Workplace Drug Testing

Workplace drug testing is carried out to determine if employees or job applicants are using drugs. This is a necessary action because substance abuse is on the rise.

Substance abuse – which includes drugs and alcohol takes a heavy toll on businesses, costing billions of Shillings in lost productivity and increased medical bills spending each year.

Alcohol and drug abuse creates significant safety and health hazards and can result in decreased productivity and poor employee morale. It also can lead to additional costs in the form of health care claims, especially short-term disability claims. Drug abuse can also lead to financial loss especially when the employee is working under the influence of a drug as well as loss of life when operating machinery in industries or transport sector.

M Toxicology performs drug and alcohol testing to improve safety in the work environment. In many
situations, people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work will put themselves and others at risk. Companies run these tests to deter people working on their sites from using drugs and alcohol at work plus maintenance of the company reputation.

Common reasons employers implement drug testing are to:

  • Deter employees from abusing alcohol and drugs
  • Prevent hiring individuals who use illegal drugs
  • Be able to identify early and appropriately refer employees who have drug and/or alcohol problems for rehabilitation.
  • Provide a safe workplace for employees
  • Protect the general public and instill consumer confidence that employees are working in a safe drug-free environment
  • Avoid hiring individuals who pose a safety risk
  • Help hang on to responsible employees who value safety
  • Demonstrate your social responsibility to the communities you work in
  • Be assured of competent employees
  • Maximize productivity (because employees that are not on drugs are at their best potential)
  • Ensure consistency in quality and standard of products

Problems associated with drug use and/or drug dependency

  • Increase in Injuries/accident rates
  • Premature death/fatal accidents
  • Theft
  • Absenteeism/extra sick leave
  • Loss of production
  • Tardiness/sleeping on the job
  • After-effects of substance use (hangover, withdrawal) affecting job performance
  • Poor decision making
  • Loss of efficiency
  • Lower morale of co-workers
  • Increased likelihood of conflicts with co-workers/supervisors
  • Illegal activities at work including selling illicit drugs to other employees
  • Higher employee turnover

When should workplace drug testing be done?

  • Periodic: this is scheduled and is typically performed on current employees at consistent time periods throughout the year (perhaps once or twice a year). In this case, all employees are collectively and indiscriminately tested for drugs of abuse.
  • Pre-employment: this is done before one takes up employment in a given workplace.
  • Random: this is done indiscriminately with a purpose of preventing employee workplace drug abuse. This may be done once or twice a year.
  • Reasonable suspicion: this is done on an individual that is suspected to abuse drugs following their odd behavior.
  • Post-accident/post-incident: This should be standard practice for most workplaces. This substantiates whether an accident was due to the influence of drugs or not. This also guides on the benefits that an employee claims.
  • Return-to-duty for previously suspended employees: This is carried out when a previously suspended employee (for drug abuse) is to return to duty.
  • “Follow-up” – applied only to previously suspended employees “if” re-hired: It is recommended that a minimum of 5 follow-up drug tests of the reinstated employee are required in the first 12 months following re-hire.

School Drug Testing

Teenagers might enter secondary school as children, but they will leave as young adults. This six-year period is transformational — full of growth, hardships and self-discovery. It’s also an experimental time — and for millions of teens, that means trying drugs and alcohol. Sadly, some teens doing drugs will suffer serious consequences as a result of substance use.

School drug testing is carried out to determine if students or applicants are using drugs. This is a necessary action because drug abuse is on the rise and our life in secondary school determines what we turn out to be in the future.

Drugs have no rightful place anywhere in society; however, they have even less of a place in academic environments where teens are living in their most formative years. The teen drug/alcohol user’s academic performance is severely impaired, along with his or her level of responsibility – such as skipping class, failing to complete assignments, etc.

Drug testing can identify teens who have started using drugs and would be good targets for early intervention, as well as identify those who already have drug problems, so they can be referred for treatment.

The primary purpose of drug testing is not to punish students who use drugs but to prevent drug abuse and to help students already using become drug-free. If a student tests positive for drugs, schools can respond to the individual situation. If a student tests positive for drug use but has not yet progressed to addiction, the school can require counselling and follow-up testing. For students diagnosed with addiction, parents and a school administrator can refer them to effective drug
treatment programs to begin the recovery process.

We at M Toxicology provide a full package which involves both testing and rehabilitation.

Why do teenagers use drugs? There are countless reasons. Many are reacting to peer pressure and believe turning to drugs and alcohol is how to become popular in secondary school.

Common reasons schools implement drug testing are to:

  • Build a productive and sound-minded generation
  • Deter students from abusing alcohol and drugs
  • Prevent admitting students who use illegal drugs
  • Be able to identify early and appropriately refer students who have drug and/or alcohol problems for rehabilitation
  • Provide a safe environment for students
  • Instill parent confidence that students are studying in a safe drug-free environment
  • Demonstrate your social responsibility to the communities around the school
  • Be assured of a safe environment

Problems associated with drug use and/or drug dependency in teens

  • Increase in aggression
  • Decreased Academic excellence
  • Premature death/fatal accidents
  • Theft
  • Risk of overdose
  • Sexual violence e,g, rape
  • Dropping out of School
  • Anti-social behavior
  • Unsafe sex
  • Homosexuality
  • Impairment of brain development
  • Absenteeism
  • Depression
  • Stunted growth
  • After-effects of substance use (e.g. hangover or withdrawal) affecting class and co-curricular performance
  • Poor decision making
  • Involvement in risky behavior like strikes & school burning
  • Increased likelihood of conflicts with classmates and teachers
  • Illegal activities at school including selling illicit drugs to other students

Repeated drug use can also lead to the disease of addiction. Studies show that the earlier a teen begins using drugs, the more likely he or she will develop a substance use disorder or addiction. Conversely, if teens stay away from drugs while in secondary school, they are less likely to develop a substance use disorder later in life.

When should schools conduct drug testing?

  • Periodic: this is scheduled and is typically performed on current students at consistent time periods throughout the year (perhaps once or twice a year).
  • Pre-admission: this is done before one is admitted to a particular school
  • Random: Performed unannounced using a random selection process to get a representation of the population.
  • Reasonable suspicion: this is done on a student that is suspected to abuse drugs following their odd behavior.
  • Post-accident/post-incident: This should be standard practice for most schools. This substantiates whether an accident/incident was due to the influence of drugs or not. This also guides on the actions to take.
  • Return-to-school for previously suspended students: This is carried out when a previously suspended student (for drug abuse) is to return to school.
  • “Follow-up” – applied only to previously suspended students “if” re-admitted: It is recommended that a minimum of 5 follow-up drug tests of the re-admitted students are performed in the first 12 months following re-admission.

How is School Drug Testing done?

All that M Toxicology needs to perform school drug testing is a urine sample.

Saliva drug testing

Saliva screening tests allow drug consumption to be identified anytime, anywhere.

The signs of drug use are less noticeable than those of alcohol consumption. Rapid saliva drug screening tests allow to publicly screen for drugs. Regular testing is also increasingly used for safety at work.

Advantages of Saliva drug testing

  • It can be performed anywhere
  • Test results are available within 3-8 minutes
  • Early detection window
    • Drug can be detected immediately after use
  • Faster turnaround
    • Saliva samples can be collected in any location
  • Strong correlation to impairment
    • Compounds that are present in a person’s blood are always present in their saliva
  • Greater integrity of results
    • Sampling is done in plain site
  • Eliminates adulteration
    • Tampering with sample is impossible
  • Better process for collection
    • Non-evasive and as accurate as blood

Roadside drug testing

This is particularly important for those in the transportation business, courier services, public transport and law enforcement. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol poses a major threat to road safety. Lamentably, a number of accidents resulting in casualties, fatalities and financial loss are often caused by the effects of Drugs and Alcohol. It is believed that a large number of cases go undetected because Uganda lacks on-site roadside drug screening techniques yet drug use is on the rise in our society.

M Toxicology ltd provides products for the detection of addictive and dangerous substances at the roadside using saliva. We are proud to play a part in contributing to personal, workplace and public safety. With our products, suspicions of drug abuse can be quickly and reliably confirmed at roadside checks. With our saliva drug testing kit, driving under influence of drugs or alcohol is prevented.

Drug detection training

We support our customers with tailored training in drug detection. We offer a wide range of services, from printed documents, and video presentations to comprehensive on-site user training. Our trainers can compile a customized drug detection training package just for you. 

Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have more detailed questions. You can as well arrange an appointment for a one-to-one meeting on-site.

Boarder/access control – Rapid drug testing

This is of particular interest for boarder and access control in schools, universities and other public institutions. Ensuring effective and efficient protection against illegal imports and drug trafficking. This further prevents smuggling of drugs into schools, universities and public facilities.

Surface and wipe tests provide valuable support to enforcement and security officers. Thanks to leading-edge detection technology test systems that can now reliably detect and identify even the tiniest trace quantities of target substances. This applies to detection on surfaces as well as the screening of freight containers.