While both drug and alcohol abuse are serious issues within the United States, illicit drugs are particularly so. According to recent government studies, one out of every six workers has an issue with drugs. When employees use drugs, they tend to be absent from work more often than their drug-free counterparts. Data shows that they are actually absent 20 times more often.
The DOT Drug and Alcohol Test Training Program
According to Transportation.gov, these tests are administered to various employees in “safety-sensitive transportation” positions. These include jobs in trucking, mass transit, and other form of transportation industries, which includes aviation. Furthermore, the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance provides a variety of important procedural information, which includes how tests should be conducted and evaluated. This includes determining the appropriate treatment that employees that test positive should have prior to returning to work.
Four Reasons for Implementing Drug Testing Programs
The American Management Association reported that roughly 62% of United States’ employers have implemented drug testing programs to address the following goals:
- To guarantee employee safety
- To comply with state regulations
- To protect their reputation
- To create a drug-free work environment
The Urine Drug Test
In order to screen an employee for drug usage within the past five days, urine tests are considered to be the most accurate type of testing. A recent survey on urine testing showed that roughly 75% of illicit drug users are, in fact, employed. As a result, businesses throughout the country have experienced losses of approximately $81 billion a year due to absenteeism and other issues caused by employee drug usage. In 2015 alone, more than 9.5 million individuals tested positive for various types of drugs.
The Hair Follicle Drug Test
The main benefit of utilizing hair follicle tests is that employee drug usage can usually be measured for a longer time period, which is usually up to 90 days. There is a five-panel hair follicle test that screens for the following types of drugs:
While many different types of drugs may stay in an individual’s system for two to four days, marijuana may remain in the systems for as much as four or more weeks after being used.
How to Locate More Information
In order to accurately collect and evaluate specimens for drug screening, it’s important to participate in a United States Department of Transportation (DOT) Drug and Alcohol Test Training program. If you are looking for more information on the DOT Drug and Alcohol Test Training program, then there are resources available at their website.
Given the importance of creating a drug-free work environment, the DOT Drug and Alcohol Test Training program can assist employers with achieving this goal. New hires and existing employees should be informed that they will be required to undergo these tests. While some companies may choose to have random drug testing, others will do so as a condition of being hired. As previously stated, in some instances, when someone tests positive for drug usage, there may be conditions under which these employees may be able to return to work, such as treatment programs.