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Can You Be Fired in Colorado for Failing a Drug Test?

by Demarco Moore

September 11, 2023
a colorado man is fired and carries out a box of belongings after failing a drug test

Understanding the Connection Between Employment and Addiction Recovery

In Colorado, the ever-changing landscape of recreational marijuana use has left many, especially employees and employers, grappling with an essential question: “Can you be fired in Colorado for failing a drug test?” The answer is straightforward: yes, you can be fired if you fail a drug test, even if you consumed marijuana for medical reasons or outside of work hours.

This is according to Obsidian HR’s article on drug testing. The laws make it legal for employers to conduct drug tests and fire employees who test positive for drugs, including marijuana. In early 2022, a bill was introduced in the Colorado General Assembly that would make off-duty marijuana use legal in the state; it remains introduced and no action has been taken since then to make it a law.

Understanding this reality opens up a broader conversation about substance use and its implications on employment, personal lives, and overall well-being. This article explores this complex issue, focusing on how job-related difficulties due to drugs and alcohol can signal a sign of addiction. Additionally, it reassures Coloradans that help is available, and they don’t have to quit their job to seek addiction treatment.

Job Troubles and Signs of Addiction

Are you facing difficulties at work because of drugs or alcohol? You’re not alone, and it’s vital to recognize that this issue might be more than a one-time mistake. Out of 46 million Americans battling a substance-use disorder, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that about 60% of those over age 12 hold jobs. Persistent trouble at work due to substance use might indicate addiction.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists specific criteria for diagnosing substance use disorders. If you or a loved one is regularly late, missing work, or experiencing conflicts with coworkers due to drug or alcohol use, these might indicate a deeper problem.

Recognizing the Signs

Here’s a relatable scenario: Your boss calls you into the office after noticing consistent tardiness. You realize your late nights out drinking or using drugs affect your job performance. These realizations are often the first steps to acknowledging that a problem exists.

According to the DSM handbook, addiction can be identified by several signs, including:

  • Lack of control over substance use
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Continued substance use despite negative consequences

Can You Be Fired in Colorado for Failing a Drug Test?

Failing a drug test in Colorado can have serious consequences, but Landmark Recovery of Denver is here to help you find a recovery path without losing your career. Our facility is conveniently located 25 minutes from Denver International Airport, providing accessible care to those in need.

Addiction doesn’t have to mean losing your job or your life. Reach out to Landmark Recovery of Denver and explore custom recovery solutions:

Do I Have to Quit My Job to Get Treatment?

Are you concerned about losing your job while seeking addiction treatment? Rest assured: you don’t have to quit your job to get addiction treatment. But knowing what could happen with your job if you don’t seek help and fail a drug test is vital.

  1. Legal Protections: You may have legal rights protecting your employment during treatment.
  2. Flexible Options: Outpatient care and personalized treatment programs can align with your work schedule.
  3. Employer Support: Recovery often leads to improved job performance, and many employers support the process.

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Start Your Recovery With a Phone Call

Don’t let fear hold you back. Call Landmark Recovery of Denver’s confidential phone line at 720-702-9994 anytime, day or night. Start your recovery journey and keep your career intact. You are not alone; we’re here to help.

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We're here 24/7 to help you get the care you need to live life on your terms, without drugs or alcohol. Talk to our recovery specialists today and learn about our integrated treatment programs.

About the Author

Demarco Moore

Demarco Moore

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Demarco Moore currently writes blogs about drug addiction treatment and recovery to help save lives at treatment provider Landmark Recovery. Before that, he cut his teeth as a sports writer at the Manchester Times, where his coverage and stories won Tennessee Press Association awards in 2016 and 2017.

He’s always had a knack for storytelling. Moore’s written content for junior golf tournaments and helped to amplify the “People Not Profits” message of credit unions. When he’s not writing, Moore loves to travel, laugh and put his mental health into the hands of the Tennessee Titans during football season.