How to Maintain Compliance Despite Rising Positive Drug Tests

October 19, 2022 by Verified First

How to Maintain Compliance Despite Rising Positive Drug Tests

Drug testing employees has been a requirement for many industries in the U.S. for years. Despite this, the number of positive tests for marijuana and cocaine skyrocketed last year, reaching the highest rates we’ve seen since 2001. Recruiting in today’s talent market is already tough, but add in a revolving door of candidates and required drug tests, and soon it’s overbearing on an HR and Talent Acquisition professional’s plate.

Verified First knows that drug testing your candidates and employees is an important responsibility. We’re breaking down the numbers to see the effects of the spike, and how we can help you keep up with a compliant drug screening strategy. 

The Research Behind the Positive Rates

A study based on 11 million de-identified urine, hair, and oral fluid drug test results found that positive rates increased by 4.6% in 2021 as compared to 4.4% in 2020. This is the highest level the U.S. workforce has seen in 20 years. 

The drug test samples came from two groups of participants: those in the general U.S. workforce and those in the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce. The general workforce includes employees from private employers whereas the safety-sensitive workforce includes workers in fields such as transportation and law enforcement. 

The general workforce accounted for the majority of the spike. It saw a 12% spike in positive tests since 2017, whereas the safety-sensitive workforce saw a 4.8% spike. No matter which sector is higher, the large increase in positivity rates is alarming and should make HR and TA professionals rethink the weight of employee drug testing in their workplace. 

Drug Testing in the Workplace

This study reflects some of the biggest problems companies are facing in today’s talent market. According to Verywell Mind, employees who use substances are more likely to:

  • Change jobs frequently
  • Be involved in workplace disputes with employees/supervisors
  • Make poor decisions or fail to keep up with work
  • Be involved in a workplace accident and potentially harm others
  • File a workers’ compensation claim

Despite this data, some employers still choose not to drug screen. With talent hard to find, they may be thinking it’s worth onboarding without knowing for sure. But it’s not worth the risk. Failing to properly vet a candidate can lead to problems not only with production but could also risk the safety of the overall workplace. 

How Verified First can Help You Maintain Compliance

There’s no need to ignore this vital step. Verified First makes drug screening your candidates and employees easy. Our eScreen API capabilities garner efficient results in minutes. eScreen offers instant 4-11 panel urine testing for target drugs. We can have your negative results in as early as 15 minutes, making our process efficient and compliant. 

With eScreen, you can quickly and compliantly test for substances through:

  1. Urine tests (instant or lab-based)
  2. Hair tests
  3. Oral saliva tests

Whether you are regulated by the DOT or want to run screens in-house for nonDOT, we can help you manage your random drug screening program! We offer monthly, quarterly, or even bi-annual testing to meet your needs. Simply reply to our reminder email with your updated list of employees, and we will send back your randomized list of employees to drug screen. It's that simple!  

In conclusion

Drug screening is no joke. Workplaces with high positive drug test results see more workplace accidents and lower productivity. You can implement streamlined drug testing to your recruitment and talent management strategy by reaching out to us. Let’s chat about how our eScreen API can lower your risk of drugs in the workplace. 

About Verified First
Verified First is known for delivering streamlined background screening backed by the best client support, and for developing the easiest, fastest HR system integrations, for free. Our client support team is U.S.-based, answers calls in seconds, resulting in hundreds of positive testimonials and a 96% customer satisfaction. Verified First's patent-pending, award-winning integrations include over 100 applicant tracking systems, and provide clients a turn-key experience.

Share This Post