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An increasing number of businesses are now implementing random drug testing in their workplaces, clinics, hospitals, rehabs, among others. This only shows that more and more companies are becoming aware of the effects of substance use and abuse.

And rightly so. Substance abuse remains to be a prevalent issue that affects millions of businesses. In 2017 alone, 19.7 million Americans aged 12 and above battled with this disorder.

How vital is random drug testing to businesses?

Read on and find out.

Ovus Medical Substance Abuse Statistics

The Importance of Random Drug Testing

Home and school drug testing

In her article for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Dr. Nora Volkow stated, “….increases in suspected nonfatal overdoses involving stimulants (a category that includes prescription stimulants, cocaine, and methamphetamine) in children and teens between 2016 and 2019. MTF shows decreases in the use of prescription stimulants in 10th and 12th graders but a trend toward increased use among 8th graders.”

The pandemic affected us in so many ways, especially the children, who are supposed to be enjoying school and their peers’ company. The isolation and extra time on their hands led some of them to experiment. Unfortunately, those “I’m curious, I want to try” mindset has led to nonfatal overdoses.

This is why random drug testing, even at home or in school, is essential. It can help save the lives of the ones we love.

Workplace drug testing

In the book, “Under the Influence? Drugs and the American Work Force“, the author states, ” In addition, it appears that pre employment drug-test results are also predictive of subsequent alcohol and drug problems.”

The author based this on a report by Salyards that says, “Job applicants who tested positive were 3.47 times more likely to be referred to an EAP for drinking problems and 5.69 times more likely to be referred for drug abuse problems as those testing negative at pre employment. Furthermore, were drug-positive individuals were 3.42 times more likely than other employees to file medical claims involving an alcohol or drug-related diagnosis.”

This is why business owners want to keep their workplace drug-free. After all, safe, happy, and healthy employees boost a company’s bottom line.

DOT drug testing

To obtain a commercial driver’s license, all applicants need to follow alcohol and drug testing rules. This is mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).

All current commercial drivers also undergo random drug testing occasionally to ensure their health and safety, along with those of their cargoes and passengers. They are, after all, entrusted with a safety sensitive function. 

Far too many fatal accidents have happened involving drugged or intoxicated drivers. The DOT only wants to ensure safe roads for everyone.

Drug testing in hospitals

Do hospitals randomly drug test employees? Yes, they do, as with other workplaces. 

They do post-accident drug testing on patients to determine if the person involved was under the influence of drugs or alcohol before the accident.

They also perform pre employment drug tests to identify people who have been using drugs or alcohol. As mentioned in the report above, people who have a history of substance abuse tend to file medical claims and referred to EAP due to alcohol and drug abuse issues.

What type of tests are used?

The  DOT and most businesses prefer the urine drug test over other methods. It’s because urine detects drug metabolites longer than saliva drug tests. On the other hand, urine tests provide instant results as opposed to hair follicle tests which take weeks, even months of waiting for the results.

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Random drug testing is very important in today’s world. It can be the first step towards a safe and healthy environment for everyone.