Why random drug testing in the workplace is a good idea
Drug use cost Americans an estimated $193 billion in 2007 according to the National Drug Intelligence Center, with $120.3 billion due to lost productivity alone.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCAAD) reports drug abuse costs employers $81 billion per year, and an estimated 70 percent of the 14.8 million illicit drug users in America are employed.
“Drug abuse in the workplace is a serious problem and it needs to stop,” saysNovus Medical Detox Center Director of Admissions Will Wesch. “Testing employees who fall under reasonable suspicion testing guidelines will lead to less abuse by employees and less loss of productivity and funds for businesses.”
According to drugabuse.gov, the average yearly cost of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use is over $600 billion. This total cost is due to crime, lost work productivity and healthcare.
Reasonable suspicion drug testing empowers employers by giving them the ability to test employees for substances if certain guidelines are met. Indicators that would merit reasonable suspicion drug testing can include odor of alcohol or marijuana on the body or breath, slurred speech, disorientation or confusion, inability or difficulty completing tasks, erratic or unusual behavior, and unsteady standing or walking.
The decision to conduct a drug test should be based off of current information and behavior, and behavior can be observed just before, during or just after work. However, an even more Effective method would be implementing random drug tests.
RELATED TOPIC: U.S. Employees Using Drugs Costing Businesses $200 Billion
“Random drug testing is a great preventative tool as it allows the employer to be proactive about drug use in the workplace,” says Wesch. “Instead of waiting until an accident happens to administer a test, by following the rules of random drug testing, an employer can choose who needs to take a test based on obvious signs of use.”
Wesch advises that random drug testing should be conducted by trained supervisory personnel, and a minimum of two hours of training and repeated training is recommended. The number of hours may vary state to state.
RELATED TOPIC: Is your company promoting employee wellness?
It is up to the employer to determine how to handle the situation if an employee tests positive for drugs during a random drug test. It is recommended that an employer develops the proper policies to deal with these types of situations.
Having the proper policies in place and enforcing those policies will ensure the amount of employees abusing drugs and alcohol is low or non-existent in a company.
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Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes
It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition.
Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently.
In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician.
British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives.
As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today.
Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes?
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.
How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan?
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily.
Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.
Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign.
If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed?
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!