Why Drug Test


May 22, 2021

Here is an interesting blog from one of our industry partners Quest Diagnostics. The following information is a blog post from Quest featured in their blog series.

Substance abuse – which includes drugs and alcohol – takes a heavy toll on businesses, costing billions of dollars in lost productivity and increased healthcare spending each year.
Lab specialist loading drug test specimens into the instrument

According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 10.6% of full-time employees and 13.2% of part-time employees aged 18 or older reported using illicit drugs within the past month1. Survey respondents who reported past-month drug use said they would be less likely to work for employers that conduct pre-employment or random drug testing.

In addition, data from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)2 shows that employees who use drugs are:

  • 2.5 times more likely than co-workers who do not use drugs to be absent for 8 or more days each year
  • 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident at work
  • 5 times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim
  • Drug testing programs aim to filter out drug users and deter drug use in the workplace.

Since companies first began drug testing their employees in the 1980s, drug use among workers subject to testing has steadily declined. Employers are aware of the negative impacts of workplace substance abuse including higher absenteeism, increased risk of injury and lower productivity and performance.

If the overall goal is to establish a safer, more productive and drug-free work environment, there are many benefits3 that employers receive from drug testing programs including:
Improve employee productivity
Reduce on-the-job accidents and workplace crime, including theft and violence
Reduce employee turnover
Decrease absenteeism
Lower workers’ compensation insurance and healthcare costs, including premiums
Comply with state or federal regulations
Because every business and workforce is unique, every employer should make a careful determination about the drug testing program elements that are most beneficial for their workplace. To calculate what your company could save with a drug testing program, plug in your company’s information in our Drug Testing Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator.

Download our Drug Testing Solution At-A-Glance matrix to compare urine, instant urine, oral fluid and hair drug testing.

Get more workforce drug testing resources from Quest Diagnostics.
1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) . HHS Publication No. SMA 15-4927, NSDUH.www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf.

2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/

3 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). “Drug Testing” www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/drug-testing.

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