Although many aspects of society are harmed by illicit drug use and abuse, it is especially detrimental in the workplace. Not only can it lower the productivity and revenue of a business, but it can also place employees at risk. In fact, depending on the line of work, the drug abuse of an employee could have fatal consequences. Luckily, employers these days are able to test for illicit drug use and implement strategies to pursue drug-free workplaces. Today we’re discussing why drug testing is important and how to employ it effectively.

Why Drug Testing Is Important

Why Drug Testing Is Important

Drug Testing – National Research

Safety. Drug use can impair a person’s judgment and increase safety risks. This is especially concerning in certain industries, such as construction, in which using drugs or alcohol at work could cause an injury or even a fatality. As employee drug abuse causes as much as 50% of all on-the-job accidents (source), this is not a matter to be taken lightly. Plus, drug testing can improve the quality of life of employees and their families.

Performance. Workers under the influence of drugs may struggle to stay on task, letting their minds drift toward problems that aren’t related to their work. Drug testing allows employers to target those employees who aren’t reaching their full potential due to illicit drug use, removing weak links and improving their company’s performance overall.

Productivity & Profits. Substance abuse or addiction can lead to missed deadlines and decreased attendance. Dwindling productivity will result in lower profits as well—after all, if your company isn’t producing work at a steady rate, how can you expect to maintain consistent profits? Finally, it’s important to note that drug abuse also causes up to 40% of employee theft (source), an additional drain on profits.

Turnover Rates. Pre-employment drug testing is a great way to find employees who fit your company’s goals and standards. In addition, it reduces the likelihood that you will have to fire a new employee down the road, allowing you to retain valuable workers and decrease your turnover rate.

Medical Costs. Substance abuse can dramatically increase a person’s medical costs. In fact, business owners lose an estimated $140 billion annually due to drug use (source). Workplace drug testing allows employers to decrease their health insurance premiums and health costs by reducing on-the-job accidents and drug-related illnesses. It’s a win-win situation, improving the health of employees and reducing costs for employers.

Although most employers focus their drug testing efforts on job candidates, more and more employers are testing current employees as well through random programs. Although 10% of employed Americans between the ages 18 and 49 admit to illicit drug use (source), with the right resources and programs, this persistent problem can become a thing of the past.

If you’re looking to implement a drug-free workplace through pre-employment or random testing, contact us.

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