January 22, 2022

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The facts about drug testing at work

7 Useful Facts About Drug Testing in the Workplace

Would you like to know more about workplace drug testing? Today’s medical technology allows employers to determine if an employee has taken drugs recently and test for drug use on the job. We will be discussing the pros and cons of drug testing in the workplace in this guide.

Drug testing at the workplace: what is it?

It is possible for employers to conduct workplace drug tests to determine whether job applicants or employees use prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol. The drug testing policy should be clear and communicated to all employees, as well as information about drug and alcohol abuse, training of supervisors about drug and alcohol abuse symptoms, and an employee assistance program to support those who need assistance.

In addition to health hazards in the workplace, drug and alcohol abuse may undermine employee morale and productivity. Short-term disability claims and other healthcare claims can also result in added costs for your company. Reasons employers test for drugs at work include:

  • Drug-using employees should not be hired
  • Workplaces that are safe and healthy
  • Employees with drug or alcohol problems need to be identified and helped
  • Ensure public safety
  • Avoid drug and alcohol abuse among employees
  • Follow state and federal regulations.

Is drug testing in the workplace a good thing or a bad thing?

Workplace drug testing has its pros and cons. A few of the benefits include.

  • Employees should be encouraged to take more responsibility. As a result of workplace drug testing, employees become more responsible, particularly those who might otherwise work under the influence of drugs and alcohol, harming not only themselves, but their colleagues, customers, and the public.
  • Employees in need of assistance should be identified. In addition to identifying drug and alcohol addicts, workplace drug testing also identifies those who need outside assistance. Rather than relying on self-report, drug testing can identify workers with addiction issues, even if they don’t seek help right away. A rehabilitative program can assist employers in helping these employees.
  • Ensure a safe and healthy workplace. Tests for workplace drugs contribute to workplace safety by discouraging people from regularly using alcohol or experimenting with illicit drugs. This can limit health problems and decrease the risk of injuries and accidents at work by discouraging these employees from abusing drugs.

Drug testing at work has some disadvantages, such as:

  • It is not possible to conduct random drug testing in real time. Employees can be randomly drug tested in order for their employers to learn if they have used a specific drug in the past, but the testing period is usually wide. Drug testing isn’t always beneficial because the main goal is to prevent workers from becoming intoxicated while on the job. 
  • Safety measures do not include drug testing. In addition to not being able to measure drug use in real time, workplace drug tests aren’t truly effective as safety measures. When they know they will be subjected to a drug test, many job candidates simply stop using drugs. 
  • There is no guarantee that drug testing will be accurate. Often, food and medication can appear on drug tests as illicit substances, resulting in a false positive.

How effective are workplace drug tests?

A urine test is regarded as one of the most accurate and effective forms of drug testing. A doctor’s office, a workplace health unit, or any other location chosen by the employer can conduct this test. A urine sample is collected from a worker or a job applicant and sent to a certified testing laboratory. In order to ensure a valid and accurate testing process, several steps must be taken.

 

Is mandatory drug testing a good idea?

Testing workers or prospective employees for drugs or alcohol in the workplace is an accurate and objective way of finding out if they use these substances. To protect the rights of workers, there should be a few basic ethical principles in place if drug testing is mandatory for employees and applicants.