Did you know that more than 70% of drug abusers in America have a steady job? Many individuals who use drugs are very good at covering their tracks, which can make them tough to spot at first—however, it’s crucial for companies to know what to look for, since these employees can have a devastating effect and can even cause a businesses to lose profits. This is one of the reasons why random workplace drug testing is useful; however, it’s also good to be on the lookout for typical red flags.
Common Signs Of Drug Abuse
As mentioned before, many drug abusers are good at hiding their problem. Still, they can be found by paying close attention. If a worker is exhibiting two or more of these behaviors or characteristics, those are red flags, and it’s probably a good idea to send them for workplace drug testing. The most obvious signs of drug abuse are:
• Increased lateness or absences
• Inconsistent work performance
• Causing accidents, even if they’re small
• Unsteady posture, hyperactiveness, sudden noticeable weight loss, dental issues, hiding the arms
• Disconcern for personal appearance or grooming
• Overreaction to suggestions, feedback, or criticisms
• Withdrawal from everyday conversations
• Indication of lack of sleep
• Bloodshot eyes
• Sudden mood swings when returning from lunch or breaks
The Problems That Drug Abuse Can Cause
Having an employee who abuses drugs can majorly drag down the progress of your business. How, exactly? Statistics on substance abuse in the workplace has shown that addicts are five times more likely to ask for worker’s compensation at some point; are somehow involved with 40% of all industrial on-the-job fatalities; cost the company three times as much health care costs than the average employee; miss ten workdays for every one workday that’s missed by other employees; are about two-thirds as productive as the average worker, and are five times more likely to cause accidents in the workplace.
What Employers Can Do
If these signs are familiar to you in one or more of your workers, you have the right to a “reasonable suspicion” drug test. You should look at your written workplace drug testing policy, but generally the employee will need to be talked to about their performance and the testing that will be administered. Everything in this meeting and going forward should be documented—and any reported instances that caused the suspicion should be recorded as well.
The Importance Of A Written Workplace Drug Policy
As we’ve mentioned before, having a written workplace drug policy is more than necessary. This policy should be supportive rather than threatening, and should clearly state the company’s policy on workplace drug testing, what will happen if a test comes back positive, and what kind of help (programs, etc.) the company offers for drug abusers.
Our services at New Era Drug Testing can help companies keep their employees DOT compliant, therefore helping prevent accidents and injuries. We offer training, programs, and advice for companies who want to save their reputation, money, and safety. If you have any questions about our services or programs, please feel free to contact us.