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There’s a good chance you’ll need to take a drug test at some point in your life. Although each state has its own laws regarding drug screenings, if you’re playing a professional sport or are involved in a career where impairment can be dangerous, you’ll almost definitely be subject to urine drug tests or swab tests. Let’s take a look at some of the consequences you may encounter should you fail one of these screenings.
- Suspension from sports: The word “drug” can mean many things if you’re a professional athlete. While illicit drugs can certainly get you suspended or kicked off the team entirely, most urine drug tests are looking for steroids specifically. Performance-enhancing drugs that give you an unfair advantage is grounds for immediate termination, though many teams have a multiple-strike policy in place. If they don’t, or if you fail a rapid drug screen several times, you could end up out of a job completely.
- Missed employment opportunity: Many businesses require drug tests when a position is offered to a potential hire. This has more to do with the company’s policy than the work they actually do; if you’re constantly interacting with customers, your employer is going to want to make sure you don’t have a drug addiction as it could seriously impact your work. If you smoke a joint before you interview, you could end up missing out on a guaranteed job and career success down the line.
- Termination of employment: Recurring drug tests after hiring are usually reserved for industries where your impairment could result in the injury or death of yourself or other individuals. This includes the medical field (nurses, doctors, etc.) and industrial positions, such as those where you’re required to operate heavy and dangerous machinery. Failing a drug test (which are often random) in such an environment will almost always result in your immediate termination.
It’s within a business’s best interest to drug test its employees. Approximately 62% of U.S. employers cited their reasoning for implementing a drug testing program to ensure employee safety and protect their organization’s reputation. As that employee (which is what you’re considered even as an athlete), doing drugs simply isn’t worth the risk.