6 Steps to Strengthen a Drug Free Workforce

With the drug problem an ever evolving dilemma, one finds it challenging to continue fighting the good fight of maintaining a drug-free workplace. The benefits of drug testing are so worthwhile and not just accident prevention in mind but lowered insurance costs and employee productivity, far less absenteeism and not to mention, a decrease in company downtime. Without a drug-free program and workplace policy as well as continued enforcement of it, there are nightmares to dream with an overall moral decline and threats of liability, oh and loss of profitability.

Employee attitude can hinder workplace productivity. A man once said that “attitude determines altitude” and employees coming to work under the influence are more inclined to carry a bad attitude, there is no scientific proof, just prior experience. Take my word for it, attitude can get much better and you other employees will appreciate a more positive work environment as you crack down and identify those who come under the influence.

So what are some savvy ways to strengthen as well as maintain control of your drug-free workplace?

First: Communicate with your supervisors or managerial staff as they are in closer contact with the workforce than you. It is not hard to get an impression that one may be either occasionally using or completely addicted to an illegal substance. Set up monthly meetings and discuss any problems that a supervisor is having with an employee or seeing a sudden change in attitude or attendance. Productivity might not be what it used to be and if your state laws allow you, it might be possible to bring them in for a test based on the reason of suspicion.

Second: Perform an audit of the drugs that you’re testing for as you may be behind the times. Drug test kits can now test from 1 up to 14 drugs in one test kit, all simultaneously. So it is possible that you could be passing a employee that has drugs fresh in their system simply because of the fact that you test for only 5 drugs and he or she could be using 3 or more drugs but your drug test is limiting your ultimate detection possibilities, due to the fact that the drugs in their system are outside of the range that you are testing for. You might need to power up to a 10, 11, 12 or 13 panel drug test because your employee may be doing pills, prescription drugs without a prescription!

In the past 5 years there are new drugs that emerged on the playing field so now the normal 5 main commonly used drugs like Cocaine, Marijuana, Opiate, Amphetamine as well as PCP might just not be as popular in your local anymore, so the smart thing to do is ask your local drug court what drugs they are seeing identified.

Pill popping is back! Pills are easy to consume and the drugs that come in pill form like Ecstasy, Uppers, Oxycontin, Buprenorphine, and Methamphetamine may cause your drug testing program to be completely ineffective and sterile if you are not using a test that can identify these assays.

People are still using and under the influence – you are just not catching them. The old NIDA 5 recommended drugs may be a little out-dated. It’s a new and challenging world of drug abuse and you have a job to do so re-equip for the task at hand.

K2 is a growing epidemic among our youth and has now, in most states, been outlawed. So are you testing for k2? Rapid Detect has a K2 drug test that tests for 18 different compounds while other k2 testing products only test for 2.

Third: Once you have a drug-free workplace policy and are ready to begin testing make sure that you publish your plans and use it as a marketing tool. Run an ad in your local paper announcing your plans to begin a drug testing program. Let your local employment agency know that your company will be enforcing a drug-free workplace policy and that all new applicants must be willing to submit and successfully pass a drug test. Market the news with internal memos to give notice of your plans as well as the installation of posters, flyers, and emails. The next possible move would be to have supervisors communicate the terms of the new policy to make sure everyone has been alerted just to make sure that all the bases have been covered.

This should immediately begin to discourage drug usage now that a testing procedure has been initiated, followed up by a looming threat of job separation, resulting in a nice effect of raining on their parade because their so-called “liberal fun” could really now cost them their job!

Fourth: Kick start a random drug testing policy for your company and reel in the rewards. Before hiring, drug testing is not enough to keep a workplace clean. Random drug testing should be a monthly or bi-monthly process and serve as a normal procedure to remind employees that at any time, they could be selected to submit a urine or saliva sample for a drug test.

Fifth: Make sure that you conform to the direction of your state drug testing laws. Do not operate your drug testing program as a rogue operative. Know what your state law has laid forth as permissible requisites of drug testing. There are hefty fines if you are caught operating outside of the law. Be sure to realize that most every state’s drug testing laws can be unique and differ per state.

Sixth: Don’t be an island; there are resources that are available, resources completely at your disposal to assist and guide you. The links below can provide some helpful information