The United States is heavily involved in the drug crisis and the gravity of the issue can be judged from the fact that America is only 5% world’s population but is responsible for buying over 60% of world’s supply of drugs. And the majority of these drug users/abusers are found at American workplaces. Be it a large corporate or a small business, you will find these drug users everywhere. According to a report, 77% of the illicit drug users are either full or part-time employed.
Almost 8 out of every 10, individuals and workers are involved in consuming some form of drugs. That’s makes around 9.4 million workers to be involved in this mess. As this is a very large number, we can safely assume the major impact of employee drug abuse has on businesses. Taking drugs can decrease their work efficiency and productivity which will greatly affect the business or company profitability. Employees also suffer from illnesses and lose valuable time at work and in worst cases people can die due to overdose or accidents. Unfortunately, this will affect their payouts on insurance claims for their family.
Employees also stop appearing on their jobs calling for ‘sick days’ more frequently. At times, they don’t bother to make an excuse or go back to work. In addition, when they do appear at their workplace, they become more involved in accidents in the workplace. They become involved in workplace property damage and theft. Moreover, they will be also late on deadlines and the work they submit will be either inaccurate or unprofessional.
How workplace should handle drug abuse problems?
Since the cases of employee drug abuse are increasing day by day, workplace management is now taking certain measures against this problem. They are introducing company-wide anti-drug policies; comprehensive employee drug abuse education and drug awareness programs; drug testing programs; employee assistance (EAP) and rehabilitation programs.
Is drug testing accurate?
Yes, when done properly. The procedure of drug testing involves a few steps. In the first step, generally the person’s urine is tested. The typical procedure is a two-step process in which one half of urine sample is tested using a relatively simple, inexpensive, yet highly accurate “screen” (usually an “immunoassay”). If the screen shows the negative result, it usually means that person appeared negative against the drugs being tested for which further means that they are not consuming it. If the screen shows the non-negative result, then a second test will be performed at a diagnostic lab for confirmation of the substance in question. Upon the confirmation findings, a Medical Review Officer (MRO) will contact the donor directly to obtain any prescription medications that he or she is taking. Once the entire analysis is done and the result is positive, this means that a person is consuming drugs. If done properly, this test is very accurate. It is important to note that an “Instant Screen” without Lab Confirmation and an MRO review should never be considered a conclusive result and would not stand up to a legal challenge.
Can employee drug abuse affect me?
Employee drug abuse can greatly affect you. From an economic point of view, it can cause higher insurance rates, higher health care costs, and higher consumer prices. Moreover, this will also generally lead to a higher crime rate. People can also get harassed at the workplace by such drug consuming employees asserting peer pressure or simply because they are impaired. If you are a CEO, Manager, or Owner of a company, your business will be greatly affected if a drug problem exists in your workplace.
Do these prevention programs work?
If the company actively participates in educating its employees regarding drug abuse, it can have a very positive impact. The people involved in drugs don’t even bother to apply such companies where they openly educate employees about drugs or have very clear and strict drug-abusing policies. If such people are already working in these companies, they might stop using them due to the fear of being caught and fired. A random drug program is recommended to keep your workplace drug-free.
There are many success stories that celebrating success or drug prevention programs. However, a particular case of the US Navy in the 1980s is very famous. Some active personnel were tested positive for drug consumption. They introduced a very thorough drug abuse prevention program due to which there was a decrease in drug abuse cases. The percentage of such cases dropped from 28% to 4% which was a huge success.
For help understanding all of the drug screening/testing options available, please contact Test Smartly Labs today…