexibility and recognition. But again, this flexibility is almost “discretionary” and dependant on individual cases.
For example, the following guidance has been given to all Mandatory Drug Testing (MDT) personnel directly involved in drugs testing in prisons:
Some prisoners have a psychological condition called shy bladder syndrome. This prevents them passing urine if they are observed or pressurised.
The problem may or may not be linked to other, more serious, psychological problems. It may be more common among young offenders than among adult prisoners. If a prison officer suspects a prisoner cannot provide a sample because of this problem, there are two possible approaches:
a. The prisoner must be allowed more time at the toilet without the time pressure to provide an immediate sample and a reduced level of observation.
b. If this fails, the prisoner, after a full strip search, may be provided with a sample collection cup and allowed to provide a sample in compete privacy in a cell with internal sanitation. Water must be blued and the flush must not be accessible from inside the cell.”