Drug Testing in the Workplace

1 in 10 employees use illicit drugs. Is your workplace protected?

 Did you know that drug tests can improve your organization’s safety and productivity?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) run by the Department of Health and Human Services, employee drug use could have a huge impact on the number of accidents in your workplace, and can also impact your employees’ morale, productivity, and turnover rates.

Drug use may not be a visible problem in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean it’s uncommon. When studying American workers, SAMHSA found that approximately one in ten reported using illicit drugs in the last 30 days,[i] while Quest analytics found that nearly 5% of American employees who took a urine drug test tested positively for illicit drugs.[ii]

Why is this important? Screening employees and job applicants for drugs can reduce problems in the workplace. Not only does employee drug abuse cause up to 50% of all on-the-job accidents, especially in safety- and security-sensitive industries, it can also cause an increase in company theft.[iii] Drug abuse can also indicate an applicant’s future performance as an employee: drug users are absent ten times more frequently than non-users, and the turnover rate for drug abusers is up to 30% higher than non-users.[iv]

While these statistics may sound scary, protecting your workplace against drug abuse doesn’t have to be difficult, and can be as simple as adding a drug test to your pre-employment screening package. Using McDowell’s online process means you’ll only need one login and password, and you won’t have to worry about keeping track of paper chain-of-custody forms. McDowell also partners with labs nationwide, so your applicants can be tested almost anywhere in the U.S.

In addition to pre-employment drug screening, the McDowell Agency provides options for employers such as random drug screening, DOT screening, and pre-employment physicals. Would your organization benefit from any of these? Email us for more info →

Want to learn more about making your organization a drug-free workplace?
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides drug abuse statistics and tips on creating a drug-free workplace.

View their toolkit →

Does your applicant have questions about their rights?
Workplace Fairness is a nonprofit organization that provides answers to legal questions about employee drug testing (and other employee concerns).

Read their FAQ →


[i] https://www.samhsa.gov/atod

[ii] http://www.drugwarfacts.org/node/2239#

[iii] https://www.samhsa.gov/disorders

[iv] https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/workplace-kit.pdf

Employee Turnover

It is no secret that employee turnover is incredibly costly. In fact, one study shows that a single worker turnover can cost upwards of $15,000! And that’s just the direct costs.

Can comprehensive background checks reduce turnover?

Absolutely! Background checks help promote a safe working environment and they keep employees honest. They also help increase the quality of the candidates applying.

Q: What are the indirect costs of turnover?

A: There are many, and most come in the form of time. The amount of time it takes to set up and conduct interviews, time to go through candidates, and the amount of time it takes to train a new hire are a few examples. Another major indirect cost is the affect turnover has on morale of the company.

Q: Morale costs? What is that?

A: Because the other employees will have to cover the workload of the employee that left, they will be under greater stress to balance everything until someone new can be hired and trained – this is the major impact of morale costs.

75% of the causes of employee turnover are preventable.

Want to see how we can help mitigate employee turnover with a comprehensive background check? Contact us now!

Feel free to give us a call, shoot us an email, send a carrier pigeon, whatever! We will respond and work one-on-one with you to develop a background screening package that fits your needs as well as works to bring in the highest quality candidates to decrease your cost of employee turnover.