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Why Managers Need to Adopt Drug Testing Programs in Their Workplaces

Updated on May 1, 2021
Nyamweya profile image

Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics.

Drug testing programs can bring many benefits to organizations. According to Rosendahl (2011), there are so many uncertainties from new employees. The influence which new employee can bring to the team or the entire organization can be immense. Employers are not only accountable to themselves or the organization, but also to their employees and customers. Hence, these employers should be diligent and knowledgeable to the best of their abilities on the kind of the employees they have on board. Although this may not be a general state policy, workplace drug testing programs have become a standard norm for many organizations.

Advantages of drug testing programs in an organization may include but not limited to: reducing the costs related to the abuse of substances such as low productivity and work place accidents resulting to lost business money from the worker’s compensation. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure a safe workplace free from any dangers for their employees, and or customers. The action of the employer in taking this measure can positively influence the culture of an organization as well as enhancing the overall performance of workers.

Drug testing can show the evidence if a particular employee has abused a certain illicit substance or drug in the workplace. Drug testing programs is not supposed to test an impairment or a person’s character for that matter, or how the drug has impacted him or her. Furthermore, organizations following the practice should base it on a clear policy that is understood by all employees in the organization. Drug testing should not be a sudden matter introduced abruptly by the management, but employees should be informed on why and when the programs are carried out (Zinni, Mathis & Jackson 2011). The supervisors and line managers should receive thorough training on the signs of drug abusers and how they can assist employees who may have a drug or alcohol related problem.

Studies have indicated that drug abuse is a problem that has eaten many business entities (Pala, 2006) Much money is lost on a yearly basis from low productions, insurance claims, theft, accidents resulting from drug abuse, employee absenteeism and paid sick leaves. Drug testing programs is poised to decrease if not eliminating these kinds of incidences in the work place. They do so by preventing the hiring of individuals, who are drug users, eliminating workers who indulge themselves in this vice and or rehabilitating those who are addicted. In essence drug testing programs in the workplaces not only improves the business performance but also assists the individual drug abusers in causing harm to themselves or their colleagues.

From the view point of a more secure and productive work environment, drug testing programs is a concept which organizations should incorporate. In firms where the workers are responsible for the welfare of others, such as healthcare facilities, or public safety agencies, there are many reasons of incorporating these kind of programs than say, in less risky organizations. Differences may arise in specific companies with regard to drug testing policies such as testing existing employee’s verses screening those to be employed. The job applicant pool may influence the final decision in performing pre-employment testing, for instance, an organization culture will determine whether the programs will be carried out on the existing employees or the new ones. Regardless of the costs, the management ought to conduct round table discussion on the ultimate benefits of drug tests of the employees.


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