Pre-employment drug testing plays a critical role in reducing drug-abusers in an organization. It saves millions of dollars to the employer, as every year drug use costs millions of dollars to the company. So, it is recommended for every employer to implement “Pre-employment drug testing program” in their organization. This can be either done by outsourcing or by conducting on-site testing program. In this article, you will see the advantages and disadvantages of pre-employment drug testing.
Advantages of pre-employment drug testing:
Pre-employment drug testing is done on candidates who are offered the job. The employer should clearly mention about the drug testing program to the candidate. By having pre-employment drug testing done on the candidate, it will help you in the following ways.
- Prevents hiring illicit drug abusers: This is one of the biggest benefit of doing pre-employment drug testing. Based on the drug testing results, employer can find out the drug habits of the candidate. This prevents the employer from hiring drug abusers.
- Keeps good reputation of the organization: If drug abusers come to know about pre-employment drug testing program, they will surely not apply for a job in that organization. In this way the organization is able to keep up the good reputation by not hiring drug abusers.
- Reduces sluggish drug abusers: It is a good approach to avoid sluggish drug abuser applicants. Sluggish drug abusers usually come late to office and leave early, spend time on non-work related activities, poor job performance, frequent absenteeism, poor decision making skills, undergoes frequent accidents, argues with co-workers, blames the superiors for own mistakes, etc. These things results into loss of productivity for the organization.
- Indirectly reduces the cost benefits: Pre-employment drug testing indirectly reduces the cost associated with employer sponsored benefits (medical benefits). Because drug abused employees frequently fall sick.
- Drug-free workstation: It helps in creating a drug-free working environment and reduces the probabilities of handling any future misconducts done by drug abused employees.
Disadvantages of pre-employment drug testing:
- When conducting pre-employment drug testing on a candidate make sure you use kits that are FDA approved, as the results are accurate and reliable. If you use unreliable drug testing kit on a candidate and the candidate is not a drug abuser, but the results are negative. This may bring a bad name to your organization.
- Candidates who take prescription medications and herbal supplements, drug testing on such candidates may show positive results. Even though the candidate is a drug abuser he will get selected as the results are positive.
- Tests should be conducted according to the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Guidelines. If an employer failed to follow the guidelines, the employer can be fined.
Many organizations are conducting pre-employment drug testing programs. These programs not only help in creating a drug-free workplace, but also saves billions of dollars to the employers. Read more
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Home drug tests and lab drug tests mainly differ in two aspects – one is the speed of the test and the other is the accuracy of the results.
Home Drug Tests:
Home drug tests are the type of tests used for detecting the presence of the drugs in the body at the home. These type of drug tests can be conducted at the home with the help of home drug test kits. The level of sensitivity can vary from one home test to another. Results in the home drug tests are quick and the cost of these tests is less when compared to the lab drug tests. Home drug tests are very useful for the parents to test their children for the presence of the drugs. Home drug tests can be performed by the parents without the knowledge of their children. Greatest advantage that home test kits offer over laboratory tests is rapid results. Most home test kits provide results in a very short time. Home drug test kits are most affordable and the price of a single substance kit is $4 and the cost of the kit increases with each additional substance tested, up to $30.
Lab Drug Tests:
Laboratory tests also use same kind of the kits used for home drug tests called as immunoassay test. In laboratory tests, calibrated machines are used carefully to detect the presence of drugs. So lab tests gives more accurate results than the home drug tests. In addition highly trained professionals conduct these tests in laboratory. Further, the samples tested at the homes and which gave positive results are sent to the laboratories for further testing and confirmation. Major disadvantage of the laboratory drug tests is high cost of the tests and testing a single substance costs around $30, which is the highest cost in the home drug tests for testing all the substances.
Home drug test and lab drug tests differ largely from one another. They can be used according to the convenience of the user.
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There are many different methods that can be used to detect the use of drugs. Costs of the methods used to test the presence of drugs also vary, some methods are relatively cheap and some are very expensive. Hair and the urine drug tests are the two types of tests that are most commonly used for detecting the presence of drugs.
Hair testing has recently become a popular method for drug testing. Hair testing can detect drugs that have been taken six months back. About 50 strands of hair are necessary which should be obtained from the crown of the head of the drug user for conducting the hair drug tests. One of the advantage of the hair testing is that, this test can detect the drugs that have taken months ago by the person undergoing the test. Collecting the hair is simple procedure and it is not invasive. Hair testings for the drugs can be produced as an evidence in the law of courts. But the major disadvantage of hair test is that it is expensive and it can cost up to $150.
In the urine drug tests, the urine of the addicted person is taken as sample for testing for presence of the drugs in the body. Urinalysis is the most common drug test used by federally mandated drug testing programs. One of the advantage of urine drug test is that it is the simplest and least expensive drug testing technique. This technique is very accurate and can be conducted at the home. This is also most reliable test for determining the drugs. Disadvantage of urine test is that, these tests do not test for drugs that have been taken close to the time of testing.
The above details clearly explain the differences between the saliva and urine drug tests.
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Drug abusing people are found everywhere in the society. There are even people who consume drugs at workplaces. Many problems arise at the organizations with drug abused employees. Employers should therefore conduct drug and alcohol testing at workplaces to ensure safety and health of the employees. Different kinds of drug test kits like urine, saliva, and hair drug test kits can be used by the employers. Moreover, conducting the drug tests with multipanel drug test kits like 5-panel and 10-panel kits can be much more economical. Here are some pros and cons of conducting drug and alcohol tests at workplaces.
- Drug and alcohol abusers do not have proper coordination skills. This may lead to occurrence of many accidents at workplaces. Conducting regular drug and alcohol testing at workplaces reduces the chances of accidents. It also helps the employers in saving the costs associated with such accidents.
- Increased safety at the organization is the other benefit of drug and alcohol testing at workplaces. It also increases the well being of the employees.
- It is a good practice to conduct drug and alcohol tests at the organization to ensure discipline and safety.
- Certain issues like privacy pertain to the cons of drug and alcohol testing at organizations. Some employers arrange certain staff for submitting the tests. However, it is considered as an issue of privacy and discriminatory practice against employees.
- Some issues of trust may also arise with drug and alcohol testing programmes at workplaces. They may result in negative perceptions from staff to managers or vice-versa.
In spite of the negative consequences that may rise due to drug testing, it is necessary to conduct them.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) 2009, there were 12.9 million drug abusers who were employed in full or part-time jobs. Thus drug abuse has become a serious concern for employers in the United States. It has become mandatory for them to conduct employment drug tests regularly to maintain a safe and drug-free workplace environment.
Marijuana, opiates, cocaine, phencyclidine, and amphetamines are some of the common illegal drugs used by employees. So employers have to check whether employees are addicted to these drugs. Various drug test methods like urine drug test, hair drug test, and saliva drug test are conducted for different types of drugs.
Using a drug test kit is the best solution for conducting drug tests at workplaces. Drug testing kit includes simple equipment which can be handled easily by anyone. The results from such drug test kits are also obtained quickly. Multi-panel drug test kits are those kits which can test for multiple drugs at a time.
Benefits of Multi-panel Drug Test Kits:
- Multi-panel drug test kits including 5 panel drug test kits and 10 panel drug test kits can be used at workplaces. These help in detection of multiple drugs at a time from one sample.
- They are also cost-effective. Conducting drug tests for each and every drug separately includes lot of cost. This can be avoided by conducting test only once by multi-panel drug test kits. Hence, lot of money can be saved by employers.
- The kits are designed in such a way that they can be handled and used by anyone. Simple step by step procedures are involved in using multi-panel drug test kits. The kits are in the form of cups and test cards and can be used anywhere.
- Quick and accurate results are provided by these kits. The results are simple and easy to understand. Around 95 to 98 percent of accuracy is seen in the results.
Hence, it is beneficial to use multi-panel drug test kits at workplaces. It is better to use only FDA approved drug test kits.
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