It is but normal for employers to become increasingly concerned about the growing incidences of substance abuse in the workplace. Many employers, however, have decided to take action instead of worrying about it. They developed drug policies for their companies, with most of them instituting drug tests in the workplace in accordance with those policies.
The question is, are drug tests effective? Are these drug testing programs effective in deterring current and potential employees from using marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs? The answer is a resounding yes.
Many studies prove effectiveness of drug tests
Research has already shown that drug tests are effective in more ways than one. For one, a number of major workplace studies have focused on comparing the accident rates of companies before and after the implementation of a drug-testing program. In most cases, the businesses that participated in such studies have registered an incredible drop in accidents that resulted in injuries or death. This is perhaps the most important benefit of drug testing in the workplace, and should be reason enough for any employer to seriously consider implementing such a program in their own workplace.
The effectiveness of drug tests, however, doesn’t stop there. Instances of absenteeism, which is common among employees who use or abuse drugs, tend to drop after the implementation of a drug testing program. In a 2011 poll conducted by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), nine percent of organisations surveyed reported absenteeism rates of more than 15 percent prior to the implementation of a drug testing program, while only 4 percent of employers surveyed reported high absenteeism rates after a drug testing program was implemented. Overall productivity also increased after establishing drug test programs, with 19 percent of organizations reporting an increase in productivity.
The same study also tells of the impact drug tests have on workers’ compensation incidence rates. Before a testing program was in place, 14 per cent of the organisations surveyed reported high workers’ compensation incidence rates. On the other hand, only six per cent reported high workers’ compensation incidence rates a drug testing program was put in place.
Drug tests help employers get better quality of workers
Drug tests have also proven effective in deterring drug abusers from applying for jobs in companies that have such programs in place. According to data from the United States federal government, a high percentage of drug users will consciously avoid working for employers that conduct drug testing. A survey of drug users who also happen to be employed full-time reveals that 40% admitted they were less likely to work for employers that conduct random drug testing. Meanwhile, 30% said they were less likely to work for a company with an established pre-employment drug testing program.
If you’re an employer that has yet to develop drug and alcohol testing policies, it’s time to get around to doing it. Drug abuse in the workplace costs employers around the world billions upon billions of dollars. Drug tests in the workplace can help you lower that toll, and help preserve the health and safety of everyone at work.