Drug or alcohol abuse at any workplace can be menacing not only for the individuals doing it but also for the company’s production, daily work, and ethos. While at most workplaces, employees are thoroughly screened by involving third parties in their background verification, this particular habit or addiction may remain hidden or could have been developed later. While counseling and treatment of such individuals is a must, random testing is recommended at workplaces to keep the decorum intact and avoiding production downtime. Also, random testing indirectly helps employees refrain from indulging in these addictions, and creates an overall positive impact at the workplace. This post focuses on the significance of workplace drug testing and how it helps create a positive vibe for all the employees.
Increasing Number of People Take Drugs
Unfortunately, drug abuse has been a growing problem in the US and many other countries across the globe, and this needs to be looked into. The rate at which the number of people taking to drugs has increased is quite alarming. According to the reports released by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), more than 70% or employed Americans consume drugs. In fact, while marijuana has been legalized in some states, the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance (NDWA) recommends that it should not be dropped from the drug test programs conducted by employers. For that matter, even the negative effects of continuous use of the so called legalized drugs such as marijuana, cannabis, and so on have been on rise.
People take drugs for various reasons and it can be distressing for everyone around them including employers, colleagues, friends, and family members. Some reports by NDWA also show that drug abuse increased in 2020 to 4.5% which is 28% more than the previous year. Some reasons behind this rise may point to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, joblessness, loss of loved ones, hopelessness, depression, and so on. Still, this is only a phase which will pass in a year’s time. However, these numbers need to go down regardless of any kind of stress, pressure, or depression as there are better ways to overcome these mental conditions.
Another devastating effect of drug abuse at workplace is theft and on-job accidents which happens when people do their jobs under the influence of drugs. Aside from these, influence of drugs on duty can result in wrong calculations, waste of productive time, violence, and an overall negative vibe. Let’s see how this can be mitigated.
Does Random Testing Really Mitigate Drug Abuse?
So far, this has been the easiest solution to curb this menace. However, drug users would always avoid such random drug tests due to obvious reasons. In fact, the same has been observed in a government research report that almost 40% of the employed drug users refused to work for organizations that conducted such random tests. While such people may need professional counseling and mental conditioning, there are others who take such tests and their drug positivity rate has declined over a period of time. The numbers mentioned by Quest Diagnostics in fact reveals that this decline has happened over the time. For some people, random drug tests act as a deterrent that stops them from consuming drugs. If such tests are stopped, they might start substance abuse again. On the whole, various reports by governmental and private organizations show that random testing keeps drug consumption at bay, in terms of numbers. This may be owing to a number of reasons such as fearing of legal implications, fear of losing the job, fear of image being spoiled, and so on. Random drug testing and even pre-employment drug testing services have proven to be effective in curbing this menace, even if it means out of fear of losing something. The important part is employers should be vigilant enough, ensure they carry out random testing, and also hire help from professional counselors if required, in a confidential setting. This is because everything plays its own role, be it the fear instilled owing to random testing or empathy and counseling.
Decline in Drug Positivity Increases Workplace Positivity
So, once the drug positivity rate at a workplace declines, it is bound to create a positive vibe. Here are some obvious benefits.
- It significantly reduces legal implications which the company or individuals may otherwise have to bear.
- It enhances workplace safety in terms of any untoward incidents, accidents, violence, injuries, and so on.
- Random testing may help reduce attrition over a period of time, especially when the once drug positive employees stop consuming drugs.
- Through professional help from counselors, doctors, and psychiatrists, employers can help treat the positive employees and solve the issue permanently.
- A drug-free environment will certainly boost productivity as people can work and communicate clearly and without physical or mental interruptions.
Random as well as planned drug testing of employees is an old school but a wise solution to keep your workplace free from drug abuse. This helps avoid interruptions in core functional and operational activities. If you plan to conduct such tests, look for reliable and DOT certified partners who can come to your workplace and collect the samples. Also, ensure they have enough experience in drug and alcohol compliance management. Medway OHS offers random testing for drugs and alcohol, pre-employment testing, and more.