Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

How to Deal With Drugs in the Workplace

Did you know that half of the people who suffer from addiction in the U.S. are actively employed?

You might have a specific image of what a person who’s dealing with substance abuse would look like. Sadly enough, they might actually be your next-door neighbor or your employee. 

Unfortunately, drugs in the workplace can have serious consequences for both the person who’s abusing drugs, as well as their employer. From increased accident rates and diminished productivity to skyrocketing absenteeism, if you’re dealing with a case of suspected drug use in the workplace and don’t know what to do, you’ve come to the right place.

Keep on reading for our full breakdown of how to deal (and confirm) whether you’re dealing with drugs in your firm. 

Drugs in the Workplace 101: Start With a Conversation

You might be surprised at how effective using empathy can be when it comes to figuring out whether your employee is abusing drugs or not. 

It might not be a great idea to start with asking whether your employee is taking drugs from the get-go. You can start by simply commenting on their change of mood, or their absenteeism. 

It should come from a place of concern for the person’s welfare. 

Document Strange Behavior

If you didn’t succeed in getting a satisfactory answer from your employee, it’s time to document all of their “off” behaviors. The thing about drug abuse is that it will undoubtedly lead to work problems in one shape or another. 

You can warn your employee if they’ve violated a policy, or if their performance has dropped sharply. 

Learn Your Policy by Heart

At this point, you’ll want to review your work policy regarding drug testing and know all the business expectations and guidelines in the employee handbook by heart. 

For example, if there’s an explicit work policy that prohibits the use of possession of illegal drugs in the workplace or coming to the workplace whilst being under the influence of a monitored substance, then you’ll want to keep it on hand. 

Drug Test to Confirm or Deny

Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, you’ll want to confirm that substance abuse is the problem on hand. 

You can do so by setting up a surprise drug test day for your whole company, or even using the services of canines, like those of, which has the benefit of cutting through the chase and getting clear and concise answers on whether your employee is abusing drugs or not.

Also, you’ll get to know whether there are drugs (physically) present in your workplace, which can change how you’ll deal with the case. 

Drug Testing for Your Peace of Mind

When it comes to running a small business, a single bad interaction with an important client can cause severe enough damage that can take months to fix. 

This is why you must know and confirm whether you have drugs in the workplace or not. And, you can only do so by using a reputable drug testing service. 

If you want to learn more about how to operate your business, you’ll want to check out our business advice section for all the tips and tricks you could need.