Drug Testing: A Powerful Force in the War on Drugs
In the mid-1990’s, almost overnight it became fashionable to talk of testing millions of people at work for both alcohol and drugs. 15 years ago the idea seemed so extreme that the government cuts it out of the White Paper altogether – with small concessions for prisons and roadside. In a dramatic policy shift, drug czar Keith Halliwell and government Ministers started encouraging drug testing by employers. Now, very possibly up to 95% of the American Workforce is performing drugs of abuse testing which includes pre-employment, as well as post-accident and probable cause drug screening.
Benefits of Drug Testing For Employers & Employees
Drug testing has become a growing force in the effort to create a drug-free environment for the employer as well as employees. Drug testing is good for business and good for the workforce.
In this day and time, due to drug-free workplace policies, it has become almost impossible for recreational drug users to get a job with most American companies. Drug testing at work is probably the single most effective weapon we have against adult substance abuse. It is a proven, low-cost strategy which identifies those needing help, reduces demand, cuts accidents and sick leave, improves attendance and increases productivity.
Companies spend millions of dollars every year drug testing employees, or applicants for hire, 80% of all large companies already spend over 20 million a year testing for drugs but the benefit pays off in big dividends for business owners, larger corporations as well for small business. In 2005 up to 80% of all workers were expected to be covered by drug tests. Britain also has a significant and growing problem with addiction. 8% of men and 2% of women in Britain abuse drugs or alcohol, costing at least 3 billion a year in accidents and absence alone. Every office, factory, train operator, airline, construction company and hospital is affected with serious risks to public health and profitability. Workplace drug testing in America is being forced on employers for economic and safety reasons. Companies that don’t test will go bust. Their insurance premiums will go through the roof.
U.S. studies show that substance abusers (including alcohol) are 33% less productive, 3 times as likely to be late, 4 times as likely to hurt others or themselves at work, 5 times as likely to sue for compensation, and 10 times as likely to miss work.
When the state of Ohio introduced random drug testing they found absenteeism dropped 91%, there were 88% fewer problems with supervisors and 97% decrease in on-the-job injuries. These results are so striking that many companies are now screening job applicants.
A plastics company realized many workers were taking Amphetamines to keep awake after they lengthened shifts to 12 hours. Staff found tell-tale powder residues and scratch marks on equipment. They estimated that 20% of the workforce were taking drugs. After random drug testing was introduced drug-taking fell to negligible levels.
A Wisconsin cardboard factory was contacted recently by their insurers who were worried about high levels of injuries. Random drug testing was introduced and accidents fell 72% the following year, with an 80% decrease in days lost as a result.
Drug Testing, Methods & Terms
Drug testing whether given for pre-employment, random, or reasonable suspicion purposes is a proven, low-cost strategy which identifies those needing help, reduces demand, cuts accidents and sick leave, improves attendance and increases productivity. One thing is clear: Drug and Alcohol testing will continue to spread fast in the coming years as the most practical and cost-effective way to strengthen existing drugs and alcohol policies at work.
Below are the most common methods of drug testing:
- Urine Drug Testing
- Saliva Drug Testing
- Hair Drug Testing
- Lab Drug Testing through Instrumentation
- Urine Specimen Collection
- Rapid Drug Testing (also identified as instant result drug testing using rapid response test devices that can be used on the job, in the field, performed by the employer or a drug testing service.)
Drug Retention Times are as follows:
1.Urine: to view our Drugs of Abuse Chart for uses and effects click here. For a list of all Drug Abbreviations click here.
- (THC) Marijuana 1 day – 4 weeks
- (OPI) Opiates 1-2 days
- (AMP) Amphetamine 1-2 days
- (mAMP) Methamphetamine 1-2 days
- (COC) Cocaine 1-4 days
2. Hair: Drug test kits for hair can go up to 90 days. Hair samples must be cut very close to the scalp, need a length of 1 1/2 inches, amount of hair (60-80 stands).
3. Saliva: Drug test kits for saliva is preferable because it is less intrusive than urine, and there are currently no known methods for defeating saliva testing.
Drug Testing Terms:
- Pre-employment drug test
- Post accident drug test
- Random drug test
- Probable Cause drug test
For more information view our Frequently Asked Questions Page.
Order drug tests online via our web store or give us a call to set up an account: 1-888-404-0020.