According to the Nation Safety Council, one in twelve workers in the U.S. is dealing with a substance abuse problem. Not only is addiction problematic for individuals and their families, but employers also lose billions of dollars a year due to on-site accidents, loss of productivity, and other related issues. Securing a drug-free work environment will protect your employees and business. Follow these tips to combat substance abuse and create a healthy and drug free work environment.

Tip 1 – Recognize the problem

It’s hard to ignore that billions of dollars are lost within a business because of substance abuse, but somehow most substance abusers fly under the radar. Start planning your drug-free enforcement policy around the affected areas in your industry. For instance, if safety is your main concern, then focus on safety measures. If productivity and morale are tanking, lead your focus there. Identifying where the problems are occurring is the first step.

Tip 2 – Produce and enforce a drug-free policy. 

The best way to avoid hiring substance abuse users is through a pre-employment drug screening process. Also, by doing so, you will immediately reduce costs in training and reduce liability. Providing random drug screenings has proved to minimize substance abusers from using and others from trying recreational drugs. Always investigate incidents that occur on-site by drug testing anyone involved in an accident. Drug use is involved in over half of the accidents that happen at work. Substance abuse users are also more likely to file workman’s compensation claims following an accident.

Protect your business by covering the legality of a drug-free rule. Always allow notice in writing or when you begin the hiring process that there will be a drug test for employment requirements. Never single out particular employees as random means to test non-specifically.

Tip 3 – Train supervisors and employees to identify illicit drug usage and impairment. 

Educate and engage your workforce on the topic of drug use in the workplace. Communicating with your employees about the dangers can help reinforce the drug policy. This is as easy as placing a sign on heavy machinery that provides a warning label against operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Educate employees on the consequences of substance abuse on the job and give them clear expectations.

Tip 4 – Develop an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Choose to treat substance abuse as a treatable medical condition by ensuring treatment programs in employee health insurance packages. You can also set up in-home treatment options to reduce productivity losses.

Tip 5 – Support employees in recovery.

Recovering addicts have the lowest turnover rates, better attendance, and fewer doctor’s visits. Provide all of your employees with privacy and respect. Supporting your employee through addiction will benefit their home life, and that will bleed into the workplace.

It’s not surprising that factories, construction sites, or the transportation industry maintain drug-free policies. Driving or running heavy machinery is an obvious safety concern, and can be especially dangerous for someone impaired by illicit drugs. Unfortunately, professions like the food industry, hospitality, doctors, nurses, lawyers, police officers, firefighters, and business management all suffer higher than average rates of substance abuse. The commonality between these latter professions is that the employer has not regained responsibility in enforcing a drug-free workforce.

When you drug test employees before and during employment, instances of drug abuse go down. In turn, drug testing increases productivity, boosts morale, and protects your employees from unnecessary accidents. Soteria Screening Laboratories strives to deter substance abuse in the workforce by offering a variety of convenient, affordable, and effective drug and alcohol tests. Request assistance to speak to one of our representatives about corporate accounts and bundle pricing to safeguard your work environment today.

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