The Cost of Drug Testing
The current American business culture indicates that it has a major drug problem. According to the United States Department of Labor, more than eight million Americans use some type of illegal substance and as many as seventy five percent of all illicit drug users in the States are employed.
A Gallup Survey of employees conducted by the Institute for a Drug Free Workplace found that thirty seven percent of all participants reported that they felt workplace drug use problems had increased in the last five years. Additionally most supported drug-screening tests and in general, it appears that participants placed the greatest emphasis on drug testing for those employed in occupations where one person has direct responsibility for many.
A recent study showed that, despite surveys indicating a significant number of substance abusers work and keep their jobs while under the influence, many employers are unaware or in denial. It is not until such time as a policy is implemented that the severity is acknowledged and the results fully comprehended.
There are several types of drug testing procedures available, including blood, urine and hair specimen. Blood tests are generally only used in extreme cases. Hair specimen testing costs about $115-$150 per test nationally and can indicate drug use as far back as ninety days. Most drugs are detectable in urine between one to four days and the costs are much less, approximately $44 per test. There are in the region of fifty five million tests carried out in the United States per annum, ninety percent of which are urine.
The more traditional methods have been by way of utilizing off site centers, where the employee or employees are sent away from their place of employment in order for the testing procedure to be carried out. In today’s economical climate a growing number of companies are opting for less expensive methods, such as mobile drug testing where the procedures are carried out on site.
When offset against the rising costs to industry that substance abuse incurs the costs, in prevention and screening, tend to pale into insignificance.