Although 75% of drug abusers are employed, and 8% to 10% of employees in any organization are likely to abuse drugs, only 4.5% of abusers are detected! Most companies don't measure the impact of drug abuse on their operations. Traditional techniques for managing workplace drug abuse (such as education, interdiction, assistance, and urine-based pre-employment drug testing) have been only marginally effective at managing this problem. Although 90% of drug testing is done only on a pre-employment basis, this technique is often of little use: Because most drugs are detectable for a maximum of three to four days, abusers simply stop taking drugs for a week, gain employment, and resume their risky behavior.

Some organizations are winning the war against drug abuse by adopting alternative approaches, such as on-site oral-based drug screening, which offer these benefits:

  • A 50% reduction in on-the-job accidents.
  • Reduced Workers Compensation premiums.
  • Lower health benefit utilization rates.
  • Higher employee retention rates.
  • A 30% reduction in inventory shrinkage/employee theft.

Other alternatives to urine testing, such as hair testing, have emerged. Drug testing is easy to implement and legal -- if not actually encouraged -- in most states. Package programs are available which can be tailored to your firm. Drug testing usually provides a 100-fold return on investment. That's not bad, when you consider that failure to implement an effective drug-free workplace program will probably cost you least $1,000 a year per employee.

For more information on workplace drug testing, give our risk management professionals a call today.

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