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Drug Testing and Increase in Productivity

     The increased number of accidents, say proponents of drug testing, is only the most visible problem associ­ated with drug use in the workplace. In addition, employers are burdened with a number of economic costs by having drug users on their payroll. Again, the argument is consistent with the view of the general public: People who use illegal drugs just don't work as hard as those who do not use drugs.

    The extent of those economic costs has long been a matter of contention among those interested in drug testing. Supporters of testing often cite figures such as the following:

  • Employees who use drugs are absent from work about three times as often as those who do not use drugs.

  • Drug users work only two thirds as efficiently as nonusers

  • Companies pay up to 300 percent more for medical costs, such as rehabilitation programs and health and medical bills, for drug users than for nonusers.

  • The cost of workers' compensation claims tends to be about five times higher for users than for nonusers.

     One of the most widely quoted studies on drug use in the workplace was conducted by Bruce Wilkenson of Workplace Consultants. Wilkenson estimates that the overall financial cost to an employer for having a drug user on the payroll ranges between $8,000 and $25,600 per year for an employee earning $30,000 annually. Nationwide, the total annual cost to employers for hiring drug abusers has been placed at $46.9 billion, a sum that has been repeated by many proponents of the drug testing.

    The types of employment problems created by drug-using employees are numerous. They include measurable losses, such as absenteeism, overtime pay, tardiness, sick leave abuse, health insurance claims, and disability payments; hidden losses, such as diverted supervisory and managerial time, poor decisions, friction among workers, damage to the company's public image, wasted time, personnel turnover, and premature death; and losses related to legal claims, such as workers' compensation, equal employment opportunity complaints, disciplinary actions, grievance procedures, threats to public safety, illegal drug trafficking on the job, and secu­rity issues.


Drug Testing in the workplace

Who Should Consider Drug testing in The Workplace

Drug Testing and Corporate Morale 

Drug Testing and Reduction of Accidents

Drug Testing Government Policies

Drug Testing Programs




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