A properly planned and implemented Drug-Free Workplace Program
will create cost-effective, safe and healthy workplaces
that benefit and protect the employer, the employee and the customer.
According to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use, 74.9% of all adult illicit drug users are employed full or part time. Research has shown that employees who abuse drugs do not make good employees. They are more likely to change jobs frequently, be late or absent from work, be less productive, be involved in a workplace accident and are more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim.
A successful Drug-Free Workplace Program should have at least five key components:
1. A Written Policy
2. Employee Education
3. Supervisor Education
5. Drug Testing
Why would a company develop a drug-free workplace program?
- To comply with laws and/or regulations.
– Drug-Free Workplace Act was passed in 1988 and sets requirements on Federal grantees and recipients of Federal contracts of > $100,000.
– 1991 Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act requires employees in certain safety-sensitive positions be tested.
- To qualify for insurance discounts, rebates, and other incentives.
– 1997 Mississippi Drug-Free Workplace Workers’ Compensation Premium Reduction Act allows for a 5% Workers’ Compensation discount.
- To market drug-free workers and services.
– Customers will be assured that the services they receive will be provided by drug-free employees that will be held accountable for their actions.
- To prevent associated problems (ie. absenteeism, accidents, injuries, productivity loss).
– According to the Occupational Medicine and the Journal of Applied Psychology research has shown that on-the-job drug use can lead to increased risk of accidents, injuries, lower levels of productivity and employee morale.
- To respond to an incident or pattern of substance abuse.
– According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7 million Americans were current users of psychotherapeutic drugs taken nonmedically.
- To express support for the majority of employees who do not abuse alcohol or other drugs.
– Alcohol Research and Health report that on-the-job drug use can lead to lower levels of productivity and employee morale, not only among those with substance abuse problems but also among those working alongside them.
- To invest in worker health, safety and productivity.
– SAMHSA’s Drug Abuse Warning Network reported nearly 2 million drug-related ER visits in 2004. Over 25% were related to nonmedical use of prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.