According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), 70% of the estimated 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs are employed. Much of this population segment is high-functioning. But the risks associated with impairment of any kind in the workplace cause major concern. The benefits of implementing a drug-testing program in the workplace are two-fold. You as the employer mitigate the risk of liability and protect the company’s reputation. Additionally, your employees have a safe, productive working environment where a positive atmosphere is a top priority.

Drug Testing

An effective drug testing program consists of three key elements: (1) a clearly-written policy that every employee signs, (2) an employee education element that creates awareness and sets clear expectations, and (3) drug testing types. 

1: Written Policy

The first step in implementing an effective drug testing program is devising a clearly-written policy. Then, very policy should be customized to fit the needs of the individual organization. However, there are several common elements that will likely have a place in your policy. This is true regardless of size of company or field of work.

Drafting a detailed explanation of why the drug testing program is being put into place is a good place to start. Firstly, the policy will define who will be subject to drug testing, when the testing will be performed, and the methods that will be used. Secondly, a comprehensive written policy includes sections listing prohibited behaviors. Additionally, it names what the consequences will be if an employee violates the policy. Will the company terminate the employee? Or, will there be an employee assistance program (EAP) in place to help with treatment, with the ultimate goal of returning to work? Then, the company will share the final policy. Employees need to sign off to express understanding of the rules and regulations. 

2: Education

An educational element is key to a drug testing program. Then, this will create awareness and provide the opportunity to set clear expectations in the workplace. There are three primary components to a well-rounded education piece in a program. They include:

  • Recognition of substance abuse—This will include how to recognize red flags and how to report them confidentially.
  • Employee training—A specific number of credit hours designed to reinforce and deepen awareness.
  • Resource provision—Even if a company chooses not to offer an EAP,  they should provide points of contact for employees to reach out for support. 

3: Types Of Drug Testing 

There are four primary types of drug testing common among most organizations, regardless of size. They include: 

  • Pre-employment drug screening—Employers conduct this screening after a job offer, before the onboarding beginning the onboarding process.
  • Post-accident drug testing—Employees take this test after a job-related accident. It verifies if drugs or alcohol could have played a role. 
  • Reasonable-suspicion drug testing—The company performs this testing at their discretion. If there is suspicion from a supervisor, or a confidential report filed by a coworker, they will conduct a drug test. 
  • Randomized drug testing—This means that the employer can randomly select individuals and time frames to perform drug testing. This can be at their discretion or systematically. 

Drug Test Employees 

Alcohol and drug abuse are serious issues that companies of any size face daily. Therefore, it’s crucial to drug test employees utilizing a comprehensive program. Soteria Screening will help minimize faulty hires and reduce liabilities for the company and its employees. 

At Soteria Screening Laboratories it is our mission to provide personalized, effective, and efficient drug and alcohol testing and compliance programs nationwide for companies and for individuals. Thus, we work with three laboratories, instead of one, to help expand the network of facilities able to provide our variety of services. High-quality, time-efficient drug testing at the workplace is our specialty.

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