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Your Small Business Should Consider Drug Testing

Here’s Why:

Drug Abusers in Small Businesses

In today’s economy, successful small businesses are more important than ever.  Many even view small businesses as the backbone of America. Rightly so! According to a statistic reported by fundera.com, “There are 30.2 million small businesses in this country. Small businesses comprise 99.9% of all United States businesses”

With non-medical/recreational drug use on the rise, small businesses find themselves in a vulnerable position when it comes to their staff.  Why?

Simply put – Drug Abusers are less likely to seek employment through larger companies.  In fact, larger companies that already have an established Drug-Free Policy would undoubtedly deter those who will knowingly test positive from beginning the application process.  The easiest route would be to find a place of employment with less stringent or even non-existent Drug Policies.

Still, 90% of individuals who have an identified substance abuse or alcohol dependence are employed full-time in the SME (Small and Mid-Size Enterprise) market. (A statistic from wfqa.com) With this staggering statistic, how are our small businesses being affected? Unfortunately, drug abuse in the workplace often affects a company’s bottom line.

The Costs Will Add Up

The consequences of not having a Drug Free work environment can be extremely dire for small businesses.  Moreover, disastrous results may present themselves in the form of the higher costs associated with productivity loss, workplace injury, absentee or tardy employees and more.

The liability costs of an injured employee under the influence or perhaps someone that employee has injured may be high enough to force a once successful company to close its doors for good.

Moreover, a likely question proposed by a prosecutor in a legal situation may likely come back to the employer in the form of – “Why haven’t they screened their employees appropriately?”

What’s even more eye-opening is statistically how much money businesses are spending on drug abuse-related costs every year.

usdrugtestcenters.com reports: “In the US, there are an estimated $25 billion dollars each year spent on health care costs related to drug abuse”  They go on to report: “It is estimated that 70% of Americans who are currently working, use illegal drugs”

As we mentioned in our latest Blog: Drug Test Your Employees + What Drugs Do Most Companies Test For?, the dangers are real for those who actively employ those who abuse Drugs and Alcohol,  as well as those in close association.

How can businesses protect themselves as well as promote positive awareness within their workplace?

Why Have a Drug-Free Work Policy?

Part of the appeal of small business is the family-run feeling that consumers know and love.  Of course, in certain circumstances, the family-run mentality may take place on the sales floor as well as the workplace infrastructure resulting in lax policies or lack thereof.  

Small Business owners value and respect their workers – sometimes employing these diligent individuals for decades.  However, the likelihood of Drug Abuse affecting small businesses in some capacity whether now, or in the future seems to be only a matter of time.  Given the nature of how closely people work together in small businesses If an employee faces an issue with substance abuse, it would go easier if the company has a written Drug Abuse policy to fall back on.    

Employers are responsible for providing a workplace with safe and healthy working conditions.  Part of that workplace safety may mean implementing stern policies that ensure employees are provided an area where they can work comfortably and maintain focus on their tasks.

Drug Testing Your Employees – Why This is Important

As mentioned, more employees involved in substance abuse are employed in the SME Market.  Certainly, it’s within every business’s capability to initiate Drug Test screenings for potential candidates looking for employment, as well as current employees. Can’t small businesses make it their policy to regularly screen employees?

An interesting point from hireright.com reports:  “…more than 40 percent of employers do not conduct pre-employment drug testing, and 64 percent of employers do not drug test current employees, according to the 2011 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Drug Testing Efficacy Poll

What is stopping businesses from Drug Testing both current and future employees?  Employers report the costs associated with pre-employment screenings. The cost for said Drug Tests starts at around $30.00, and as high as $50.00.  

Some employers feel this cost is too high to incur, and a simple background check will often suffice.   Furthermore, with drugs like Marijuana becoming legal in some states, many applicants showing positive for cannabis causing difficulty for employers to maintain a once-popular “zero tolerance” policy.

Yes, implementing a clear written Drug-Free Workplace policy, and providing preparation for Drug Testing potential candidates, as well as current employees, will certainly solve more problems than it creates.

If you are a Company Owner, maintaining a Drug-Free Workplace is it’s own reward – providing not only peace of mind for yourself and your employees but saving you thousands of untold costs in liability. You may even be eligible for a discount on your Workmans Comp – if applicable. 

Empowering yourself and your staff to take on Drug Testing procedures is important to the success of your business.  However, it’s just as important to know when to test 

When Should You Test?

Pre-employment Drug Test – After offering candidate employment with your company, this would be an ideal time to initiate a Drug Testing procedure.  If you are uncertain which kind of Drug Test to provide, feel free to check out our latest Blog: Why Drug Test Your Employees + What Drugs Do Most Companies Test For?

When Your Employee Shows Signs of Abuse – If you suspect your employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at work, you may want to submit a random Drug Test procedure.  It’s important to be fair, and discreet – you wouldn’t want your employee to accuse you of anything discriminatory.  

After an Employee Suffers an On-site Accident – In order to save the company from any liability, as well as furthering the understanding of what went wrong in the first place, you may want to submit your employee to a drug test within 24 hours of the accident.  This can also minimize any negative attention that may fall on the company as far as the accusation of negligence.

Certainly, there are more reasons for Drug Test employees at the workplace than not.  Common Drug Tests are costly, especially those that are available at local stores, where is the

What Kind of Drug Test Should I Use?

For the most common methods of drug screening, companies will require a urine sample from the candidate.  They may use a Standard 8 Panel Urine Drug Test.  This tests for drugs that are of most concern when it comes to those who are involved in drug abuse.  If you purchase from a larger distributor you can save a considerable amount, as opposed to buying one from a pharmacy.  The substances the 8 Panel Urine Drug Test identifies are:

  • Amphetamine (AMP), 
  • Benzodiazepine (BZO), 
  • Buprenorphine (BUP), 
  • Cocaine (COC), 
  • Marijuana (THC), 
  • Methamphetamine (MET), 
  • Opiates (OPI/MOR), 
  • Oxycodone (OXY)

These Drug Testing Cups are the fastest and most accurate way to determine if an employee is involved in non-medical or recreational drug use at the workplace.  The results can be interpreted within 5 minutes or less. For sterile purposes, the cups are manufactured with a leak-proof container. The testing strips are located inside the cups.  So after the donor seals the cup, there is no need for anyone to reopen it as the test results are clearly indicated on the strips inside, visible from the outside label.

12 Panel (TCA) Drug Test Cup

A company may opt for a more thorough Urine Drug Test.  In this case, the 12 Panel Drug Testing Cup from 12 Panel Now is most appropriate.  In addition to the substances identified by the 6 Panel Drug Test, the 12 Panel Drug Test includes other drugs that are not only used to identify substance abuse but whether the candidate is on a particular kind of medication as well.

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