Is 10 percent acceptable?

Five percent?

Shouldn’t it be zero?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conducts a survey every year.

10.2% of all Americans are substance abusers. One in ten. 

In companies that drug test, the positive rate is between 4 and 5% in the aggregate. Remember, that’s in companies that test.

And less than half of the positives are marijuana.

You don’t have to look far to find reports on the prescription opiate addiction problem, or the huge and rapidly growing heroin problem.

In recent months, we have even had several positives for crystal meth, which is generally not that common in our area. And we see our fair share of cocaine.

Addiction is a powerful thing, and it can harm your business in a number of ways:

  • Lost productivity
  • Mistakes that require re-work
  • Accidents and workers comp claims
  • Employees who miss work

As I compose this, I just learned that one of our customers, a recovering heroin addict who has been clean for several years, relapsed last week. Addiction is powerful. And sad.

Using a substance the first time is a choice, but somewhere along the way it can change. I’m no addiction expert, but I do know that dependency is more common than many people think.

Why Employers Drug Test

Many employers test to keep their workplace safe and productive. Others do it to detect people with problems who need help.

Recognizing The Signs of Substance Abuse

The following signs and symptoms may indicate substance abuse:

  • Inconsistent work quality
  • Poor concentration
  • Lowered productivity
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Unexplained disappearances from the jobsite
  • Carelessness, mistakes
  • Errors in judgment
  • Needless risk taking
  • Disregard for safety
  • Extended lunch periods and early departure
  • Vaguely defined illnesses

Co-workers often notice before the supervisor does, and are not comfortable speaking up.

Up to 40 percent of industrial fatalities and 47 percent of industrial injuries can be traced to alcohol abuse or addiction

Supervisor Suspicion Training

DOT-regulated companies are required to make sure supervisors are trained to recognize and appropriately deal with situations where an employee is suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work. In fact, we offer both live training as well as web-based training that meets DOT requirements.

Non-regulated employers are advised to train supervisors also. Both live and web-based training is available for them too.

Half of our customers never tested employees before. The other half were looking for a better, faster, more effective way to test.

If you’d like to find out if we can help, just give us a shout.