According to the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, over 74% of illegal drug users have jobs. These drug users contribute to about 40% of all industrial fatalities in the United States. This highlights why drug test is important in the workplace.
Does drug testing matter?
Drug testing programs detect the use of illicit drugs, certain prescription drugs, and alcohol.
- Drug tests do the following.
- Help employees admit to using a drug
- Recognize symptoms and signs of drug abuse and addiction to prevent accidents
- Protect the company’s employees, security, and finances
- Protect other employees from drug addiction
- Help a patient undergo recovery after drug abuse
- Drug testing helps keep employees healthy.
- Testing also helps deter people from drug abuse
Why drug testing is important
Although society negatively suffers from illicit drug abuse, it is especially detrimental in the workplace. Apart from lowering productivity and revenue, drug use can place employees at risk. Depending on the job position, drug abuse by an employee could have fatal consequences.
Interestingly, employers are now able to test for illicit drugs. This helps to implement strategies to ensure a drug-free workplace. Today we’re discussing why drug test is important and how to effectively use them.
Reasons for drug test
- Safety: Drug use can block a worker’s senses and increase safety risks. This is particularly true in the construction industry where drugs use can be fatal. Reports show that employee drug abuse accounts for about 50% of all on-the-job accidents. This means workplace drug tests must be effective. Furthermore, drug testing can improve workers’ relationships with their employers and their families.
- Performance: Workers taking drugs may struggle to focus. This makes them think about other things while at work. Drug testing makes it easy to detect employees who aren’t reaching their full potential. It helps remove weak links and improve the company’s performance overall.
- Productivity and Profits: Substance abuse or addiction decreases attendance and hence lowers productivity. Lower productivity results in lower profits and if a company isn’t productive, it can’t be profitable. Reports show that drug abuse leads to 40% of employee theft.
- Turnover Rates: Pre-employment drug testing helps ensure a drug-free workplace. It screens for employees who fit the company’s goals and standards. Furthermore, it reduces the chance of doing drug tests down the road. This allows the employer to retain valuable workers and decrease turnover rates.
- Medical Costs: Substance abuse can increase an employee’s medical costs. Reports show that employers lose about $140 billion annually because of drug use. Employers can use workplace drug testing to decrease their health insurance premiums and health costs. This is because it screens for employees who can have drug-related illnesses. Drug testing improves employees’ health and reduces employers’ costs, thus it’s a win-win situation.
Drug testing is important in the workplace, but it should end there. Employers should not only focus on testing job candidates but test current employees as well. The use of drug tests can help reduce this persistent problem of drug abuse.