Skip to Content
Fastest Labs of St. Petersburg Change Location

Blogs from August, 2023

It's surprising to learn that 70% of drug abusers in the US maintain steady employment. Unfortunately, many drug users are adept at concealing their substance abuse, making it challenging for employers to detect it. However, it's vital for companies to recognize warning signals. Employees who are under the influence of drugs can create chaos in the workplace, resulting in reduced profits and potential safety hazards. Thus, workplace drug testing can be a lifesaver. But it's also crucial to be mindful of the red flags that could indicate a problem.

Having an employee who abuses drugs can severely impact your business. Studies have revealed that drug abusers are five times more likely to file for workers' compensation and account for 40% of on-the-job fatalities. Moreover, they cost a company three times more in healthcare expenses than the average employee. Drug use can have significant negative repercussions for your organization. It's critical to remain vigilant for any signs of substance abuse and take appropriate action. Fastest Labs of St. Pete strives to educate company owners in St. Petersburg on the significance of implementing a drug testing program and equipping them with the knowledge to identify and address employee substance abuse in a timely and professional manner.

Signs of Substance Abuse

As we mentioned before, those who commonly use drugs are good at covering it up, but these problems can still be spotted if you pay close attention. If an employee is exhibiting two or more of these behaviors or characteristics, those are red flags, and it's probably a good idea to have that employee tested. The most obvious signs to look out for include increased lateness or absenteeism, inconsistent work performance, an increase in accidents, unsteady posture, weight loss, dental issues, etc., lack of appearance and grooming, paranoia/anxiety, overreaction to suggestions or feedback, withdrawal from conversations, lack of sleep, bloodshot eyes, and mood swings.

What Course of Action Should Employers Take When Suspecting Substance Abuse?

If you have reason to believe that one of your employees may be under the influence of drugs, it can be challenging to know how to respond, particularly if you haven't faced this situation before. However, it is crucial that you take action on your suspicion. Employees who abuse drugs or alcohol, whether illegal or prescription, can pose significant risks to the safety and well-being of your work environment. The situation at hand can negatively affect productivity, performance, increase potential violence risks, and make your other employees uncomfortable. So, as a manager, what steps should you take if you suspect that this could be a concern within your team?

Step 1: Understand Your Processes

It's crucial to have a well-established drug and alcohol policy in place for your company, but it's equally important to thoroughly know the regulations and established procedures. This will serve as your ultimate guide and determine how you can approach the situation. Before making any decisions or plans, ensure that you're fully aware of all regulations and predetermined processes that are in place, including Florida’s laws surrounding drug testing.

Step 2: Document All Observations

If you suspect an employee of drug or alcohol use due to behavior noticed in the workplace or reported by other employees, it's essential to document everything. Take note of every observation, so you have a detailed backlog of why you've decided to investigate this matter further. Keep management and supervisors in the loop to ensure that several parties are aware of and documenting the issues being presented.

Step 3: Schedule a Meeting

Once the situation is thoroughly documented, and several key team members agree that moving forward is necessary, it's appropriate to arrange a meeting with the employee. At the meeting, discuss everything that has been observed about their behavior transparently. Be clear and honest to make your reasons for investigation evident. After this, follow up in whatever manner is outlined in your company policy, but always ensure that a third party is present to act as a witness to everything discussed.

Step 4: Conduct Drug Testing

Whether or not formal drug testing is an option depends on Florida’s law and workplace policy. If everything is legal and clearly stated within your existing policy, notify a drug testing facility, like Fastest Labs, that you'll be sending an employee for testing. Make it clear to the employee in question that this is a necessary process to comply with your company's drug policy. If you haven't previously obtained consent from the employee for drug testing, have a consent form on standby for them to sign.

Step 5: Take Action Based on the Results

Once you have confirmation of the test results, how you proceed depends on your company's policy. If the results are negative, notify the employee and allow them to return to work, discussing the cause of their concerning behavior as needed. If the results are positive, you may send the employee for counseling or treatment before allowing them to return to work. Depending on your policies, you may have a clause that allows for the immediate termination of employees found under the influence at work again. Alternatively, you may terminate them immediately upon positive results, as their drug and alcohol policy agreement has been violated.

Avoid Employees Cheating on a Drug Test

As drug and alcohol testing becomes more prevalent in American workplaces, some employees and job seekers are trying to hide their substance abuse. A common question asked by drug users is how to cheat on a drug test. However, employers can prevent cheating by selecting a trustworthy lab provider and gaining useful knowledge. Using a subpar testing service provides too many opportunities for cheating. It can be overwhelming to choose a laboratory, but it's essential to pick a reputable provider like Fastest Labs. Cheating on a urine drug test can involve using someone else's urine, synthetic urine, diluting or adding chemicals to the sample, or ingesting substances to alter the results. A professional lab provider in St. Petersburg has specific protocols in place to prevent cheating attempts like these and ensure reliable results.

Maximize Drug Testing Security and Accuracy with Fastest Labs of St. Pete

As an employer, if you suspect that one of your employees is using illegal substances or consuming alcohol and drugs in violation of company policy, you may want to consider conducting for-cause testing in St. Petersburg. At Fastest Labs, we can assist you in ensuring that the results of your for-cause testing are reliable and precise. Depending on your specific requirements, we can help you conduct the appropriate type of for-cause drug or alcohol testing and establish ongoing drug/alcohol testing programs for your employees.

It is crucial to ensure the accuracy of the results of a for-cause test if you suspect an employee of drug or alcohol misuse. The outcome of the test will determine your next steps as an employer, and it can have significant long-term consequences for your business, your liability, and your employee's future.