Drug testing is not just a practice used to catch offending workers, but one that can further reassure a business has covered all its bases and can rest easy knowing its staff members do not engage in illicit drug use. Drug testing isn’t just a way to bring unacceptable behavior to light, but also a preventative means to deterring workers from partaking in drug use. That notion was further reinforced when a mandated drug program in West Virginia for job trainees turned up very few failed tests, with officials citing the mere presence of a screening policy as a powerful deterrent.
Out of 562, five fail
In April 2012, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed an executive order that would require drug testing on individuals seeking job training through WorkForce West Virginia, a program funded by the national Workforce Investment Act.
Between July 16, when the screenings began, and December 6, WorkForce said that out of the 562 people who were tested, just five tests came back positive for drug use, The Charleston Daily Mail reported.
Asked why there were so few failures, WorkForce spokeswoman Courtney Sisk suggested to The Daily Mail that perhaps individuals who knew they could not pass a mandatory drug screening did not sign up for the program. This would illustrate how screenings can work on two levels to prevent employee drug use.
WorkForce administered to those who entered the program a test that screened for 10 categories of common drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and prescription mood-altering drugs. The organization tests trainees in training programs for positions such as bus or truck drivers, mining technicians, nurses and construction equipment operators.
Ensuring employees stay clean is a top priority for businesses. Employers can further enhance their drug-free policies by using screening services to catch those who do use substances. The efforts may further deter those from partaking in drug use that could be harmful to the work environment.