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Black Township Trustee, Lindsay Suits, along with her advisory board, began 2013 by implementing drug testing for those seeking financial assistance.
“This is a necessary step that the board and I did not come to lightly,” said Suits. “It was necessary because most of our clients are currently unemployed, and, if dependent on drugs, they will not be a candidate for employment, leaving them likely dependent on township assistance. Employers find drug testing so useful they are willing to spend millions of dollars.”
Suits doesn’t expect Black Township to spend millions, though. She said her office is working closely with Deaconess, and the cost of each test is $60. The funding will not come from assistance money, but from administrative funds, Suits continued. For example, no one in the trustees office, including the board, has received a raise since Suits took over, she said. The urine tests will be given in the township trustees office by a collection specialist and sent to be tested by medical doctors.
Substances that will be tested for are amphetamines, opiates, THC-cannabinoids, cocaine metabolite, PCP-Phencyclidine and K/2 spice.
Suits also said any results will remain with the trustees office only.
Almost all companies have drug-testing policies in place for their employees, Suits said. A study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management in 2011 showed approximately 65 percent of U.S. employers conduct drug tests on all job candidates.
Furthermore, the U.S. Labor Department has said states can require “being available for work” to include being drug-free. The State of Indiana requires drug testing for everyone seeking job training.
“Now that we have looked at our nation and the Hoosier state policies, let’s bring it even closer to home,” said Suits. Local companies such as Sabic, Mead Johnson, GAF, and even the City of Mount Vernon have implemented drug testing for employees, she added.
“The goal of Black Township is to break the cycle of dependency,” Suits said. “The first step to breaking this cycle of dependency is to help our clients prepare for gainful employment. If we do not stop and begin to seek alternative, beneficial, and responsible changes, we will continue on this downward spiral of losing our future to drugs.”
“Drug abuse and addiction is a struggle that affects the entire community. We hope this intervention will help clients find what they need be free of the addiction and provide their family with hope,” said Suits.