Why Drug Test?
Consider these pertinent facts:
- Employees who abuse drugs work an average of 30-35 percent less that non-users.
- Employees who abuse drugs cost employers 300 percent more in medical costs and benefits.
- Employees who abuse drugs and alcohol cause over 40 percent of on-the-job injuries.
- Employees who abuse drugs are more likely to steal to support their habit.
Is drug abuse increasing?
For the first time in 13 years, the Quest Diagnostics Laboratories survey shows an increase in positive drug tests in the workplace. According to R.H. Barry Sample, Ph.D., Director of Science and Technology for that company, the increase appears to be due to increased substance abuse among current general workforce employees rather than employees who test under Department of Transportation programs.
What are the chances that your business employs substance abusers?
Approximately 70 percent of current illicit drug users 18 and older are employed. That is about 10 million U.S. workers. What are the chances that your employees abuse on the job: Whether they use on the job or not, they bring the effects of their problems with them since drugs affect their systems for several days. (3 to 5 days is very common.)
Which groups are most likely to use?
A survey by the federal government showed full time employees who admitted to being current drug users tend to be:
- Between 18 - 25(12.4 percent of workers in this age group said they were current users.
- Between 26 - 34(8.6 percent said they were current users)
- Between 35 - 49 (5.4 percent said they were current users)

Obviously, since those are admitted numbers, the real percentages are something more than those above.
How do drugs affect your employees’ performance?
The U.S. Postal Service study found that abusers are involved in 55 percent more accidents, experience 95 percent more on-the-job injuries, and have a 78 percent high rate of absenteeism. Other government studies show that abusers are 33-35 percent less productive.
What does it cost your company?
While it is difficult to do more than reach an average, unless wrongful death or injury is involved, the U.S. Navy estimated several years ago that the average cost of each abuser to a company is $6,600 annually. They also estimated that the actual average number of abusers in a company with 450 employees is 17 percent. If you multiply 17 percent of the number of your employees times $6,600 you will get an estimate of the cost to your company. A way to estimate wasted salary cost is to multiply the total number of your employees times 17 percent. Add up the salary of that 17 percent and calculate what 35 percent would equal. That dollar amount would be equal to time those employees don’t work while you are paying them.
Do your other non-abusing employees know about the employees who do?
Approximately 62 percent in an Ohio based study said they either know or know someone who has personal knowledge of a co-worker whose abuse has interfered with their work. Over 57 percent in a Gallop survey said abuse in their own workplaces affected attendance, productivity, morale, health care costs and safety.
Why use urinalysis substance abuse testing?
Urinalysis testing started in the Armed Services in the early 1980’s. It has solid science, a two test screen and confirmation processes, you can add an optional protective Medical Review component, and is admissible in any court in the United States. The policy and procedures developed by both the Armed Services and the Federal Government protect both the employer and the employee. The procedures include a complete system of checks and balances. Substance Abuse testing can decrease workplace accidents, cut production costs, save wasted salary dollars, cut increased medical costs, decrease workers’ compensation premiums, lower employee turnover, reduce theft and shrinkage, and increase morale and loyalty.