drug testing at the workplace

A drug test is one of the vital requirement by most employers to employees whether potential or already hired employees. This is a process of screening or testing of a patient to find out if there are any traces of drug or substance abuse in the body whether prescribed or illegal.

The test is performed using various methods depending on the drug being tested. Urinalysis, oral testing, blood test, hair test, breath test, are the most common methods used by employers. As an employee, one has no objection when it comes to the test since most companies have a clear no drug policy and most recent companies train their employees on dangers of substance abuse in the workplace. First of all, before any tests are done the employee is required to sign a consent to allow the tests performed to be performed.

Here are some reasons that companies perform drug tests.

Reduce absenteeism.

Most absenteeism in work is due to substance abuse. Research has shown that in a year drug abusers are more likely to miss work 8-10 working days. By performing the test the chances of reducing absenteeism is very high.

Increase productivity

Every employer wish is to have a productive team and drug-free employees and by screening them it reduces chances of having drug abusers and in return, the employees will be more productive.

Reasonable cause.

Some employees may start to behave in a manner that suggests they are using drugs like coming to work drunk or even late or sometimes not showing up at all. This forces the employer to perform the test on them to eliminate possible doubts of drug abuse.

Prevent accidents.

Sometimes accidents occur at work which could be as a result of drug abuse. Take for example someone operating a machine while under the influence of drugs chances of an accident occurring are very high. Usually, the test will be done on the employees to prevent such accidents from occurring.

Why companies drug test

Random employee monitoring.

Sometimes some companies perform random drug screening on their employees. Employees are usually picked randomly and taken for a drug test. This usually helps the employer since most employees will never use the drugs since they do not know when the drug test will be done on them. Random testing does not have a specific timeline or set dates but the employer just picks the staff randomly on a random date for the tests.

Prevent drug abuse.

If drug users know a company does not tolerate drug abuse they are more likely to refrain from illegal drug and by doing so the company will be reducing on employee drug abuse.

Return to duty test.

When one tests positive in a drug test some companies will suspend them and take them for rehab. Upon return, they are tested again and will be taking a regular test to prevent relapsing and using drugs again.es

Reduce costs

Sometimes screening can be done by companies in order to avoid incurring costs. Medical expenses for any drug abuser are more expensive than the ones not using drugs so companies would not want to be liable for such costs. By screening their staff companies will have reduced the cost they would have incurred.

Work Safety

Every company would want to provide their employees with a safe working environment and by doing the test the chances of having drug abusers in the workplaces reduces and thus having a good environment to work.

Lower employment cost

If drug abuse is prevented from work staff retention is greater, hence reducing the costs associated with new staff.


Drug test is a crucial and important role in the workplace. It benefits both the employer and employee in various ways. Employee benefits by reducing the chances of being an addict and employer get to have a more productive team.