How to Implement a Successful Drug Testing Program

By Cholakis, Peter | Risk Management, November 2005 | Go to article overview

How to Implement a Successful Drug Testing Program


Cholakis, Peter, Risk Management


Many organizations do not realize the prevalence of employee drug abuse or they do not believe it is a problem in their companies. But studies have shown that on average, 10% to 12% of the workforce in any given company abuse drugs.

This is especially true of the construction industry, for example, which is a dangerous line of work even under ideal conditions. But the industry also has one of the highest rates of drug use among its workers with approximately 25% of all laborers and supervisors abusing drugs. Studies demonstrate the link between on-the-job accidents and drugs. In fact, more than 50% of job-site accidents are caused by illegal drug use, according to a study by the National Council on Compensation Insurance and Cornell University.

Drug use is not confined to construction, however, and firms that turn a deaf ear to the reality of illicit drug use put themselves at high risk for potentially devastating personal, legal and financial repercussions. While abuse of certain drugs has fallen off in recent years, still others are on the rise. The most recent Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index indicated that amphetamine abuse is rising and will continue to increase as meth labs pop up across the Eastern states. In fact, drug test results showed a 68% increase in methamphetamine use from 2002 to 2003.

The effects of on-the-job accidents resulting from drug abuse go beyond injuries and possible loss of life. Consider the high insurance payouts and costs, increased benefit utilization and workers comp claims caused by drug abusers. These can drive insurance premiums to unmanageable levels. Injured employees are away from work, often for extended periods of time. And high accident rates can damage the company's reputation. All of these factors can severely affect any organization's ability to stay competitive. With this in mind, instituting an employee drug testing program seems to be a natural solution.

Implementing a drug testing program may seem like a daunting task for an organization, but, in fact, the process is relatively straightforward and generally well accepted if approached with the right resources and support. Since drug testing is a strategic corporate issue that affects the safety of employees, the financial bottom line and the overall competitiveness of an organization, the key is getting a commitment from all levels of the enterprise.

When implementing any drug testing program, an organization must consider the following:

Legal ramifications. There is a general lack of awareness and much misinformation in the United States regarding the legal issues surrounding drug testing. Although there are some restrictions employers must keep in mind, employee drug testing is in fact legal. Corporations and employees alike are protected and supported by federal law. in the form of the 1998 Drug Free Workplace Act, which provides employers and employees with the right to work in a drug-free workplace. The majority of federal and state guidelines and statutes support drug policies and drug testing programs. The federal government firmly supports drug testing programs in the workplace.

Drug testing policies and programs must be created fairly, well documented, professionally administrated and effectively communicated to all parties involved. Per the U.S. Department of Justice, employers must be fully cognizant of the legal liabilities associated with drug testing and brought by lawsuits, primarily originated by (1) unhired applicants and employees who refuse to take a drug test or who are discharged or disciplined for positive test results or (2) clients, fellow employees and members of the general public who may be injured or affected by a drug-using employee. It is important to note that settlements in the former category are usually in the low thousands of dollars, while those in the latter are often in the millions according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How to Implement a Successful Drug Testing Program
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.