Sunday, October 30, 2005

Oregon: We want you to sue us

Employing and Accommodating Individuals
Individuals who use drugs under the supervision of a licensed health care professional, such as methadone, are not using drugs illegally, and therefore could be protected against discrimination.

Similarly, individuals who participate in methadone maintenance programs are also often perceived as drug dependent, even though methadone is a lawfully prescribed medication and individuals who participate in a methadone maintenance program are able to do every task—even safety-related tasks—that a person who is not receiving such treatment can do.

This is the state of Oregon giving a sort-of legal opinion and sort-of medical opinion. The legal opinion is that methadone users "could be" protected against discrimination. The disclaimer consists of the words "could be." Anything "could be" but we don't usually go around talking about all the possibilities when it comes to things like what's legal and what isn't.

The second opinion is a medical one, that is, methadone users are able to perform "safety-related tasks" while receiving "treatment." (we would call it "getting high")

Strangely, the federal government feels differently about methdone:
Effects:
Psychological: Drowsiness, sedation, dizziness, lightheadedness, mood swings (euphoria to dysphoria), depressed reflexes, altered sensory perception, stupor, and coma.

Physiological: Strong analgesia, headache, dry mouth, facial flushing, nausea, constipation, respiratory depression, muscle flaccidity, pupil constriction, and decreased heart rate.

Duration of Effects:
Onset of analgesia occurs 10-20 minutes following parenteral administration and 30-60 minutes after oral administration. Oral administration results in a delay in onset, lower peak concentration and longer duration of action. Following single oral doses effects may last 6-8 hours, increasing to 22-48 hours in cases of chronic administration.

Effects on Driving:
The drug manufacturer cautions that methadone may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks...

So what happens when an employer reads the Oregon.gov website, sees the recommendation of having methadone users work with "safety-related tasks" and someone loses an eye?

If anyone knows a methadone user and a good lawyer, I'm all ears!

2 comments:

Rick said...

Daniel, this would be great in my workplace. We only make avionics for commercial aircraft. Lets get some druggies in there and start making them.

Daniel said...

Absolutely! The state of Oregon heartily endorses that idea.