One of the hardest things about running a business is having to put your faith and trust in your employees. You are taking individuals who apply for a job and ultimately putting the future of your company and your own financial well-being in their hands.

On the job, these employees may seem fine and capable. However, off the clock, they may be engaged in practices, such as drug and alcohol use, that could have a negative impact when they sign back in, especially if they still have these substances in their system.

That is why it is so important to have an updated drug and alcohol testing policy in place, especially with the shifting status of some drug laws in this country.

Drug Use and Employment (By the Numbers)

If you think drug problems are something that impacts other people and other businesses, think again. The statistics on drug use in the U.S. can be staggering.

  • 75% of drug abusers over the age of 18 are employed;
  • 80% of drug abusers who are employed steal from their employers;
  • 65% of work-related accidents are related to drug use;
  • 38% of adults are battling an illicit drug abuse problem;
  • 5% of adults are battling both a drug and alcohol abuse problem.

Those can be truly scary numbers. That is why it is so important to make sure your business is protected with a drug screening prior to hiring and random drug testing during employment.

Additionally, if an employee is involved in an on-the-job accident, it is imperative that a drug and alcohol screening is conducted to determine potential liability. All of these issues could leave your business exposed to lawsuits if you are found negligent in employing someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Changes to the Laws

The biggest change in drug laws of the last decade has come with the push to decriminalize or legalize marijuana. Currently, only 11 of the 50 states still have the drug and all its forms (such as CBD oil) completely illegal. In Colorado, which has completely legalized the drug for recreational use, the shift has resulted in the following:

  • 5% of companies have dropped marijuana from their pre-employment screening;
  • 2% of companies with drug tests have stopped screening for marijuana completely;
  • 46% of non-DOT (Department of Transportation) companies will fire an employee if they test positive for marijuana on their first test;

Many other companies are now offering suspensions without pay or even allowing employees to enter treatment programs if they test positive more than once. Only about 4% of businesses have gotten tougher on their drug testing since it was legalized in Colorado.

Even with these new drug use laws, it is important for employers to have a well-defined policy on what is and what is not permissible for their company. Once you have established this, it is then equally important to follow through with the plan so that your policy will have some “teeth” to it. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of legalization of certain drugs, it is in your best interest to protect your business from possible litigation.

If drug and alcohol testing are part of your employment process, you’ll need a trusted partner that specializes in workplace drug testing. This will ensure that you are building a safer and productive culture and environment for your team. Call us today and let’s talk about what you need and how AccuCheck Screening can help you get there.