A closer look: Random drug testing

Pre-employment drug testing helps enable companies to avoid hiring candidates who use drugs. A drawback to this type of testing is that once a candidate becomes an employee, pre-employment drug testing is no longer available as a means of detecting and deterring drug use.

According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use & Health, 9.1% of respondents who are employed full-time reported drug use in the past month, which is significantly lower than the 13.7% of part-time and 18.2% of unemployed respondents. Knowing that drug use exists and that it can present a number of safety, productivity, and cost risks for employers, a program of ongoing, random drug testing is something more companies should consider implementing.

What is random drug testing and what are the benefits?

Random drug testing can be a strong deterrent to drug use because it is conducted on an ongoing, unannounced basis; an employer selects one or more individuals for testing from all of the eligible employees in their testing program. By using a random selection process, employers ensure that there is no bias and that all employees have an equal chance of being selected, even those who have been recently tested.

How does random drug testing work?

Random drug testing involves just a few steps.

  1. Employees are entered into a “pool” that contains all eligible employees. Each individual has an equal opportunity of being selected.
  2. Employees are selected for testing using the random selection process.
  3. Once selected, the employee is provided with instructions regarding how to complete their drug test collection.

Employers must establish a consistent, reproducible method of selecting random testing candidates in order to maintain a fair and compliant program.

Educating employees about the risks of drug use and the potential to be selected for random testing can help to maintain a safe, productive, and drug-free workplace. Combining pre-employment and random drug testing can help to discourage employee drug use, thereby minimizing the associated organizational risks.

To estimate your return on investment from a random drug testing program, use our Drug Testing Savings Calculator.

Quest Diagnostics clients can choose from a variety of random program management options. We offer three tiers of service: platinum, gold, and silver. Contact your Quest representative for more information about random drug testing.

For more information about drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.