Drug abuse in the workplace is a growing problem for employers throughout the U.S. This problem can cost your company a significant amount of money, along with decreased productivity and lowered morale overall. When you’re in the process of hiring new employees, it’s important to avoid making assumptions about their credibility. Potential employees who have outstanding resumes and the right skills for the job could also be hiding a drug problem. This makes drug testing/screening an essential part of the hiring process.

Facts on Drug Abuse in the Workplace

How big of a problem is drug abuse in the workplace? Keep in mind that even if employees aren’t using drugs during work, habitual drug use on their part can still affect their job performance. This can put themselves and others at risk and also cause other problems in the workplace.

  • According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 68.9 percent of an estimated 22 million drug users have full-time or part-time jobs.
  • Roughly 10 to 20 percent of employees in the U.S. who die in the workplace end up having positive test results for alcohol or drugs in their system, according to DrugAbuse.com.
  • Drug abuse is higher in industries that are hazardous to work in, including construction and mining, according to the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance.
  • Employees who have had at least three jobs in the past 5 years are roughly twice as likely to abuse drugs as those who have had less than three jobs in the same timeframe, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
Effects of Drug Abuse in the Workplace

What kinds of problems can employee drug use cause for your business? Employees who have a drug problem typically struggle with poor job performance, low productivity and frequent absences from work. These employees are also more likely to change jobs frequently, forcing you to start the hiring process all over again in order to fill their position. These problems can have a negative impact on other employees in your workplace, resulting in lowered morale.

Employees who use drugs are also a risk in terms of workplace accidents. These employees put themselves, co-workers, customers and clients at risk of being injured due to negligence, poor judgment or physical impairments caused by drug use. In financial terms, this can cost your business a considerable amount of money in workmen’s compensation claims or legal fees.

Importance of Urine Tests for Drug Testing

One of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of hiring employees who have a drug problem is by administering drug testing/screening. Urine tests can show whether or not potential employees have drugs in their system, which can indicate an ongoing drug abuse problem. Having potential employees take these tests helps you screen out those who might bring drug use problems into your workplace.

Using urine tests for drug testing is associated with numerous benefits, including improved morale, a lower risk of workplace accidents and injuries, an increase in workplace productivity, a lower risk of theft and a lower turnover rate. You’re also likely to save on insurance costs for your employees. Overall, avoiding hiring those who have a drug problem could save your business thousands of dollars.

LaborChex offers effective drug screening services for employers. Since 1991, LaborChex has provided businesses with reliable employment screening, which has helped companies save significant amounts of money. When your company is looking for new employees, you can depend on LaborChex to provide you with the right tools to make hiring decisions that will help your business thrive.