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3 Crucial Drug Policies to Implement in Your Workplace
Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
April 26 2018
The media has recently featured stories on prescription painkiller abuse and addiction and called it an epidemic. In the workplace, we must recognize that any drug dependence and addiction are problems that impact both the personal and professional lives of our employees, and go on to affect business goals and the bottom line of our organizations.

Misuse and abuse of drugs, prescribed or illicit, in the workplace contributes to:

  • Increases in critical errors, injuries, and incidents
  • More frequent and/or longer-term disability leave
  • Higher costs related to workers’ compensation, insurance fraud, medical care, and treatment
  • Lost productivity

As leaders of our organizations, we are responsible for facilitating continuous improvement in our processes and employees. Organizational awareness, education, and prevention can help businesses improve employee health and cut healthcare costs associated with addiction, while avoiding negative business consequences like those listed above.

 

3 Policies: Awareness, Education, and Prevention

You can spread awareness within your organization by teaching your workforce about the consequences of drug misuse and abuse, as well as training them to recognize signs of drug addiction in others. According to HelpGuide.org, drug use and abuse may be recognized by physical, behavioral, and psychological warning signs, such as:

  • Changes in appetite; sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination
  • Decreased work performance
  • Frequently having accidents
  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason

Leadership and employees should be aware of and educated about workplace drug policies beyond merely being advised to read a policy. Candidates must be provided policies and procedures during onboarding, annually or semi-annually, when policy changes are made, a drug-related event happens at work, or a news event causes concern in your organization.

Prevention strategies for the workplace incorporate both awareness and education, as well as pre- and post-employment drug testing. Medical sources report that education and drug testing in the workplace provide benefits such as:

  • Higher morale
  • Fewer workplace accidents
  • Less employee theft
  • More productivity
  • Less employee turnover
  • Lower cost of insurance

Drug testing can help employers identify drug issues in the workplace and plan a course for assisting afflicted employees with getting treatment. Some employers conduct basic 5-panel drug testing on their candidates before hiring, while others prefer to conduct extended 11-panel drug testing in order to identify potential prescription drug abusers.

Experienced and accredited third party background screeners like InfoMart can assist your organization in creating a drug testing program that keeps your organization safe and healthy. As a Third-Party Administrator (TPA), InfoMart accesses a nationwide network of screening facilities that allows us to drug test any applicant within the normal course of their employment background screening.

For detailed workplace drug prevention strategies, sign up to receive our upcoming white paper: 4 Steps to Promoting a Workplace Free of Painkiller Prescription Addiction.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart over 28 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for over 28 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, and they have achieved NAPBS accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 40 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.infomart-usa.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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