Pop Quiz: What is one of the best convenient ways for a company to save money? Hmmm? In your industry, do you think you could fire everyone and go 100% computer-automated? Do you think your workers will stay if you decided to slash all their benefits to save a dollar? Would you be okay if cutting down your staff slowed down your production? These are probably some of the questions running through your mind after thinking about it. But what if it’s been observed and now there’s a suspicion that over half of your employees are abusing drugs, do you think you’re saving money then?
Illicit drug manufacturing and dealing are a multi-billion dollar criminal industry. It rivals to the amount of money spent on saving the lives of people who are addicted. Tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug abusers have been costly to our Nation. The average yearly cost is just over $600 billion in relation to crime, lost work productivity, and healthcare. According to the U.S. Government website drugabuse.gov, they break it down to the following:
- Tobacco = $193 billion ($96 billion of that is spent on Healthcare)
- Alcohol = $235 billion ($30 billion of that is spent on Healthcare)
- Drugs = $193 billion ($11 billion of that is spent on Healthcare)
That’s some serious cash lost that could be spent on better things, due to someone’s addiction. Think of all the improvements to production, pay raises to staff members who deserved it, or how many more people you could have hired with some of that money lost just by doing a little “preventative maintenance”. Studies show that substance abuse has not only been established in the workplace, but it’s costing employers more than what it costs for resources. According to one study, It’s estimated that nearly 70% of all drug users (including alcohol abusers) hold a job. On average, a lot of employers pay about $7,000 per employee, annually, to deal with their substance abuse problems. A standard drug test which screens for Amphetamines, Opiates, Marijuana, Cocaine, and Phencyclidine (PCP) is estimated between $50 and $100 per test. Each test includes sample collection, laboratory confirmation, and detailed results. All that money adds up and can hinder other benefits such as insurance, incentives, and pay rate increases.
These are some startling statistics. It’s time for a lot of employers to wake up to the idea of standing firm onto their drug testing policies and enforce a safer working environment. It may be a little costly at the beginning, but how much could it cost if an employee causes an accident that hurts not just themselves, but several others as well. Drug testing after serious on-the-job accidents is permitted if an employer has a valid reason to believe an employee is responsible for the accident while under the influence. Hindsight is 20/20 so it’s good to keep in mind and ask yourself, “How much would your company be affected if a serious situation happened that could have been prevented if only random drug testing was performed?” You are literally opening up your business to trouble if you don’t at least perform a simple urine drug test as part of your pre-screening process for potential employees. Common sense shows employers that drug test job applicants and current workers are less likely to have drug users on their payrolls.
Reasonable suspicion testing is typically upheld only if employers have some type of factual, objective evidence that indicated drug or alcohol abuse, such as appearance, behavior, physical symptoms, and inconsistent job performance. However, don’t just take our word for it, do your own homework by checking the state laws in which you live and operate your business. We’re trying to bring awareness of how important it is to initiate and uphold drug testing policies. If you more information regarding the products we sell, feel free to speak with one of our friendly knowledgeable sales consultants by calling (888) 404-0020 weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm CST or send us an email.