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Here's How You can Weed Out Risks At Work With Drug Test Screening Drug Test Screenings are advantageous as it helps safeguard the interests of the organization and collectively minimises or eliminates overall drug use

By Nipa Modi

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In 2011, the United Nation Drug Report had announced that India was the biggest consumer of heroin. Cocaine and marijuana are also commonly used and abused by employees. Additionally, statistics indicate that in India alone, over 3 million people are dependent on drugs. While it is increasingly despondent that an employer cannot completely avoid hiring drug users, they can carry out periodic tests as a part of the employee welfare program to ensure that there is minimal to no drug use within the company.

For an employer, conducting regular Drug Test Screenings are advantageous as it helps safeguard the interests of the organization and collectively minimises or eliminates overall drug use. It also secures the interests of the employee, as continued drug use hampers their performance and hinders their ability to progress professionally. In addition, by actively using drugs, employees are at a risk of staining their credentials and hampering future prospects of employment in the event of a job change. From BPOs and IT companies to pharmaceutical businesses and service companies, many establishments are resorting to employee drug testing to promote a safe working environment.

Here are 6 key Pre and Post Employment Drug Screenings that the management can employ:

Pre-employment Drug Tests

The first and most common type of drug testing at the workplace is the pre-employment drug test. This drug test can be legally demanded from a potential job candidate only after an official "Conditional Offer of Employment" has been issued. This testing is deemed as one of the best policies to adopt since it is the first step in establishing and sustaining a drug-free workplace.

Random Drug Tests

Random drug tests are not as common as pre-employment drug tests, but they should be. The main reasoning behind conducting random drug tests is not to find the employee guilty of using drugs, but rather to prevent it. It has become an effective way to deter drug-use because the employees remain aware of randomly scheduled drug checks at any point in time during their tenure and are more likely to refrain from using drugs.

Reasonable suspicion drug Tests

Despite the Pre-employment Drug Test and Random Drug Testing, employers must conduct a drug test as a precautionary method if there is reasonable suspicion to support it.

Post-accident Drug Tests

Testing for drug abuse following an on-the-job accident has become a standard type of workplace drug testing for multiple companies. The tests that are found positive for drug consumption post an on-the-job accident may be legally subject to dismissal "for cause" and as a result be banned from obtaining certain benefits.

Return to Duty Drug Tests

In the event that a company allows an employee to resume his employment post-termination on the grounds of drug use, the company must conduct a Return to Duty Test. Clearing this test must be mandatory for every employee that has been fired, prior to their re-hiring.

Follow-up Drug Tests

Applicable only to previously suspended employees, the follow-up drug test is another test that should be mandatory for re-hired employees. This is to ensure that the drug use and abuse have decreased to an extent of becoming negligible or non-existent.

By not conducting drug tests, employers are compromising on securing the optimal productivity of the employee, encouraging drug use within the company, and leaving the company and its members with the probability of potential risks. A drug screening comprises panels' that refers to a drug or a family of drugs included in a drug test. The more panels a drug test includes, the greater the scope of the test. Employers can conduct two effective types of drug tests:

#Urine Drug Screening

A Urine Drug Screening (UDS) is quick and painless and can include anything from a 5 panel to a 10-panel drug test, depending on the necessity. A basic 5 panel UDS may include Amphetamines, Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates, and PCP. This can elevate to a 10 panel UDS that includes these five, it also includes Propoxyphene, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Methadone and Ecstasy.

#Hair Drug Screening

A Hair Drug Screening analyses a hair that is collected from the head or body, and is sent to the laboratory for screening for illicit substances. It particularly tests for Amphetaminess, Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates, and PCP.

In addition to securing its legal and moral responsibility towards maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for its employees, customers and vendors, drug testing is one of many steps that needs to be taken.

Nipa Modi


With over 20 years of multi-geography experience (India, Asia-Pacific,Europe, and Americas) in business leadership, I am currently positioned as a Director at SecUR Credentials Pvt. Ltd. In this role I’m actively engaged in leading the HR services business, sales efforts, and managing process delivery, client acquisition and relationships.
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