Katie Couric's Notebook: Drug Testing

Your doctor prescribes a pain killer for a back injury. You take it as directed ... but your boss fires you when that legally prescribed medication shows up in a drug test.

It doesn't seem fair, but that's what happened at a Tennessee auto parts plant.

As a pair of lawsuits in this case play out, the debate is raging. Some employers argue they need to test for prescription drugs. They say it's a safety issue. No one wants a truck driver nodding off because medication made him drowsy ... and abuse of prescription drugs is a growing problem.

But workers insist it's not that simple...as most jobs don't pose serious safety risks...and, according to the CDC, nearly half of us are on some prescription in a typical month.

How do you separate abusers from those just following doctors orders?

Someone needs to figure that out...before drug testing in the workplace becomes a prescription for lawsuits.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.


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