Drug Free Workplace Programs

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Substance abuse is a serious workplace problem.

Studies show that when comparing drug-free workers with alcohol/drug abusers, substance abusers are more likely to be:

  • Far less productive.
  • Miss more workdays.
  • More likely to injure themselves or someone else.
  • File more workers' compensation claims.

It is even more difficult to put a price tag on the low morale and impaired judgment at work caused by substance abuse or alcohol use on the job. Nor is it easy for a company to determine the actual costs of pilfering, high turnover, recruitment, and training.  The measurable dollar costs of workplace substance abuse from absenteeism, overtime pay, tardiness, sick leave, insurance claims, and workers' compensation can be substantial. However, the hidden costs resulting from diverted supervisory and managerial time, friction among workers, damage to equipment, and damage to the company's public image means that workplace substance abuse can further cut profits and competitiveness

Nobody wants to believe that a friend or an employee has a substance abuse or drinking problem.

To dismiss the price of substance abuse and alcohol misuse as "the cost of doing business" or "being a friend" is to accept a norm that does not have to be accepted.  Subtle changes in behavior may be written off or not recorded because no one knows how or wants to confront the problem. But when behaviors or attitudes that diminish work performance are ignored or excused, workers who are harmfully involved with alcohol or other drugs are allowed to continue to be a risk to themselves and their co-workers. 

Refusal to admit to the possibility that alcohol or other drug use might exist at a worksite could also be a missed opportunity to help an employee. If there is a problem, ignoring it will not make it go away. Drug and alcohol problems do not usually get better if left alone: they get worse.

Over 80% of the Fortune 500 companies require drug and alcohol testing of their employees. These companies understand that substance-abuse costs industry over $165,000,000,000 annually in loss of productivity, theft, accidents, absenteeism, increased workers' compensation, and health care. They also know that drug and alcohol testing works, and that the implementation of a drug testing program significantly reduces positive test-results. It screens new employees for substance abuse, and identifies employees who may need treatment. This results in financial savings, and makes your workplace both more productive and safer for others.

Conducting drug and alcohol tests nationwide has enabled Drug Testing Network to provide customized drug and alcohol and substance abuse programs to any organization, regardless of industry or location. Whether you are a regulated or non-regulated industry, we will create a program that meets your requirements.

Statistics prove that drug and alcohol testing works! In tests of employees in DOT safety sensitive regulated industries, 3.5% tested positive for drugs. Testing in the general workforce reveals 5.2% tested positive for drugs, 50% higher than regulated industries. Samples submitted from the general workforce (tests at the request of a manager or supervisor, referred to as tests for reasonable suspicion), resulted in over 26% positive for drugs.

The consequences of positive testing for drugs and alcohol in the workplace are higher costs to the employer resulting from loss of productivity, theft, accidents, absenteeism, increased costs for workers compensation benefits and health care, and increased premiums for liability insurance and compensation.

In Southern California, Drug Testing Network can provide on-site specimen collection services and provide programs that meet Federal Standards by following DOT regulations. We can provide supervisor-training courses that are designed to educate supervisors on how to recognize the symptoms of drug and / or alcohol abuse, how to handle different situations, and how to document events as they occur. In addition we can provide off-site collection facilities, independent laboratories and medical review for DOT and Non-DOT testing.

These programs will insure increased productivity and safety for the employees in your workplace without burdening you financially. In addition it will free your staff from performing these management functions.  

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Companies that offer drug education programs as well as testing have lower test-positive rates than those that provide only testing.

Only 5% of companies neither test employees nor offer drug education programs.

Action on test-positive employees: 31% of companies dismiss test-positives, and more than half of these offer no other alternative. The rest regard firing as a last resort, after counseling and disciplinary actions have been tried.

68% of companies test new hires. Tests are rarely given as part of the application process per se; instead testing occurs when the applicant has already been offered the job. The offer is then conditional on the applicant passing the test. 

1% of companies that test new hires will hire test-positives on a probationary basis; 95% specifically state that test-positives will not be hired, the rest take other actions, such as retesting at a later date.


82.1% use urine testing. 12.9% use blood testing. 1.1% use hair testing. 0.9% use performance testing.

Of those who use urine testing, only 70% retest an initial positive with a more rigorous, confirmatory test. 13% repeat the same procedure on the same sample. 5% take and test a new sample. 7% perform no validation.
  • Only 79% of those that use the urine test use DOT/NIDA-certified labs. 
  • Only 48% use a medical review officer (MRO).

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Pre-Employment Testing

Pre-Employment Testing - Offering employment only after a negative drug test result.
Goal: To decrease the chance of hiring someone who is currently using or abusing drugs.

Pre-Promotion Tests. Testing employees prior to promotion within the organization.
Goal: To decrease the chance of promoting someone who is currently using or abusing drugs.

Annual Physical Tests. Testing employees for alcohol and other drug use as part of their annual physical.
Goal: To identify current users and abusers so they can be referred for assistance and/or disciplinary action

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Post-Accident Testing

Testing employees who are involved in an accident or unsafe practice incident to help determine whether alcohol or other drug use was a factor.

Goal: To protect the safety of the employees, and to identify and refer to treatment those persons whose alcohol or other drug use threatens the safety of the workplace

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Random Testing

Testing a selected group of employees at random and unpredictable Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif. Most commonly used in safety- and security-sensitive positions.

Goal: To discourage use and abuse by making testing unpredictable, and to identify current users and abusers so they can be referred for assistance and/or disciplinary action if needed.

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Follow-up / Return to Duty Testing

Periodically testing employees who return to work after participating in an alcohol or other drug rehabilitation program.

Goal: To encourage and ensure that employees remain drug-free after they have completed the first stages of treatment.

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Reasonable Suspicion Testing

Testing employees who show obvious signs of being unfit for duty (For Cause) or have documented patterns of unsafe work behavior (Reasonable Suspicion).

Goal: To protect the safety and well-being of the employee and other coworkers and to provide the opportunity for rehabilitation if the employee tests positive.

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Medical Review Officer

This is a licensed physician who reviews test results and reports the findings directly to the employer to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the test results.


  • Serves as arbitrator between the laboratory and the employer.
  • Reviews and interpret positive results. 
  • Examines the possible alternate medical explanations for any positive results. 
  • Examines medical records and data on the individual being tested. 
  • The MRO make the final decision on all test results.

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