Drug Testing and Substance Abuse
Employee drug testing
Drug testing and screening - also referred to as substance abuse and monitoring services - is a key component of many companies' risk control programs. Concentra helps employers implement drug screening programs through the use of an independent forensic laboratory and our conveniently located Concentra centers.
What types of drugs are commonly abused?
There are many varying stages of drug usage-from experimental and recreational to abuse and addiction. Beyond alcohol, the most commonly abused drugs are prescription medications taken for non-medical reasons. This could include: pain medications (narcotics), sleeping pills, and other sedatives. Other toxic chemicals can also be abused, such as gasoline and paint vapors. However, these are most often used by adolescents.
Illegal drugs most often abused include: phencyclidine (PCP), methamphetamine (crank), MDMA (ecstasy), heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and psychedelic drugs (LSD or hallucinogenic mushrooms).
Workplace substance abuse
The specific signs and symptoms of abuse or dependence can vary based on the drug used, depending on how the person responds to the drug-and how extensively the drug has been abused over time. General warning signs and symptoms to look for when under the influence include:
- Decrease in responsiveness, attentiveness, thinking or movement
- Bizarre, irrational, or unusual behavior, such as agitation, anxiety, and indications of lack of sleep
- When intoxicated or withdrawing from the drug, abnormal vital signs (temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure) may be present.
Importance of random drug testing in the workplace
Drug testing and substance abuse monitoring are necessary components in any workplace. Impairment by drug or alcohol use can lead to an avoidable workplace hazard and a drug-free workplace program can help improve worker safety and health as well as productivity. Within certain workplace environments, such as those involving safety-sensitive duties like operating machinery, services such as random drug testing in the workplace are essential. Such programs help reduce occupational injuries and illnesses.