Unfortunately, drug abuse takes a toll on lives, families, and can wreak havoc in the workplace. According to a national survey, more than 60% of adults know someone who has gone to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That adds up to higher absenteeism, more workers’ compensation claims, and lower productivity.
The good news is that you can do something about substance abuse in the workplace. Even though habitual users think they know how to fool a drug test, new testing methods can foil those plans. Here’s a look at the subversion techniques employees may try, and how you can increase your company's odds of detecting problems and offering help before it’s too late.
Long-term drug users have probably been able to get away with their behavior because they know how to beat the system. One of the most common drug testing methods is to take a urine sample, but it’s also one of the easiest methods to fool.
Existing employees and new candidates can try to alter the results by doing everything from stopping use for a period of time before the test to diluting, substituting, or contaminating their specimen in some way. The window for detection is also pretty slim when it comes to urine, as most common drugs pass out of the system in a matter of hours or days.
Hair testing has been shown to provide more reliable results, and to diminish the incidence of specimen tampering. Instead of mere hours, hair testing can detect drug use within the past seven to 90 days. In addition, because hair samples are obtained from the scalp, the likelihood of trading out a specimen or using a wig is very minimal.
An extra benefit of hair testing is that it can eliminate undesirable candidates before they even apply. Many habitual users avoid companies that conduct hair testing. Improved results let you offer employees the help they need and help keep users from joining the company — increasing the success of any drug-free workplace program.