It is virtually impossible to identify the precise degree of the influence that drugs and alcohol play in criminal activity. However, data from numerous government sources indicate that it is significant. Drug tests of people arrested for crimes reveal a substantially greater percentage of drug usage, even though less than half of victims of violent crimes think the perpetrator was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The ability to test for drug usage in the workplace and establish whether an employee has recently used a substance is made possible by modern advancements in medical technology. We’ll cover everything you need to know about alcohol & drug screening and workplace drug testing in this article.
What Is An Employment Alcohol And Drug Screening?
Employers can determine if job candidates or current workers use drugs, including prescription medications, illegal substances, and alcohol, by conducting workplace drug tests. When the drug testing policy is clear and communicated to all of your employees, information about drug and alcohol abuse is provided, supervisors are educated and trained on the symptoms and signs of drug and alcohol abuse, and an employee assistance program that supports those who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse is provided.
Abuse of drugs and alcohol can result in risks to workers’ health and safety, as well as lower staff morale and lower levels of production. Additionally, it may result in additional expenses for your business in the form of short-term disability claims and other medical claims. The following are some of the reasons why employers frequently test for drugs at work:
- Avoid hiring those who misuse illicit substances.
- Provide all workers with a secure and healthy work environment
- Identifying and assisting workers with alcohol and drug issues
- Safeguarding the public
- Keep staff members away from drug and alcohol abuse
- Obey all applicable federal and state laws
Implementing Drug Screening
Employees may go to an HHS-certified laboratory for the tests, or a trained collector may visit your workplace to collect specimens. The chain of custody for the specimen must be continuous from reception to disposal in order to guarantee accuracy. Ask the following questions, which are covered in your drug-free workplace policy, before starting alcohol and drug screening, and think about how they will affect your testing program.
- Who is subject to testing?
- When are drug tests conducted?
- Who carries out the testing?
- Which chemicals are examined?
- Who foots the bill for drug testing?
- What efforts are taken to make sure the drug tests are accurate?
- What rights do employees who receive a positive test outcome have under the law?
Create a system to safeguard the privacy of employee alcohol and drug screening results. Choose a person inside your company who will be in charge of receiving the results of employee drug tests, and make sure that person is aware of confidentiality guidelines.
If your company has an employee assistance program (EAP), describe how it relates to the drug testing program. Inform staff members of the ways in which drug testing outcomes can influence their care, recovery, and return to work.
What if An Employee Fails A Reasonable Suspicion Drug Screen?
The employer is responsible for developing a documented policy that protects both them and the employee legally. They also must establish and uphold a “drug-free workplace.” What happens next if an employee fails a drug test with reasonable suspicion is up to the employer. So that everyone knows what to expect, the drug policy should be spelled out in an employee handbook or other official documentation.
Certain employers adopt a zero-tolerance approach to drugs. Others will continue hiring a non-negative employee on the condition that they obtain treatment and pass subsequent drug tests. Each state and country has their own laws and regulations about workplace drug testing, so it is best to consult with a legal professional.
Drug Test Types
Drug tests come in many forms based on the substances being tested for and the samples being used. As test specimens, urine, hair, saliva (oral fluid), or sweat samples may be used. Although the Secretary of Health and Human Services has issued guidelines for the inclusion of oral fluid specimens, only urine samples are currently collected in federally regulated programs.
Five types of substances are frequently tested for: amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP). Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, ethanol (alcohol), hydrocodone, MDMA, methadone, methaqualone, or propoxyphene are examples of further groups. The following periods or situations are set aside for drug testing:
- Pre-employment: Clearing an alcohol and drug screening might be a requirement for employment. This strategy involves conducting drug tests on all job applicants before they are hired.
- Annual Physical Exams: As part of an annual physical exam, you can test your staff for alcohol and other drug use. Make sure to let the staff know that the exam will include a drug test. The employee’s statutory rights are violated if advance notice is not given.
- For-cause and Reasonable Articulable suspicion Tests: You may choose to test personnel who exhibit observable indicators that they are unfit for duty (for-cause testing) or who exhibit a pattern of risky work behavior that has been documented (reasonable suspicion testing.) The employee’s and other coworkers’ safety and wellness are protected thanks to these examinations.
- Post-accident Tests: Testing workers who were engaged in a workplace accident or risky activities afterward can help identify whether alcohol or other drug use played a role in the incident.
- Post-treatment Tests: Testing individuals who return to work after finishing a rehabilitation program can motivate them to continue abstaining from drugs.
- Random Tests: The most successful tests for discouraging the use of illegal drugs involve random selection procedures.
Drug Test Kits
You should put just as much effort into defending your company as you did in building it. This refers to more than just safeguarding your financial future. In addition, it entails protecting the equity you’ve built in your staff. By fostering a safe work environment, you can ensure that your greatest assets, your people, are well-protected.
Drug test kits may be useful in this situation. You may make sure your employees are performing responsibly and safely at work by conducting drug tests at the workplace. DrugTestKitUSA is an online supplier of drug test kits, who has been providing drug test products exclusively to businesses since 2016. They are one of the many options available online today for discreet and affordable drug test kits.
The goal of the policy on alcohol and drug screening at work is to give employees across the board access to a secure and healthy workplace. The company is committed to ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of all of its employees and contractors. Abuse of alcohol and other drugs threatens employee health and safety. Consequently, the employer is responsible for starting an alcohol and drug screening program with the help of a legal professional.