Occupational Drug Testing

Would you be more willing to trust a company that makes efforts to keep their workplace drug-free? If so, you’re not the only one. Drug testing is becoming more and more important in the hiring process, but also increasingly complicated. With legalization in some States, drugs are more accessible than ever.

Workplace drug use and abuse has serious consequences for businesses. That’s why 90% of employers require that job candidates and current employees undergo drug testing every year. While some tests might be randomly carried out during an employee’s time of employment, a majority are mandated prior to hiring. This is called pre-employment drug testing.

Testing Process

Most drug tests are done through urine testing, though saliva, blood and hair samples can also be used. It’s more common for drug testing to be conducted at a collection lab rather than on-site. This helps prevent distraction and maximizes work time. Employers are most concerned about heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and non-medical prescription drugs.

The Importance of Occupational Drug Testing

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that drug abuse costs businesses over $140 billion/year. This number includes the turnover rate for employees that are abusing drugs. Drug abuse negatively affects safety, performance, profits and medical costs, so it’s important to nip the problem in the bud with pre-employment drug tests.

Not only does drug testing help the employer, but also the employee. By testing, you reduce the likelihood of drug-related deaths and help out those who may need that extra push to quit using. If someone is operating heavy equipment while under the influence of drugs, they pose a safety risk to themselves and other employees. In fact, employee drug abuse causes as much as 50% of all on-the-job accidents. Employers who are aware of drug abuse and don’t take action may have legal suits to deal with should an accident occur. Learn more about the effects of drug abuse and addiction.


Not only are employees safer when they’re drug-free, but they’re also more productive. When an employee is under the influence, they won’t be able to stay on task, might miss deadlines and will likely be absent from work. Employees that are abusing drugs perform at only 67% of their potential, and drug abusers are responsible for 35% of all absenteeism. When your employees aren’t as productive, your profits shrink. These profits are further siphoned by employee theft, as drug abuse causes up to 40% of employee theft. Keep in mind that drug abusers are also five times more likely to file a worker’s compensation claim.


Your company will lose profits if you’re having to deal with constant turnover, which is why pre-employment drug testing can be so beneficial for your business. Catching an abuser before they’re hired on means you won’t have to deal with replacing them later down the road.

Workers Comp Savings

Reduced frequency and severity of injury.

Medical costs can also be a drain on employers, and drug use amplifies this cost by an estimated $140 billion each year. Drug use increases the medical expenses for the average employee by four times, and drug abusers have 300% higher medical costs for insurance. If you choose to implement occupational drug testing, your health insurance premiums will go down. With drug testing in place, you reduce the possibility of on-the-job accidents and drug-related illnesses.

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