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The Pros and Cons of Employee Drug Testing Essay

Drug abuse in the workspace is a popular, global problem if we believe in an American research study done by William F. Current. He quotes, that 75% of all drug addicts who are older then 18 years work within an organization.

Again, 75 % of them consume drugs at work. He assumes, that if you test everybody from the working society between 18 and 40 years of age, 25% would be drug positive.

The Chicago association of commerce and industry, has an even more dramatic view on that topic. They say that 93% of all organizations have problems with drug addicted em-ployees.

The American National Institute of Drug abuse says that one out of five employees be-tween the age of 18 to 24 has drug problems and one out of eight people between the age of 26 and 35.Lower achievement and accidents is the direct cause of drug abuse. Most of the time, in fact 80% of the accidents caused by drug abuse the people who get harmed are not doing drugs.

2. Signs of Drug abuse in the workplaceWe are able to classify the sings of drug abuse into five different categories:1.Efficiency is not reached anymore, for instance: a lot of mistakes, neglectfulness, low work quality, lack of concentration, tiredness, unable to do dispositions.

2.Reduced attention and absence, for instance: not showing off for work, arriving late very often, often absent on Mondays and after holidays, long lunch-brakes etc.

3.Attitude and physiological appearance, for instance: apathetic behavior against rules and regulations, unattended appearance and hygiene, sleazy work, bloodshot and watery eyes etc.

4.Health and Security, for example: often involved in accidents, disinterest against safety rules, disregardful use of dangerous machines etc.

5.Problems within the family, for example: marriage issues, divorce, money problems, bankruptcy.

Consequences of Drug abuse in the WorkplaceDrug abuse, is not only harming the addict himself, its also harming the colleagues, the organization and the industry!Consequences for the consumer:•slow reaction•bad motor function•bad cooperation with colleagues•reduction of the brain work•cause of accidents and injury•higher disease sensitivity•smaller gains•less possibilities to move the career•unemploymentConsequences for the colleagues:•bad working atmosphere•low employee morale•more misunderstandings and disputes•more accidents and injuriesFor the organization:•bad product and service quality•more product mistakes•unsatisfied costumers•inefficiency•higher absenteeism•lower productivity•worse working conditions•burglary•higher employee turnoverFor the Industry:•lower productivity•worse service•scarceness of assets and liabilities•higher pricesFive steps to set up Anti Drug Programs in companiesIn the past years, drug testing became more and more normal within american compa-nies. Already 98% out of the 200 biggest US-companies use drug tests.

To do Drug tests in companies, you have to look at these five points:1. The Anti-Drug Policy of the company has to be clear and easy to understand in a written form•The company has to inform employees and former employees about the strict prohibi-tion of drugs in the company•The organization has to explain the reasons for this embargo (security, health, trust-worthiness etc.)•The Company has to inform its employees about the consequences if this rule is not respected2. A special training for the supervisors of some compartments•These are the people who have to be suspicious about drug abuse3. All employees have to be aware of the seriousness of the anti drug rules in the company4.Implementation of Programs to help employees with their problems before they start using drugs5.Implementation of a drug test programAssumptions to accomplish employee drug testingThe European Union supports drug testing in companies since 1996/1997.

The EU recommend to take a look at the following points:•the probation has to be retraceable and the privacy of the donator has to be assured•the cut-off levels for drug screening and confirmatory tests has to be defined•a positive screening test, has to be assured by an official laboratory•permanent training for the test performing employees•external quality assurance and accreditationThe Pros of Drug testing on employeesTest of Job candidate:One of the most used form is the testing of a new candidate for a job.

Like this, the company is able to avoid drug problems from the beginning!Test of Security sensitive jobs:President Bush, singed in 1991 the so called Omnibus contract, which allows companies who are in the aircraft,bus and other public transport to test their employees without further knowledge. This, of course is the absolute correct way of doing it. A second highly security sensitive job, is the military,! Here, everyone who wants to work with the military has to get tested.

Testing by suspicion:Here, the addicted person, gets tested because colleagues are suspicious and tell it to the supervisor. Like this the necessary actions can be taken immediately after a positive out-come.

Testing after an accident:The drug test after an accident is made if there was an accident where machinery or people of a company got hurt. This, then can be used in the court to find out if someone is guilty or not.

Non- announced random tests:Other then the tests by suspicion, are the people who get tested selected randomly.Sometimes even a computer is taking the action of selecting.

Continuous announced tests:This, is the first form of a drug test in the workspace. In some companies, the yearly drug test is as mandatory as the yearly health check.

Cut-off testing:More unusual is this sort of testing, where only the people of a certain compartment get tested.

Tests after Rehabilitation:It is absolutely necessary to test people, who got caught once and came back from Rehab. Like this you can find out if the employee is still clean.

Testing because of public adjustment:Drug testing again in high-sensitive jobs, but adjusted by the government. Good, because like this mistakes are rarer.

Testing before advancement:Some companies, make an advancement dependent on an foregoing negative drug test. Very goo, because this keeps a lot of people away from drugs for sure.

Tests in the upper management.

Drug-testing of the upper management happens mostly shortly before the whole branch or company is getting tested, like this there are no rumors about fairness of the testing because everybody has to take it.


Drug-testing is a very important and necessary thing within a company. I don’t think that we can find anything that really is a contra on employee drug-testing.

The cons of drug testing on employeesAs you can hear from my upper conclusion, i cant really think of anything that really is a hitting argument against drug-testing. Except the fact maybe that if you start testing your employees, then you show them that you dont really trust them. This can end up, so the people within the organization are not as motivated anymore. Of course, compared with the stress that you dont have if you fire all your drug-using employees this one fact is nothing.

Eventually, it is the case that everybody has to decide individually what he or she does.

But on the other hand, is our society based on a very tight working network. So if some people come tint the danger of drug using and the harms have to be paid by the society then its is not only an individual problem anymore.



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