The implied question in the headline of the Feb. 28 editorial “What to do about angry young men ” has an easy answer: Drug-test those whose “troubling behavior” may suggest emotional impairment possibly caused by frequent drug use. Drug testing can be a reliable diagnostic tool to assess whatever specific substances may be contributing to violent psychosis in some “angry young men.”
Drug-testing technology is well-established by decades of use in the military and businesses throughout the United States. It’s an essential tool to prevent the disruptive influence and dangers from drug-impaired employees. It’s also an essential component of court procedures used to evaluate whether a defendant deserves suspension of stigmatizing punishment for some drug-related crimes.
Inexpensive oral-swab drug tests with results available within 10 minutes are routinely performed on many job applicants. Testing should be added as a requirement of background checks for gun buyers. Drug testing also should be required for suspects in crimes of irrational violence to inform future legislation needed to address our currently out-of-control national mass-violence problem.
DeForest Rathbone, Leonardtown
The writer is chairman of the
National Institute of Citizen Anti-Drug Policy.