Drug and alcohol testing has been a routine exercise in most organization because of the negative effect of alcohol consumption and drug use on the organization.
Drug and alcohol use in the workplace could result to:
- Loss of moral
- Low productivity
- Increase accident rate
- Poor reasoning and judgment
- Poor working relationship, etc.
All the above effects will affect the organizational growth negatively; this is why most organizations does everything possible to control the use of alcohol and drugs in the workplace.
When is drug and alcohol testing required
Need for drug and alcohol testing varies between organizations, depending on their policies. Generally, there are points where organizations mostly carry out drug and alcohol testing:
- Pre-employment criteria: Most organizations carries out this test as a criterion for employment. Before this is done, the organization is expected to inform the impending employee of the test they are about to carry out. The impending employee has the right to accept or reject this pre-employment procedure; but this may result to the termination of the employment process for the impending employee.
- Blanket testing: This is where the test is carried out on all employee in a single event.
- Post-Accident testing: This is carried out after an accident. This is necessary if there are reasons to believe that alcohol or drug use may be a major factor in the accident.
- Recommended testing: This test is carried out when a superior has concerns about a particular worker; they may request for the worker to be tested.
As I said earlier, drug and alcohol testing varies between organizations based of their policy; some organization have “Substance Abuse Policy”, this policy will stipulate the procedures for carrying out drug and alcohol testing. Also, the test may also need to follow some statutory requirement guiding substance abuse, if there is any.
After saying all these, lets discuss way of carrying out drug and alcohol testing:
Ways of carrying out drug and alcohol testing
There are different ways of carrying out this testing, examples are:
- Through body fluid like blood, saliva, sweat, and urine: It is believed that body fluid drug test can identify drug use within hours, to some weeks. To do this, the fluid has to be collected and be examined in the laboratory.
- Through the breath: Breath alcohol testing devices, commonly known by the term for one type of device – Breathalyzer – measure how much alcohol is currently in the blood. The breathalyzer does not detect drug use.
- Through the hair: The hair drug test provides a 90 days window of drug use. The hair does not detect alcohol use, but can detect substances like cocaine, marijuana, opiates, methamphetamine, and phencyclidine.
As an employer, it is wise to consider initiating substance abuse policy to curb the menace of substance abuse in your organization.
Findings has established that organization which integrates drug and alcohol testing, tends to record a lower level of incidents onsite.
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