Why do you need a Drug Testing Program in your company? Drug use in the workplace can cost employers up to $100 billion dollars per year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Smaller businesses are also subject to employee drug use, including such drugs as cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, benzodiazepines, oxycodone, and marijuana, yet they are less likely to implement a drug testing program.
The impact of substance abuse in the workplace is vast. Just take a look at the following costs of drug use in the workplace:
- increased use of health benefits
- higher use of sick time
- increased absenteeism
- higher rate of tardiness
- increased workers compensation claims
- increased errors
- increased employee turnover
- reduced productivity
- reduced customer service
- substandard quality of work
- reduced creativity and innovation
- poor decision making
- poor judgment
- increased theft
- increased workplace accidents
Repercussions like these suggest that workplace substance abuse is a costly issue that all employers need to address, and one that can be prevented through pre-employment drug testing and random drug and urine drug testing post-employment. In general, private employers have the right to test for substance abuse.
While implementing a on-site drug testing program can be complex, it doesn’t have to be. Here is a simple to follow five points step-by-step guide:
1)Develop a written drug testing policy.
It’s essential to have a written policy for testing for drugs. This policy lets employees (or job candidates) know that they will be tested for substance abuse, the reason they will be tested, and when they will be tested (prior to employment, scheduled, random drug testing, etc.). You will need to decide whether you are only going to conduct pre-employment drug testing, random testing, post-accident, or testing of all staff. Pre-employment drug testing is one of the most common kinds of drug testing programs.
2) Train employees and management on a Drug Testing Program.
If your firm plans to conduct post-employment drug screening, employees and supervisors should be trained on workplace drug training, including the disciplinary action that will be taken in the event of a positive test. Education can be conducted by bringing live experts, or through the use of CDs, DVDs, workshops, webinars, or brochures. Supervisors should also be trained to recognize behaviors that suggest substance abuse to be able refer employees for help. Educating your employees about substance testng — and drug abuse in general — can help decrease both drug and alcohol abuse in your organization.
3) Purchase drug test kits.
There are a variety of substance abuse testing kits to meet every budget or need http://uveradiagnostics.com/. Examples of alcohol and drug testing products include a urine drug test, saliva drug screening test, and a hair lab test, to name a few. Instant drug and alcohol tests are convenient and accurate for employer immediate screening needs. While some employers opt for a ten-panel drug tests, which includes prescription drugs, most employers use a standard five-panel drug test –– known as the SAMSHA 5 Substance Abuse and Mental Services Adminstration (SAMHSA) — that includes common street drugs consisting of cocaine, marijuana, opiates (morphine and codeine), PCP, and amphetamines (methamphetamines). Employers can also purchase alcohol testing kits, which measure an employee’s blood alcohol level.
4) Get help from experts.
A good drug testing provider will help you set up your program, and guide you through the process. A drug testing expert can help you set up a workplace drug testing program for you to conduct either in-house or through outsourcing to a organization that specializes in drug testing collections. Either way, employees need to have a location where they can submit to substance abuse testing in a secure and private manner. An outside drug/substance testing provider could be a local clinic, hospital, medical doctor, or even a chiropractor. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) federally certified drug testing labs are the gold standard, but not required for private employers.
5) Implement an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Although optional, a great partner to any drug-free workplace program is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). An EAP is a confidential service that provides help for employees that may be suffering from personal problems — like drug abuse — which may be interfering with their expected work performance. Some health insurance programs now offer EAP services bundled with the health insurance policy.
Despite a national campaign on drugs and years of drug awareness education programs, substance abuse continues to be a concerning issue in the workplace. It not only costs companies in terms of dollars and impaired competitiveness, but the economy as a whole. Implementing a drug testing program includes significant benefits, including improved employee safety and increased profitability.
uVera Diagnostics, Inc.