Pros and Cons to Drug Testing Employees

Pros and Cons to Drug Testing Employees
  • Opening Intro -

    Businesses commonly require drug screenings of their employees.

    This is a common practice in many industries, and many employees and prospective employees aren't thrown off by the request.


It may seem like a normal thing to do, but deciding to start drug testing employees is something every employer should think through and do with intent. Explore some of the pros and cons to drug testing employees before implementing a policy in your company.


Drug testing employees has some pros that can benefit employees and your company.

  • Can save money on health care costs

    Requiring drug testing is one way to save money on health care costs for your employees. Many health care companies give discounts to members of businesses who complete drug screening. It’s much more costly to insure a person who uses drugs because they often have more health problems than non-drug users.

  • Can ensure better productivity

    Workers who are under the influence of illicit substances are more likely to become easily distracted or not value their work as much as sober employees.

    Drug testing can encourage your employees to avoid drug usage so that they’re sharper at work and more able to complete tasks efficiently.

  • Keeps workers safer

    Employees who are under the influence of drugs put other employees in danger. Especially in workplaces where heavy machinery is used, it’s extremely dangerous for employees to be under the influence of drugs.

    This can lead to injuries. Drug testing employees makes sure only reliably sober workers are near or operating heavy machinery.


Requiring employees to complete drug screenings to remain employed and in good standing with your company also has some downsides.

  • Can lower employee morale

    Requiring your employees to complete drug testing can make them feel untrusted and watched over—even if they’re not active drug users. It can be hurtful for employees who have been loyal employees for years to still be asked to complete a drug test. It may make them feel like trust is one-sided and discourage them from remaining at the company.

  • Can deter some people from seeking employment

    Some people are just uncomfortable with drug testing requirements. It’s easy to assume that’s because these people are drug users, but this isn’t always the case.

    Many people just want privacy or are uncomfortable with the method of drug testing the company uses. Requiring drug testing may minimize your pool of applicants for open positions.

other valuable tips:
  • It’s invasive

    Drug testing can be quite invasive for the people being tested. Most companies choose to require urine drug testing from their employees. Other companies require blood drug testing, which is extremely invasive. Many employees will feel violated with the method of drug testing you use.

    Be sure to do thorough research before deciding to drug test and when choosing which method of drug testing to require of employees. Think about which you would be most comfortable with and how to best handle any feelings of invasion of privacy from your employees.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons to drug testing employees before updating your company policies. Be sure to think through the benefits and drawbacks it can have on your morale, employees, and company as a whole.

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