The Dangers of Drug Use In The Workplace

Substance Use In The Workplace

The need for Employee Drug Testing cannot be over emphasised as an Organization stands to lose not only in terms of productivity, but also staff morale.


There has been an increase in incidents of drug abuse in the society, unfortunately the workplace is not an exception.

People use drugs for several reasons which sometimes include pressure from work, depression, experimentation, peer pressure, among others.

There is an unspoken rule of “No Drug Use” in the workplace. This rule most times gets flaunted as Organizations spend time addressing other workplace misconduct overlooking substance abuse.

Why you need a Drug Use Policy

Every medical test is meant to respect the fundamental rights of an individual, drug testing is no exception; this is the reason a “Drug Use Policy” is necessary.

Workplace Drug Use Policy is a written document that controls the use, distribution, and exchange of psychoactive substances in the workplace.

The policy outlines the stance of the organization, their drug testing routine and intends to help provide a safe and drug-free work environment for clients and employees.

The drugs tested in every organization differ and in the Policy the Organization can define what is prohibited, the nature and frequency of testing.
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Upon signing this policy, every employee is expected to follow the policy as breaking any of the rules attracts penalty from the employer.

Having a policy also gives legal backing against litigation that can be filed by a disgruntled staff, dismissed or penalized for using illicit drugs. A policy communicates the Organization’s stance on drug clearly giving no room for excuses.

Types of Employee Drug Testing


• Pre-employment Drug Test:

This is done before a position is offered in the organization. In some organization, a clean drug test seals the employment position of the applicant.

• Routine Drug Test:

This type of drug test is conducted on a fixed and regular basis. This can be biweekly, weekly, monthly, quarterly or as stated in the Company Policy.

• Random / for cause Drug Test:

This type of drug test is done where situation warrant it. This is sometimes due to misconduct or reasonable suspicion by a monitoring officer (Supervisor).

5 Benefits Of Employment Drug Test:

  1. Healthy Environment: Ensures a drug free, safe, and accident-free working environment. Drug users are likely to introduce drugs to co-workers making the work environment unhealthy, a Drug Policy will mitigate this as it outlines consequences for the use and sale of illicit drugs at work.

  2. Reduce Cost: Reduces the health burden on the organization as drug users are at risk of multiple health issues that result from the effect of the drug use on the system and or workplace accidents caused by intoxication.

  3. To forestall inappropriate Behavior: Drug users are likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors mostly to get resources to obtain the substance. This makes it more likely for them to engage in theft and pilferage.

  4. Absenteeism/ turnover: Drug users are more likely to call in sick or turn up late to work, this affects overall productivity and output.

  5. Improve Productivity: Substance use can affect an employee’s ability to concentrate, their perception and alertness. All these negatively impact their work performance.

Implementing a Drug Policy will deter employee drug use. It communicates a Workplace Culture that discourages and inhibits Employee drug use.

Does your Company have a Drug Use Policy? Contact Us to have one designed.

It is also important for Managers and Employers to recognize and understand how to deal with substance use in the workplace.

Primly Services Employee Wellness Program provides Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that offers counselling, referrals to treatment Centers, Trainings, and other resources to assist employees.

Support is available and employees should be encourage to reach out for help.