The Pros And Cons Of Drug Testing In The Workplace

drug test

In most workplaces, one of the requirements is getting a drug test. A drug test involves the examination of a specimen such as urine, blood, hair, breath, sweat, or saliva to determine a drug’s presence. 

At work, employees are screened for drugs that are illegal under the law. This is because the presence of these substances in a person at work can reduce their productivity. It also increases the risk of accidents and the chances they’ll harm themselves or others while under the drug’s influence.

Employers cannot coerce their team members to get a drug test, and this is often the best defense for positive drug test. This does not apply, however, to industries where a drug test is conducted for personal and public security and safety instead of production efficiency. 

Some of the methods that are done during drug testing are hair drug testing, hair alcohol testing, blood alcohol testing, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing, and Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring or SCRAM. These can be done randomly at the workplace or as scheduled by a drug testing company, such as, with the consent of the team member. 

Benefits Of Drug Testing In The Workplace

There are many reasons why companies would hire a drug testing company to authorize the tests. It may be for the general welfare of the team and the public or other reasons. The pros of conducting drug tests include the following:

Reduced Healthcare Expenses For Employees

In general, drug abuse results in numerous health problems. Drug users’ medical expenses are higher than those of non-users. This results in more frequent insurance claims, resulting in higher costs. An employer’s ability to address drug abuse in the workforce with the help of a drug testing program should help lower insurance costs.

Improved Productivity And Performance Of The Workforce

Drug testing can assist employers in increasing productivity by reducing the detrimental effects of drugs on the workplace. If a team member arrives at work impaired by drugs or alcohol, it may significantly lower their standard of work. 

This can be avoided by conducting drug tests in the workplace. Guaranteeing that the employees pass the drug test aids employers in reducing team member absenteeism and increasing efficiency.

drug test

Increased Compliance With Applicable Laws

Employers may be held liable for workplace accidents, especially when they happen because the employer neglects to keep the workplace safe. A workplace drug testing program is an example of an employer’s efforts to maintain a secure working environment for all employees. 

Drug testing at work can lower accidents, lowering the risk of legal action against employers. At the same time, it complies with legalities about substance use and reduces any possible issues the company might face due to drugs.

The conduct of drug tests in the workplace not only benefits the company and its compliance with the law. It also helps the employees by ensuring that their physical health is fit for work.

Downsides Of Drug Testing In The Workplace

Drug testing benefits the company and the employees, but it can also have adverse effects, which must be considered carefully. Some of these are:

It’s An Additional Cost

The expense of maintaining such a program is, without a doubt, the biggest drawback of workplace drug testing for employers. Hiring drug testing companies for the program can be costly, and considerable time may pass between an initial positive test result and the follow-up test, which a certified lab must perform. 

Your team member cannot work during the actual testing. Time and expenses are essential factors in a company, so drug testing must be considered carefully before being conducted.

It Raises Concerns About Privacy Violations

Some employees believe that drug testing intrudes on their bodily autonomy and violates their right to privacy at work. As a result, some of the workforces now feel strongly against drug testing. Some people may even try to actively circumvent the results of the test as they know how to flush marijuana out of their bodies.

There can be a decline in productivity and team member morale in businesses that institute mandatory workplace drug testing. This can cause a reduction in business revenue. Though it’s not always the case, it’s something to be aware of before putting any drug testing procedure into place.

The issues about workplace drug testing should be put into consideration before conducting one. They could cause damage to the company and the team member’s status in the workplace, so they should be clarified and appropriately evaluated before the drug testing.


There are two sides to the drug testing program that can be implemented in the workplace. Even though there are issues such as cost and concerns about privacy violations, drug testing is still an essential program that needs to be done in any industry. It can reduce healthcare expenses for the team member, improve productivity and performance, and allow the company to follow the law regarding drug use and company management.