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The Benefits of Implementing a Drug Screening Program in the Workplace

drug screening

There are more people using drugs or alcohol at the workplace than you may realize. Approximately 22.5% of workers use them during working hours.

Whether you are the boss or coworker of a drug user, it’s always cause for concern. What if they show up for work high or drunk, and what sort of trouble could it lead to? Even if something like that hasn’t happened yet, it’s a good reason to implement a drug screening program in the workplace.

Drug screening for employment does a lot more than just determine if your current or future employees are breaking the law. In this guide, we take a look at the many benefits of drug and alcohol screening.

What Is a Drug Screening Program?

A drug screening program is a common component of many U.S. workplaces. Approximately 63% of US organizations have them. They are either a pre-employment screening and/or a regular screening for salaried and temporary workers.

Plain and simple, employers will conduct drug tests at random on their employees during working hours. These drug tests are mandatory, and HR will terminate employment if employees fail to comply. This gives abusers no advance warning to stop using in order to prevent a positive result.

Types of Drugs and Accuracy

Drug tests focus on illegal drugs. They may detect ones that aren’t legal or psychoactive, such as CDB. It’s important for employees to disclose their medication usage to avoid misunderstandings.

Here are the most common methods for the screening of drugs:

  • Urine drug screening
  • Alcohol drug screening
  • Hair follicle drug screening
  • Mouth swab drug test
  • DOT drug testing

Drug tests are non-invasive and can produce rapid results within a couple of minutes or hours. They are accurate and able to detect a long list of drugs with a single test. 

Further, drug tests can detect substances days after usage, especially with hair follicle drug screening. If an employee shoots themselves up a few days or even a week before a randomized test, the results will still appear.

Let’s take a look at the other benefits of drug screening.

Better Performance

Drugs alter a person’s perception, physical control, judgment, and other mental faculties. It’s for this reason that drugs are forbidden in most workplaces. Employees need all of these things to do their job correctly — and safely.

Drugs make it difficult to give consistent performance. Some of them provide brief bursts of energy, followed by a crash. Others create a persistent lethargic state that reduces someone’s energy and responsiveness.

A drug-free workplace (thanks to screening) is one where employees get their work done on time. They do a better job, often with greater precision and care to detail. There won’t be delays or redos from things that had to be fixed and sent back.

Reduction in Healthcare Costs

Healthcare and workers’ compensation make up a large part of any workplace’s budget. When employees get sick, it’s not just time off the clock. It’s more money down the drain.

Drugs do not allow you to stay healthy and fit. They lead to more frequent hospital visits and more frequent withdrawals or overdose sickness. They force employees to take more sick days, be tardy, or require more breaks during their shifts.

Drug screening is far more affordable, in the long run than paying medical bills.

Reduction in Theft

Drugs create a sad reality where a substance enslaves a person through their addiction. Most drugs are quite expensive, far more than the average person can afford. In order to keep up their habit, they have to steal and sell those stolen items to get more.

Workplace theft is a huge problem. Employees may notice their phones and other personal items disappearing. If someone needs to feed their addiction, they’ll pilfer their coworkers’ belongings.

If there is a serious theft problem at your workplace, then drugs could be the reason. Use drug screening to discern which employees are most likely to commit larceny and petty theft.

Happier Workplace

Teamwork and work culture are critical to keep people in high spirits while on the job. Part of creating that successful balance is eliminating problematic behavior, such as using drugs. People who work with drug users or addicts may feel uncomfortable and unable to trust coworkers.

It’s not just the possibility of theft or a coworker showing up drunk. Drugs can make people more aggressive, more agitated, and less emotionally stable. Someone who isn’t using may feel that they have to walk on eggshells around drugged-up colleagues.

It’s safe to say that a workplace without drugs is a better one. Drug screening keeps it that way.

Compliance with Regulations

Sometimes, you have to conduct drug screening not because you want to but because the law says so. Certain federal or state regulations may require you to conduct regular tests. Failure to do so could put you in penalty, not the users.

Double and triple-check if drug screening is a requirement in your location or industry. The last thing you want is a regulator stopping by to check whether you’re obeying the law.

Helping Trouble Employees

The sad thing about drugs is that they can often ruin good people who would otherwise have a lot of promise. After all, these substances hijack your brain’s reward system. It’s almost impossible to resist a drug’s pull no matter how good of a person you are.

Work performance aside, you may wish to help your employees in other walks of life. Sometimes people need a wake-up call. That wake-up call could well be a surprise drug test that forces them to reconsider their current decisions.

Sometimes, you know someone is using, but you don’t want to say anything or get involved. So, use drug screening as an indirect method to nudge them toward the right path.

Screen for Drugs with ReliaLab

Drug screening programs help workplaces to stay happy and healthy. Drug-free employees get more work done and use up fewer sick days. They create an inviting workplace environment with a reduction in theft and may whip troubled employees into shape.

ReliaLab Test provides a wide variety of easy-to-use, fast-result drug tests for your workplace. Order a test by phone or online and kick off your drug screening program right.

Order a Test

Whether you are an individual looking to get a drug test done today or an employer looking to get a pre-employment drug test done today, ordering a test online is easier than ever! Just submit your order online, receive your test authorization by email, go to your local clinic to be tested, and receive your test results in 24 to 48 hours.

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If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our lab.