The Benefits of Workplace Drug Tests


The growing number of people that are abusing drugs and alcohol has made the topic one of great concern for employers across the nation. When an employee substance abuse issue in unresolved it results in a hefty cost to the employer. When substance abusers are employees there is an increased risk for injury on the job, higher medical related costs, unnecessary absenteeism, and less productivity.
Many employers have decided to deal with this issue head on by screening potential employees for the presence of drugs or alcohol while others conduct random drug tests on their employees. Others only test when there is an on the job injury. Regardless, these are the employers that are less likely to employ people with a substance abuse problem. It has been proven that these employers see positive results.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in the year 2011, there were nearly ten million U.S. employees over the age of 18 that were either substance abusers or addicts during the previous twelve month period. Further, around 70% of people with substance abuse problems are employed. These numbers are staggering.
Companies do not want to employ people with substance abuse problems as they are usually unreliable and they create an unnecessary risk to the company in regards to health and injury. These are the factors that cause workers' compensation rates to soar. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration say that these people have concentration problems, are inconsistent, and lack in productivity.
Several studies that have been conducted on a national level report that there are many more employees with substance abuse problems in companies that do not test for drugs. This indicates that the drug screens are a deterrent. However, some companies believe that drug testing is ineffective since many find ways to mask the drug abuse and also that many drugs leave the body swiftly, as with the case of alcohol and cocaine.
Many people know in advance that they will have to pass a drug screen so they will make sure that when they do take the test they are clean but that says nothing about upcoming days or months. Plus, a person could have been on a cocaine binge for days but within 72 hours the presence of cocaine is gone in the urine or blood.
Currently, fewer than 60% of employers conduct drug tests on all potential job candidates and close to 30% do not test at all. The bottom line is that those companies that do conduct drug testing and encourage a workplace that is free of drugs will be less likely to have substance abusing employees. Many times, employers will get deep discounts on their worker's compensation rates for conducting pre-employment or post-employment drug screenings.
Cheryl Hinneburg is the content writer for KLEAN Treatment Center, located in West Hollywood CA. She is also working on her MS in substance abuse counseling. Cheryl has a BBA from Baker College. Cheryl's specialty is in the field of drug addiction.


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