The United Kingdom has a growing problem with addiction. 8% of Men and 2% of Women in Britain Abuse Drugs or Alcohol, costing up to £3 billion a year in accidents and absence alone.
Add to this, the reduced effectiveness of a person who is under the influence of an addiction, whilst in the work situation, whatever form that takes e.g. tiredness or reduce productivity and the effects are significant.
In the USA, studies have shown that Substance Abusers which include alcohol, are 33% Less Productive, three times more likely to be late for work, four times more likely to hurt others at work or themselves, five times more likely to sue for compensation and ten times more likely to miss work altogether. When the state of Ohio introduced Random Drug Testing, they found ABSENTEEISM DROPPED 91%, there were 88% fewer problems with supervisors and 97% decrease in onsite injuries and the results were so striking that many companies are now screening job applicants.
Drug Testing at Work is probably the single most Effective and Important weapon we have against substance abuse. It identifies those who need help, reduces accidents and sick leave, improves attendance and increases productivity whilst also probably corresponding with a reduction in insurance premiums.
Testing is cheap and only has to be carried out on a proportion of the Workforce in order for it to be effective as a deterrent. London Transport tests approximately 1 in 20 of its drivers every year which means that each worker is probably checked only once every 20 years which is not too much of an invasion of privacy, yet a powerful deterrent. In America, positive test rates have fallen from 13.6% to 4.9% in a decade.