Why Drug Testing Is Important

Drug Testing | LakehouseRecoveryCenter.comToday, there are many schools, hospitals, employers, and sober living homes who administer drug tests. Perhaps this goes without saying, but doing so is a way of keeping everyone safe. However, when you have to bear the burden of going through a drug test and you don’t like the idea of it, there might be two reasons behind your dislike of having to go through it. First, perhaps you are using drugs or alcohol and you don’t want get caught, and as a result fired. Second, you might have forgotten the importance of drug testing and you’re only viewing it as an interruption in your workday. Although you may not like being drug tested at your place of employment, there are significant reasons behind it, as you can imagine.

Affects on Employment

For instance, according to research, 67.9% of adults who abuse drugs or alcohol are employed. However, this has a great affect on their place of employment. For instance, those who abuse alcohol or drugs who are also employed might more likely experience:

  • Changing jobs frequently
  • Frequently being late or absent to work
  • Demonstrating less productivity
  • Being involved in a workplace accident
  • Potentially harming others at work

Employers May Want to Drug Test

There are various times that an employer may want to drug test. For instance, there are pre-employment testing, random testing, reasonable suspicion testing, post-accident testing, and follow up testing. Often these tests include collecting a urine sample. However, it should be noted that there are limitations to urine drug testing.  Drug tests are not always reliable and someone might resent being tested. That person might feel offended by the fact that their employer has to resort to that level in order to get the information they need. In other words, it might put a divide between an employee and an employer. Furthermore, a urine test may not be able to detect all forms of illicit drugs, such as LSD, ecstasy, inhalants, and steroids. Certain tests might only be able to detect the presence of drugs shortly after use. And some tests may provide misleading results. There may be other tools that employers can use to ascertain whether there is a concern with drugs, such as questionnaires or a confidential interview facilitated by doctor.

Certainly there are benefits that come from drug testing. For instance, employers who regularly drug test their employees tend to report:

  • Higher morale and productivity
  • Decreases in absenteeism, accidents, turnover, and theft.
  • Decreased use of medical benefits
  • Higher rates of physical health among employees

Based on this list, it might be apparent that when an employer conducts regular drug testing, employees feel safer, protected, and supported in doing their job. Additionally, those employers who regularly test tend to have employees who don’t use drugs or drink and therefore tend to be healthier overall.

Getting Necessary Substance Abuse Treatment Help

At the same time, there are benefits for the employee who might be using and who has to go through a drug test. Although it might be embarrassing or uncomfortable, a positive test can open the door to getting substance abuse treatment for that employee. It can also open up other conversations, such as what might be going on underneath the use of drugs, such as anxiety or depression.

It should be noted, however, that if someone has been using drugs for some time, it might take more than drug testing or a conversation to have him or her stop her using. Often, the process of ending an addiction, or making any type of major change, can feel chaotic and uncomfortable. Nonetheless, drug testing is at least a way of opening a door and beginning the process of change, that is, if someone were open to it. If you are an employee or an employer, there are a number of resources that both employers and employees can access. For instance, the division of Workplace Programs within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is one of them.

Keeping the workplace, school environment, and home life drug and alcohol free is essential for the safety of everyone. And drug testing is a way to do this.


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