Drug Testing: Is A Drug-Free Workforce Even Possible?

When I began my career, drug testing didn’t exist in the work place.

Honestly, I had never done that many drugs outside of alcohol and the occasional joint with a buddy (usually on our trips to Mexico). Daily use of drugs was just beyond my reality. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone.

Well, that was a long time ago. The times, they are-a-changing.

Today, if you apply for a job of any kind, you can bet you will be drug tested.

Why? Because a lot has changed in thirty years. Today, drug use exists in every level of our society. Drugs are commonly used by teens, adults, the rich, the poor; even the sanctuaries of our governments are no longer exempt.

If you can manage to reach the age of eighteen without exposure to pot, hallucinogens, meth, pills or Ecstasy – you are the exception. Social drug use is just part of our society now, and it has been this way since the 1980s.

With so many opportunities for experimentation and so many new designer drugs coming on the market each year, it’s no wonder that drug use in the workplace has become an issue. And it’s not going to disappear any time soon.

Today, the point of drug testing and intervention for most employers is to detect and fire an employee that tests positive for drug use. This makes sense: the cost of keeping hardcore drug addicts on staff is high. Addicted employees consume twice as much in medical bills and workmen’s compensation claims as sober employees. Drug related crime is the second largest expense to an employer. Lost productivity for victims and lost employees due to incarceration for drug crimes accounts for the bulk of the drug related expense.

On the other hand, the cost to employers of firing employees with drug or substance abuse problems is staggering, too.

That said, thinking we can reduce the use of recreational drugs in the workplace by “drug testing them away” is overly simplistic and not realistic.

We need a more sophisticated approach to drug testing and a more sensitive and productive response to an employee failing such a test.

Specifically, we need to treat a positive test result as an opportunity to help and retain an employee – not to fire them and feed them to the wolves! Otherwise, we will permanently lock a portion of our society out of jobs they could otherwise do just fine.

Drug testing doesn’t work 100% of the time, anyway. The fact is, a lot of people take drug tests and pass them even when using drugs. This website explains how people successfully cheat the hair drug test (the hardest test to cheat) all the time, and the reality is there are ways to cheat ALL drug tests. People always learn how to get past every challenge put forth by employers. Because that’s what people do – find a way.

Many claim that due to the advent of drug testing in the workplace, drug use rates have declined since the 1990s, where they remain at around 7% today. While it’s true recorded drug use has declined since the 90s, I’m not sure I buy the cause-and-effect argument. After all, there are a lot more types of drugs today and many are simply not tested for by employers, yet.

Drug testing at work is not going away. So you’d better learn to cope.

Implementing a drug test program at a place of business has never been easier, because the cost of drug test kits is so low now. Businesses have access to many hundreds of companies that are drug testing administrators and they can buy highly accurate drug test kits online for less than $100 per employee.

Drug test kits for the most common illegal drugs are readily available, and some of the more difficult testing options can be added upon request. Test kits for the most common drug test, the urine test, requires the individual being tested to supply a certain amount of urine in a tube, vial, or small cup. The newest test strips ensure the laboratory that the urine provided is not “borrowed” or brought into the testing facility.

Other common forms of test methods are saliva, hair and blood. Generally speaking, the hair drug test provides the most reliable results and the longest history of drug use.

Check out the rest of this site if you want to learn more about the hair follicle drug test and the current ways people are using to get around it.