Are Workplace Drug Testing Programs Making a Difference?

In today's workplace, one of the biggest issues involves drug testing of employees. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2014 more than 9.1 million drug tests were administered to employees across the United States. Of those tests, more than 350,000 resulted in a positive test for such drugs as marijuana, amphetamines, and various prescription painkillers. However, while pre-employment as well as random drug screenings are a way of life in today's workplace, there has been much debate as to their effectiveness.

Does Workplace Drug Testing Really Work?

While an estimated 40 percent of workers are subjected to drug tests at the time of hiring and 65 percent of all employers use drug testing for pre-employment as well as random in-house testing, there are still questions as to its effectiveness in helping find those people who may need help with drug addiction. For example, not all drug testing programs are sophisticated enough to detect certain drugs, particularly newer drugs that have just started to present addiction problems. In addition, most random drug testing programs are considered to be so ineffective, they negate any chance of truly finding those employees who may be struggling with addiction issues. Finally, many employers have been found to give far too much advance notice to employees about upcoming drug testing, allowing those who have a problem time to plan ways to beat the system.

Addressing the Problem Before it Gets Out of Control

Though workplace drug testing is seen by many as ineffective, the fact is it does manage to find some employees who have serious substance abuse issues. For those who do test positive for drugs, many employers offer a number of options for help including:

--Employee Assistance Programs
--Paid inpatient treatment programs
--In-house counseling
--Additional insurance options to pay for treatment

Employees who are found to have problems with drug abuse often take advantage of offers to attend inpatient treatment programs. Proven to be far more effective over the long-term than outpatient programs, inpatient treatment programs often work with employers to make sure an employee is able to spend time in treatment without worry of losing their job or losing income while in treatment. Most employers will consider employees to be on company time during their treatment programs, letting them continue to draw an income while battling their addiction.

Benefits of Allowing Employees to Get Treatment and Keep Their Jobs

As treatment for substance abuse becomes more accepted in the workplace of today, employees dealing with addiction will be more comfortable admitting to an employer when a problem exists. If you or someone you know is dealing with substance abuse addiction in the workplace, seeking inpatient treatment can not only help get rid of the addiction, but also save a career at the same time. Workplace drug testing programs are a good way to help someone get treatment before their addiction gets out of control.

Author's Bio: 

Marilyn Kegley works with Best Drug Rehabilitation to educate individuals about the effects, dangers and treatment of abuse problems to substances such as cocaine, heroin, alcohol, painkillers, and many others. After watching numerous loved ones struggle with substance abuse, her goal is to help as many people as possible win their battles with addiction. To learn more visit: