6 Startling Stats that Show Why Pre- & Post-Employment Drug Screening is Critical

It's easy to spout off startling statistics, but without context, those stats remain just that: startling. Understanding a statistic's relevance is what makes a statistic useful. A good stat should help you make a more informed decision regarding your talent acquisition and retention process.

At Good Egg, we endeavor to provide meaningful statistics that illuminate rather than instill fear. Check out the ones below regarding substance use disorders—and why these stats matter when it comes to drug screenings.

Click here for 10 questions to ask when evaluating background screening vendors.

The Reality of Substance Use Disorders in the Workplace

  1. Nearly 21 million Americans currently suffer from a substance use disorder involving alcohol or drugs, and one in 7 people in the U.S. is expected to develop a substance use disorder at some point in their lives. (Source: U.S. Surgeon General)
  2. People with substance use disorders miss nearly 50% more work than their peers. This can equal up to six weeks annually. And, of course, absenteeism leads to decreased productivity. (Source: National Safety Council)
  3. On-the-job alcohol abuse can have devastating effects. Analyses of workplace fatalities showed that at least 11% of the victims had been drinking. (Source: NCADD)
  4. "One-fifth of workers and managers across a wide range of industries and company sizes report that a coworker’s on- or off-the-job drinking jeopardized their own productivity and safety." (Source: NCADD)
  5. "The annual cost of untreated substance use disorder ranges from $2,600 per employee in agriculture to more than $13,000 per employee in information and communications." (Source: National Safety Council)
  6. Substance abuse disorders cost the U.S. economy $400 billion dollars each year in crime, health, and lost productivity. (Source: U.S. Surgeon General (opens PDF))

Why These Stats are Relevant to Employers

Thinking that you can create a workforce that isn't affected by substance use disorders (either directly or indirectly) is unrealistic. Given these numbers, you likely already have (or will have) job applicants and employees dealing with substance use disorders.

So, what should you do? Implementing a rigorous hiring protocol and a transparent drug abuse policy and compliant drug-testing program is essential—and a wise investment to boot.

“It's in an employer's interest to be proactive. Employees are more likely to undergo treatment if it is initiated by an employer, and those in recovery become better workers . . . Each employee who recovers from a substance abuse disorder saves a company more than $3,200 a year.”
- The Chicago Tribune

In addition, the National Safety Council says, “Workers in recovery have lower turnover rates and are less likely to miss work days, less likely to be hospitalized and have fewer doctor visits." As such, the National Safety Council recommends that companies "enact strong company drug policies.”

Why Using a Reputable Drug Screening Partner is Critical

A quality vendor will ensure your organization is compliant with state and federal laws. A reputable vendor will also be able to guide you in drug-screening nuances and recommend whether you need to expand your drug-screening practices. For example, more and more states and municipalities have legalized recreational marijuana not to mention even more allow medical marijuana use. Yet under federal law, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 Substance and remains illegal. As you can imagine, this creates challenges for employers and employees alike. A quality drug-screening vendor can help you navigate this quagmire.

“It is important to partner with a highly reputable drug testing facility that offers fast, accurate, high-quality laboratory and genomic testing.”
- Occupational Health & Safety Magazine

Be smart when choosing a vendor. Look for the following features/capabilities:

  • Drug screening process that integrates seamlessly with the background check
  • Large network of collection sites to provide added convenience to applicants and employees
  • Rapid response times: think three days on average
  • Accuracy: the vendor should be able to explain how results are assessed (ideally by an MD) and provide a seamless and compliant post-test assessment by an MRO (medical review officer) for non-negative results
  • Advanced security: privacy is essential; make sure your vendor outlines the measures they take

And, as always, do your due diligence by talking to several vendors and making sure you clearly understand costs and terms.

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Stephanie Haft

Posted by Stephanie Haft

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