Drug Testing & Reporting

Unlike individuals applying for federal employment (who are covered by the standards developed under the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Act), individuals who are drug tested in a hospital and/or CPS setting do not have the benefit of procedural safeguards requiring that an initial positive result be confirmed using a secondary method.  These positive toxicology results (usually urine immunoassay), when they form the basis for CPS report of child abuse or neglect, are not generally confirmed before the report is filed.  Studies have called into question the validity of positive results from urine immunoassays, particularly when the urinalysis is performed on a newborn. These concerns are compounded by the tendency of common household products and over-the-counter medications to cause false positives in urine screens more generally.  In addition, health care professionals have been observed to exhibit race and class-based biases in making decisions to report a positive toxicology test to CPS.

This page contains peer-reviewed clinical studies on the problems with the methodology used in drug testing (particularly for infants), as well as the wider societal damage and harm to patient/doctor relationship which occurs from mandated reporting.  


Studies on False Positives & Other Issues


Studies on Bias & Impact of Reporting


Last updated: March 4, 2014 at 19:33 pm


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