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Drug Tests: How Substance Abuse Affects the Workplace

Drug tests have been performed for many years and they have proven to be effective in the workplace. Many people view these tests in a negative way, but they benefit both employers and employees in positive ways.

Drug Testing for Employers

Employers drug test their employees for various reasons. Not too many employers will overlook drug charges and convictions when they are looking for employees. When employers review applications and conduct interviews, they already have their ideal candidate in mind and it’s usually someone who does not have a criminal history with drugs or currently uses them.

Employers drug test potential employees because they are aware of how drugs affect the workplace. Drugs affect a person’s work performance and compromises the safety of the workplace. Employers perform drug tests in many situations, including pre-employment, after an accident has occurred in the workplace and after rehabilitation of an employee due to injury or sickness. Many employers conduct these tests randomly to keep a close eye on the production, success and safety of the workplace.

Drug Testing for Employees

A lot of people are surprised when they find out most employees want the same as their employers, a safe working environment. Substance abuse is one sure way to compromise the workplace and because of this, drug testing is a requirement for many hiring companies. When employees go to work, they want to be safe and not injured by an employee who is under the influence of various substances. With a clean, safe and drug-free environment, the company and employees can thrive and climb the success ladder.

How Does Substance Abuse Affect the Workplace?

Substance abuse has many different affects on the workplace and there are many indications an employee suffers from substance abuse.

Performance Issues

  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Increased number of mistakes
  • Neglect/Carelessness
  • Decrease in quality of work
  • Poor judgement
  • Slow work pace
  • Lack of Concentration and motivation
  • Frequent signs of fatigue

Attendance Issues

  • Disappearing from job site
  • Frequent breaks
  • Undefined illness complaints
  • Increased number of absences
  • Extended lunch times
  • Increased late attendance

Physical Appearance and Characteristics/Attitude

  • Lazy
  • Poor personal appearance
  • Smell of alcohol or drugs
  • Avoidance of supervisors and co-workers
  • Confrontational
  • Paranoia

Safety and Health Hazards

  • Frequent involvement in accidents
  • Disregarding safety rules
  • No concern about the care and safety of others
  • Involved in risky behavior

Each of these things can cause a current employee to make the workplace unsafe and a hazard for other employees who are present at the work site. Acknowledging a few of these factors before-hand can help promote safety in the workplace. Drug tests are beneficial to employers and employees for these reasons.

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