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The New Wave of Drugs in the Workplace

Drug abuse

In keeping a drug-free work environment, employers are constantly battling new waves of drugs and have to adapt to the changes. When drug testing in the workplace first became a popular way to create a safer and more productive environment, employers were mainly looking for drugs that were popular at the time (marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol). Moving into the 21st century, other drugs began to be popular methods of abuse such as opioids, methamphetamines, and synthetic designer drugs.

It was not until recently that the popular drug Ecstasy, MDMA, was added to the standard drug test panel. This further helped keep another popular drug out of the workplace. Ecstasy is part of the new wave of drugs employers are seeing in today’s workplace and that is why testing for it became part of the standard. Along with Ecstasy, synthetic designer drugs have become an increasingly major problem in today’s workforce. People began switching to these drugs for one major reason, they are harder to detect in a standard drug testing panel. Although many of the drugs considered to be “designer” are not the most commonly used, they are rapidly growing in their usage and will eventually become a problem for a large number of workplaces.

Over recent decades, methamphetamine has become a giant problem throughout the U.S. workforce. This sort of drug is also labeled as a synthetic designer drug, but it was also recently added to the standard panel drug test because of the level in which it is abused. The federal government works to keep any form of drug out of American workplaces, but it has become quite a challenging task considering many of these synthetic drugs are readily available. Bath salts are one of these drugs that have taken over the drug industry. Many people abuse bath salts for their cocaine and marijuana-like effects. We are seeing this drug being abused more and more because you can get it from your local retail stores. No more sketchy drug deals on the corner of the street. All a person has to do is hand the cashier their total and head on back home. This is why we are seeing such a skyrocket in drugs being abused, especially synthetic designer drugs.

The major concern that comes with these drugs is their potency. Many of the drugs that contain synthetic chemical compounds are likely to be extremely potent and harmful to the person abusing them. People who are abusing these synthetic drugs are unpredictable, and their behavior can be erratic. Employers must be on a constant lookout for any suspicious behavior in their employees when it comes to these synthetic designer drugs. Although standard panels do search for many of the compounds in these drugs, they are still harder to detect than the drugs that came before them. It takes a proactive employer to constantly be on the lookout and know their employees to keep the work environment a safe one.

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