Everything You Need to Know About Workspace Drug and Alcohol Testing
Substance abuse is an issue in the workplace and affects every industry. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, one in five working Americans reports that their addiction has interfered with their work life.
This can lead to absenteeism, decreased productivity, accidents on the job and more serious consequences that require time off from work, legal expenses, and so much more. This article will provide you with important aspects of drug and alcohol testing.
A substance abuse policy is a necessity.
To help you learn more about why a substance abuse policy is necessary, here are a few reasons why it’s an important part of running a business.
- A substance abuse policy helps protect the integrity of your company. Whether you have employees working in office spaces or travelling across the country, they represent your business in their actions and interactions with others.
If they’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, however briefly, even if it’s not during work hours, this could damage your reputation.
- A substance abuse policy helps protect against liability issues that can cost your company money in legal fees and damages awarded by court cases brought against them by clients or customers who were harmed by an employee’s actions while intoxicated (or worse).
Having clear expectations for how these situations should be handled can help take some of the heat off when bad things happen—and if there are no clear expectations for handling such situations, then any damage control costs incurred could be even higher than usual!
- A substance abuse policy helps protect employees from risking their careers due to addiction problems down the road; this means having policies in place that explain what type(s) behaviour will warrant counselling interventions so that early intervention can happen before anyone gets hurt too badly – physically/emotionally/financially speaking – when dealing with addiction issues within the corporate culture.”
What type of tests do you need to conduct?
You must understand the different types of tests, as well as how each one works.
Many employers choose to conduct urine drug testing because it’s a low-cost alternative to other options, but it has some downsides.
It doesn’t detect alcohol or drugs that stay in your system for long periods—like nicotine (withdrawal symptoms can last up to two weeks after quitting) or marijuana.
Urine tests also don’t detect THC or other active ingredients in cannabis products like edibles and concentrate, so if an employee eats a pot brownie before being tested, they’ll pass the test despite having consumed cannabis within the past few days.
What’s more, these results may not be accurate when someone has recently used certain medications like antibiotics—the medication itself can show up on the test instead of any illicit substances.
How do you handle a positive result?
Positive results are handled in a variety of ways, depending on the severity of the positive result and if it’s a first-time offence.
- Employee counselling: This is an ideal way to handle a positive test result, especially if your company has an employee assistance program (EAP).
In these cases, you can refer your employees who test positive for drugs or alcohol to EAP services that will help them get treatment and learn how to manage their problems with addiction.
- Employee education: If you have a policy about drug and alcohol testing that requires all employees to be tested once per year, then this is probably what you will do with anyone who tests positive.
You may want to consider posting literature about substance abuse at work. Hence, people know what’s happening with their coworkers who are struggling with addiction issues as well as themselves.
Or maybe there’s another method (such as workshops) that would work better for your needs and culture? Whatever works best!
How much does drug testing cost?
The cost of drug testing varies depending on the test you want to conduct. Some tests are cheaper than others, and some are more accurate. Still, most employers generally choose urine testing because it’s relatively inexpensive and poses no risk of injury or contamination.
The average cost for a basic urine test ranges from $40-$50 per employee tested. While this may seem like a lot at first glance (especially if you’re used to paying only $10 for an oil change), considering that these costs must be weighed against the potential benefits that workplace drug testing provides makes them much easier to justify:
A well-designed workplace drug policy can improve productivity and reduce workplace accidents through its ability to identify problem employees before they become major liabilities.
In addition, it can help build trust between workers and their supervisors by demonstrating that management is interested in creating an environment where everyone feels safe giving honest answers when asked questions about personal habits or lifestyle choices outside of work hours!
Steffy Alen is a copywriter and content strategist. She helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing tangible ROI. She loves writing as much as she loves the cake.