Diversion Control Division, US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

Controlled Substances Security Manual



It is the position of DEA that the obtaining of certain information by non-practitioners is vital to fairly assess the likelihood of an employee committing a drug security breach. The need to know this information is a matter of business necessity, essential to overall controlled substances security. In this regard, it is believed that conviction of crimes and unauthorized use of controlled substances are activities that are proper subjects for inquiry. It is, therefore, assumed that the following questions will become a part of an employer's comprehensive employee screening program:

  1. Within the past five years, have you been convicted of a felony, or within the past two years, of any misdemeanor, or are you presently charged (formally) with committing a criminal offence? Do not include any traffic violations, juvenile offences or military convictions, except by general court-martial. If the answer is yes, furnish details of conviction, offense location, date, and sentence.
  2. In the past three years, have you ever knowingly used any narcotics, amphetamines, or barbiturates, Other than those prescribed to you by a physician? If the answer is yes, furnish details.

DEA also recommends that an authorization, in writing, be completed by a person who is allowed to or is considered for work in a controlled substances area. This authorization should permit inquiries to be made of courts and law enforcement agencies concerning pending charges or convictions. Information on employees' criminal records should then be used as follows:

  1. Locally by name, date and place of birth, and other identifying information, inquire at local courts and law enforcement agencies for records of pending charges and convictions; and
  2. Nationally by the same identifying information make and inquiry at the appropriate DEA Field Office.

Responsibility to Report Drug Diversion

A necessary part of an overall employee security program is the reporting of employee drug theft or diversion in the workplace. It is also in the public interest. Employees who have knowledge of drug theft of diversion from their employer have an obligation to report such information to a responsible security official of the employer. Employers have a responsibility to treat such information as confidential and to take all reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of the information and the identity of employees furnishing information. Failure to report drug theft or diversion information should be a critical factor in determining an employee's continued employment in a drug security area.

Illicit Activities

Employees who posses, sell, use or divert controlled substances not only subject themselves to state or Federal prosecution for any illicit activity, but should also become the subject of independent action regarding their continued employment. Employers must assess the seriousness of the employee's violation, the position of responsibility held by the employee, past record of employment, etc., in determining whether to take other action against the employee.

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