Seventy-four percent of current drug users are employed. This means that more than 10 million employees use drugs, making the workplace an important environment in which to intervene and to help prevent employees from starting.
One method of identifying employees who use drugs is through workplace drug testing. Drug testing sends a message to employees to remain drug-free.
A recent national poll of employees found that 97 percent agreed that workplace drug testing is appropriate under certain circumstances and 85 percent believed that urine testing may deter drug use. So, testing for the right reasons has the support of most employees.
“Workplace Safety” is the reason most commonly given by employers for drug testing. Testing has been suggested for prospective and current employees in industry; for the armed forces; for parolees and bail seekers; for transportation industry employees; and for professional athletes, who are often role models for young people.
Workplace drug testing is used in five different ways:
- Post-accident or for-cause testing
- Scheduled testing (routine physicals)
- Random testing
- Drug Treatment follow-up testing (used for monitoring an employee’s success in remaining drug-free)
Urine screening can be a useful tool in identifying employees with potential drug problems. The majority of the largest employers in the United States have adopted urine screening and approximately 20% of employed Americans have a drug testing policy in their workplace.
Statistics show that a comprehensive prevention program in the workplace with education and training programs for workers and supervisors, drug testing, and the availability of treatment services reduces drug use, and improves health, safety and productivity. Implementing a drug-testing program can be an important part of your comprehensive approach to establishing a drug-free workplace.