Why Drug Testing?
- An estimated 3.6 million Americans are dependent on drugs and 8.2 million are dependent on alcohol.
- 74% of drug users are employed full-time.
- 87% of drug users work for small companies (less than 500 employees) of which only 5% drug tests.
- Among the full-time workers aged 18-49 years in 2000, 8.1% reported, in the past month, “heavy alcohol use”, and 7.8% reported, in the past month, “illicit drug use”.
- Companies in a 1999 study cited better overall safety of the work environment, reductions in workers’ compensation costs and improved quality of job applicants as three of the most positive developments since implementing drug-testing policies.
- This study also showed that larger construction companies were significantly more likely to test workers for drugs and alcohol. This finding suggests small firms are particularly vulnerable to substance abuse problems, as drug users may intentionally seek out employment at companies where their substance abuse is not likely to be detected.
- Drug and Alcohol Abusers Are:
- 10 times more likely to miss work
- 3.6 times more likely to have an accident
- Filing 5 times as many Workers’ Comp Claims
- Using 5 times more health benefits
- Reporting working for 3 or more employers/year
- Skipping 1 or more days of work/month
- The national average spent by a company that employs a drug user is $7,000 per abuser per year.
- The national average shows that 8% of your employees are possibly using illicit drugs or abusing alcohol.
- If your company has 50 employees…
- (50 @ 8%) x $7,000=$28,000
- That is $28,000 per year in:
- Lost production
- Higher accident rates
- Higher Workers’ Compensation rates
- Higher health insurance premiums
(Based on information from the SAMSHA 1999 NHSDA)
(Based on information from the SAMSHA 2000 NHDSA)
(Based on “An Evaluation of Drug Testing in the Workplace: A Study of the Construction Industry” December 1999)