Everything You Need to Know About Drug Testing in Churches

Churches play an important role in the society. They have become bastions of spirituality, charity, humanity, sympathy and benevolence; often playing pivotal roles in helping people get back on their feet through the church’s numerous programs. These programs may be rooted to child ministries, young adult ministries, community outreach programs such as sober living, and offer guidance and support to those who need help.

In this connection, drug screening is imperative to ensure that church staff and volunteer workers in these programs are not using or abusing alcohol and drugs.

Why should churches do drug tests?

Surely those good people working for the church are “clean”! Never assume that church workers are free from illicit substance use. The most recent statistics show that 4% of workers in the community and social services (CSS) category use illicit drugs and 2.8% are into heavy alcohol use. Some 1.8% is illicit drug abusers while 6.9% abuse alcohol.

Based on the same statistics source, about 70% of CSS workers do not undergo pre employment drug test. It is not right to expose the congregation, specifically the children, to workers who are possible drug and alcohol abusers.

Child abuse in every form is prevalent and churches are one of the most likely places where this can happen. Based on independent studies, at least one convicted sex offender applies for a position in a youth-oriented NGO. About one in one hundred churches will be accused of sexual misconduct by a volunteer worker who did not undergo personal background screening. And that 50% of church-related abuses are perpetrated by volunteers yet only 5% of churches conduct basic background check.

Drug and alcohol drug tests and background checks must be part of a church’s program as these offer peace of mind and security among the congregation, church workers and volunteers.

Drug Tests

Instant urine test is not highly recommended as a drug test in churches as it is not feasible unless the church has the facility for the collection of specimen. In this case, recommended are instant drug testing dip cups and instant drug testing cups. These urine drug tests come in kits of 2-4 drugs to test up to 10+ drugs. A more plausible option if there is no area for the proper collection of specimen is a laboratory urine test where the sample is collected at a laboratory. Tampering with the specimen in this case is decreased.

Another good option is a saliva drug test. This drug test is very convenient as one can get/give the specimen anywhere, anytime. Oral fluids test is used to test for drugs such as:

• Marijuana (THC)

• Cocaine (COC)

• Opiated/Heroine (OPI)

• Amphetamine (AMP)

• Phencyclidine (PCP)

• Methamphetamine (mAMP)

• Benzodiazepines (BZO)

Saliva test kits include a sponge which could be used to collect the saliva inside the cheek of the person to be tested. The result is ready within 10 minutes.

As pre employment drug test, hair drug test is highly recommended as this test will indicate a person’s drug usage in the last 90 days. Random drug testing for employees should also be part of a church’s drug testing program. Basic background screening should not be passed over as this is very important in determining the character of an applicant or volunteer. One can never be too careful in deterring sex predators from penetrating the church and its ministries. An apt screening program should include personal background check, criminal background check and sexual predator registration if deemed necessary.

If you have questions on what type of drug testing and background check your church needs, give us a call now so we can discuss your options.

Sources:

http://www.sapaa.com/page/wp_stats_css

http://www.justice.gov/psc/docs/natstrategyreport.pdf

More About:

http://americanspcc.org/advocacy/child-abuse-statistics/

Drug Testing and Instant Alcohol Tests for Church & Shelters


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