As a company grows, one of the issues that may come up for discussion is the implementation of a workplace drug testing program. There are many reasons why testing helps businesses, particularly when programs use a quick, portable drug test rather than older, more traditional versions that feel invasive to the employee and which are expensive for the company.
Studies reveal that drug-free workers are more productive, miss fewer workdays, don’t get injured as much, and aren’t as likely to file workers’ compensation claims.
Until recently, drug testing for companies or law enforcement has been a fairly invasive procedure requiring time from the employee, as well as high costs for the company requiring the test. However, new portable drug testing equipment and quick fingerprint drug testing has allowed businesses to reconsider the benefits of requiring drug tests in the workplace.
Choosing to Test Employees for Drugs
It’s not surprising that the decision to test employees for drugs represents a struggle for business owners who consider their employees as friends, equals, or dedicated members of the company. However, evidence suggests the decision to test, and its positive effect on the company’s bottom line is worth it when the tests help reduce substance abuse at the company.
Consider these positive economic benefits of workplace drug testing:
- Reduced turnover of employees
- Reduced recruitment costs for new workers
- Conduct fewer training sessions for recent hires
- Less theft by employees
- Reduced rates of tardiness, absenteeism, and sick leave
- Decreased insurance and workers’ compensation costs
In addition to these important economic benefits, a drug testing program that uses portable drug testing can also improve the working environment for employees by creating an efficient and cordial drug-free workplace.
What is the Monetary Cost of Workplace Drug Abuse?
Studies have shown that drugs at work hinder growth and cost money, but the actual numbers are quite eye-opening. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), drug abuse costs companies an astounding $81 billion dollars every year.
Also, the NCADD reveals:
“70% of the estimated 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs are employed,”
With millions of Americans employed while using illegal drugs, the importance of workplace drug testing is clear. The NCADD Fact Sheet: Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Workplace also suggests:
“Workers who report having three or more jobs in the previous five years are about twice as likely to be current or past year users of illegal drugs as those who have had two or fewer jobs.”
Reducing drug use at work may also have a positive impact on the appearance of drugs in other areas of society. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is part of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health, reveals:
“Abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is costly to our Nation, exacting more than $700 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and health care.”
In addition to conducting routine mobile drug screening, companies may also help employees by instituting programs that aim to reduce the use of tobacco and alcohol. Safe consumption of alcohol is possible, but the effects of alcohol abuse are costly to companies and the nation.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reveals that $25 billion is spent on health care each year because of alcohol abuse. Considering a workplace health initiative could have positive benefits when featured alongside routine fingerprint drug test schedules and a drug-free workplace.
Implementing simple and non-invasive mobile drug screening that uses Intelligent Fingerprinting™ devices from SMARTOX® is a plan that every business should consider.