Why drug test?   Substance abuse takes a heavy toll on businesses, costing employers over 10 billion dollars each year.

How big is the problem?   There are 21 million illicit drug users in the US.  Chances are we all have been personally affected by alcohol and drug abuse in some way.  According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 10.6% of full-time employees and 13.2% of part-time employees aged 18 or older reported using illicit drugs within the past month.

In addition, data from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that employees who use drugs are:

  • 2.5 times more likely than co-workers who do not use drugs to miss work or show up late.
  • 3 times more likely to quit or be terminated
  • 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident at work
  • 5 times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim (50% of claims involve substance abuse)
  • More likely to steal, be less productive, be involved in a confrontation, and utilize more healthcare benefits

Drug testing programs filter out drug users.

Since companies first began drug testing their employees in the 1980s, drug use among workers subject to testing has steadily declined.

According a poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) 57% of employers conduct a drug test on all job candidates.   

Prospective employees with drug and alcohol abuse problems are aware of companies that conduct drug test in their community and those who don’t.   Survey respondents who reported past-month drug use in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health said they would be less likely to work for employers that conduct pre-employment or random drug testing.   Simply having a pre-employment testing program in place will reduce the number of drug alcohol abusers in your applicant pool and catch those who do try to get in.  

Workers Compensation is where the MONEY is. 

 A Sept. 2011 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey found the number of employers reporting high Workers Comp incidence rates decreased by approximately 50% after introducing drug testing programs.   Drug testing has been found to:

  • Decrease claims by as much as 12%
  • Reduce first aide injury reports by 18%
  • Reduce accidents by 51%
  • Reduce experience mod rates as much as 11 %

Workers Compensation Incentive Programs

Employers can take advantage of workers compensation incentives if the appropriate drug testing program is established from premium discounts to the affirmative defense of a rebuttable presumption of intoxication. 

The intoxication defense has existed for nearly as long as workers compensation itself.   But it was extremely difficult to succeed in defeating claims, mainly because in most states employers had to prove
1) that the employee was intoxicated, and
2) that the intoxication “caused” the accident and injuries. 

Twenty (20) states now have laws that provide a rebuttable presumption of intoxication or both intoxication and cause.  In these states one or both steps may be “presumed” if a positive drug test was conducted per state rule or if the employee refused to test.  Giving the employer a big advantage.  

Be careful, not all states are the same, and compliance with each states rules is key.     The states are:  AL, AR, CO, FL, FA, IA, IL, KS, LA, MO, MS, NC, ND, NV, OH, OK, TN, TX, UT, VA.   

There are many drug testing program options to choose from.

The range of options in drug testing include:

  • Test Method:  Test can be performed on-site with a rapid test kit or by a laboratory.
  • Collection:   Donors can go to a clinic to have this service performed or it can be done in the office.  
  • Specimen Type:  Test can be performed with urine, saliva, and hair.
  • Test Panel:   A panel is combination of drugs to be tested for.   Most panels begin with the most common illegal drugs and go up from there to include commonly abused prescription and designer drugs. 

There are many other issues to consider including State and Federal laws affecting your business.   A quality drug testing provider can help navigate these issues.   Because every business and industry workforce is unique, every employer should make a careful determination about the drug testing program elements that are most beneficial for their workplace.  

To weigh your options and learn more about how to implement or improve your program contact Micro Distributing at 866-933-0964 or info@micro-distributing.com.

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