- September 1, 2015
- Posted by: James White
- Category: News
Drug testing policies are designed to help employers create a safer, more productive workplace. Most employers believe these policies are effective, and studies have even shown that workplace injuries, absenteeism and even morale all improve after the introduction of these policies. However, there just might be other effects as well, outside of the workplace.
Employment Shows Decrease in Illicit Drug Use
A study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2013 showed that only 9.1 percent of full time employees used illicit drugs. However, those who were unemployed came in at 18.2 percent. Additionally, this same study showed that there were more than 22 million people over the age of 18 that were current illicit drug users at the time the survey was conducted. Of that number, 68.9 percent were listed as employed either full or part time.
These statistics are alarming on their own, and of course bring up their own questions concerning whether those who were unemployed were in that position due to their drug use, or because of their unemployment status. The issue of how users came to be so is one thing, but the fact that fewer people who were employed used drugs shows that employment can make a difference – the question is, are drug tests the cause?
For many, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Employees who know the potential exists for random drug testing are less likely to use illicit substances. However, those employers who don’t use random drug testing have shown an increase in absenteeism, decreased productivity, and more workplace accidents.
Drug Policies Matter
Even though most employers conduct drug testing, there are still many organizations that don’t. While this is a consideration that is completely up to the business owner, the question becomes whether you want to protect the employees you currently have by ensuring you aren’t hiring illicit drug users, and helping to keep them away from drug use while they are employed, or not. While using drug tests won’t eliminate every user in your workplace, it is a step in the right direction. If you are interested in instituting drug testing in your workplace, please feel free to contact us to see how we can help you start protecting your employees.