Employer concern and action are certainly warranted in view of recent estimates that the cost of substance abuse in the American workplace exceeds $110 billion annually.


The primary purpose of these programs is not to punish offenders, but to protect the health and safety of all employees through early identification, and to refer employees with substance abuse problems for treatment. The integration of drug screening procedures with drug education programs is proving not only to be an effective way of managing workplace substance abuse problems, but also a valuable tool in achieving positive employee relations.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that, in 2006, 74.9 percent of all illicit drug users over 18 were employed. Drug testing is a prevention and deterrent method that is often a component of a comprehensive drug-free workplace program. Frequently, workplaces that do not have a drug-free workplace program produce higher health care costs, injury rates, and other negative outcomes related to employee substance abuse.


Studies show that when compared with non-substance abusers, substance-abusing employees are more likely to


- Change jobs frequently

- Be late to or absent from work

- Be less productive employees

- Be involved in a workplace accident

- Become violent

- File a workers’ compensation claim

- Employers who have implemented drug-free workplace programs have seen improvements in morale and productivity
  and decreases in  absenteeism, accidents, downtime, turnover, and theft


Employers with longstanding programs report better health status among employees and family members and decreased use of medical benefits by these same groups.

Amarillo Pathology Group and Physicians Preferred Laboratory

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