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Drug Free Workplace Back to Course Index






The purpose of this continuing education course is to introduce the reader to the concept of a Drug-Free Work Place (DFW) program. This course will present generalized information in a manner that will enable the clinician to begin to aid in the implementation of a program in his or her company or a company that has hired them or as a consultant. It can also be helpful for a clinician working in a treatment facility or private practice who needs to understand how the employee referred for treatment got to this place. The information is presented in a conceptual and generalized manner and is limited due to time, space, and application considerations.

The subject is complex and broad; consequently, the information in this C.E. course is not sufficient in itself to describe an effective DFW program in its entirety.  It must be augmented by specific state and federal program requirements to comply with applicable state and federal laws.


How Big Is The Problem?

How prevalent is the drug problem in the workplace?  How much does it cost the industry each year?  Where is the concentration of offenders?  These are interesting questions, and we have sufficient information to answer most of them.  The Tennessee Drug-Free Workplace Employers Program Development and Implementation Guide (1997) is used extensively in this course, and it reveals the following:

  • 90% of large businesses have drug-free workplace programs  (almost all Fortune 500 companies have Drug Free Workplace programs).
  • 5% to 10% of medium and small companies have implemented similar programs.
  • Approximately 70% of current illegal drug users are employed.
  • Approximately 33% of employers are aware of the sale of illegal drugs in their workplace.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 young workers admit to using marijuana on the job.


This data is alarming.  It is also interesting to note that there has been a migration of drug users to small and medium-sized companies where their chances of getting caught are considerably less. 


The tragedy of on-the-job drug use is real:


At Least Five Dead and 150 Hurt as Subway Derails


On August 28, 1991, a New York subway operator crashed his train near a station in lower Manhattan. Five people were killed, and 215 others were injured. The operator admitted that he had been drinking before the crash. After the crash, his blood alcohol content was .21, over twice the legal limit in the state of New York.



Cost Impact:

It has been estimated that substance abuse in the workplace drains over $100 billion each year from American businesses.  The statistics that support this cost drain include:

  • Substance abusers are 2.5 times more likely to
    be absent from work eight or more days per year than those who are abstainers.
  • Medical costs are a whopping 300% higher for drug abusers than for non-users.
  • Substance abusers are approximately 1/3rd less productive (productivity decreases as health issues arise and when more attention is focused on drug-related activities)
  • The employee turnover rate is increased by use in the workplace.  It costs a company several thousand dollars to replace a salaried employee.


Given the aforementioned information, many employers still choose to ignore the problem or pretend it does not exist.  I have worked with several small businesses, and their attitude is frequently something like if we did drug testing, we would lose most of our employees!  It is difficult to counter that argument except to spell out that based on current trends, it becomes a loose-loose situation for everyone involved. 


Another significant cost impact item is that of workers’ compensation.  In workers’ compensation, 40% to 50% of all claims are related either directly or indirectly to substance abuse in the workplace.  Substance abusers file from three to five times as many claims as non-abusers.  The financial cost makes drug use in the workplace concern for everyone.


Drugs in the workplace also have an impact on the world market.  As the cost of United States products is driven up by reduced productivity, we are less competitive in the world market; consequently, our balance of trade suffers as we reduce exports and increase imports.  The resultant reduction of market share results in a reduction of the American workforce.  Many things are blamed for the jobs that migrate to other countries, but few identify drugs in the workplace as one of the causes.  Most financial analysts blame it on the standard of living being higher in the USA (which is true) and ignore subtler causes of drugs in the workplace.  Hopefully, future analysis will include more cost generators and help everyone to understand the total impact of substance abuse on an economy.


Effectiveness Of Drug-Free Work Place Programs:

 Drug-free workplace programs work.  Companies, large and small, have found that their investment in education, prevention, and assistance programs has paid high dividends for both the employee and employer.


Employee Benefits:

We find increased productivity and improved morale when safety and health are protected from the increased perils, dangers, and risks that substance abusers present in the workplace.  Most employees will appreciate the concern an employer has for their health, safety, and well-being.


Employer Benefits:

Generally, a company that implements an effective and comprehensive drug-free workplace program pays reduced worker compensation fees.  The DFW program typically must incorporate random drug screening, and post-accident investigation and have a documented plan that stipulates the corrective action (or consequences) for first-time offenders, as well as subsequent offenders.  Employers are generally allowed to discharge an employee for cause if they are found to violate a Drug-Free Workplace program.  In essence, if an employee is guilty of using illegal drugs in the workplace, then the company’s responsibility for that employee may be terminated without further financial obligation.


Other benefits for the employer include increased productivity, higher morale, and less employee turnover.


As a measure of effectiveness for a DFW program, it is helpful to look at the transportation industry.  This industry will show the value clearly.  As airline history indicates, the use of alcohol was widespread by airline employees before passing federal laws prohibited its use.  In general, the law restricted the use of alcohol for at least 48 hours before a flight and forbade the use of illegal drugs at all times.  This program has been (and still is) very effective in reducing drug use in this industry as most airline employees don’t want to place their jobs in jeopardy or to place themselves or their passengers at risk.  Substance abuse awareness has also been a key element of the success of this overall program and has helped employers to accept or buy into the program.


Another transportation industry that comes under federal law is the trucking industry.  Unfortunately, this industry is slightly more difficult to track because truck drivers do not always follow a specific schedule as the airline industry does.  Consequently, they can avoid potential random screens if they think they are at risk of testing positive.  Perhaps the drug that has the most widely affected drug use and testing in the trucking industry is marijuana.  The drivers have learned that they could test positive for marijuana for up to 30 days after use.  This information, in addition, to the requirement for post-accident investigations, has resulted in a significant reduction in the use of all illegal drugs in the industry.


The type of industry and the philosophy of the company concerning alcohol and other drug issues set the tone for the parameter of the policy. Some organizations focus on detection, apprehension, and discharge, while others focus on performance and emphasize deterrence and assistance.  The goal of an effective drug-free workplace program is to strike a balance between these two themes. They send a strong, clear message and, at the same time, encourage employees to seek assistance if they are struggling with alcohol and other drug problems.


Before a company implements the different components of a drug-free workplace program, the management should examine the needs of their workforce and organization and take steps to ensure the program they design will work well in their company. Because every business is unique, there is no one right way to establish a drug-free workplace program.  All elements are not functional or feasible for every company.  Furthermore, by asking for input from employees during the process, management can frequently show that they value the employee’s opinions, thus creating a teamwork approach that very few resent.


When developing a DFW program, attempt to avoid:


  • Accepting drug use and alcohol abuse as part of everyday life and expected when networking.
  • Focusing only on illegal drug use and failing to include alcohol–the number one drug of abuse in our society (excluding caffeine and nicotine)
  • Utilizing drug testing as the core of prevention and the crux of your DFW program.
  • Creating an environment where an employee feels threatened to ask for help. 
  •  Restricting benefits and/or access to treatment for alcoholism and addiction.
  • Allowing insurers to drive treatment and/or restrict access to treatment programs.



When developing a DFW program, attempt to:


  • Balance the rights of employees and the rights of employers.
  • Respect the need to know and the right to privacy.
  • Focus on safety.
  • Focus on Drug Education/Awareness.
  • Focus on EAP services, when available.



Opposition to Drug-Free Work Place Testing:

As most can see the benefit of a drug-free workplace program, there is also legitimate opposition.  As you research and begin to create an atmosphere that will support a drug-free workplace program, you must understand what obstacles and arguments you may encounter.  It is not as simple as anyone who opposes just wants to be able to drink or use drugs while at work.  Opponents of alcohol and drug testing feel that the goal of ensuring a drug and alcohol-free workplace is reached at too high a cost, jeopardizing the privacy and respect of the individual. The collection of urine for analysis is frequently done in the presence of an assistant or supervisor. This can be humiliating and, when conducted due to a random screen, is argued to be unwarranted harassment.  Some feel that random testing, unlike testing in response to questionable behavior while on the job, is an attempt to impose behavioral constraints on employees that may extend to off-duty times.  An example of the confusion is explained by an example of a young man who was referred for an alcohol and drug assessment.  He had been charged with vehicular manslaughter.  He had been stopped at a stoplight when a car crashed into his vehicle.  His car was pushed off the road and into a bicyclist who was killed by the collision.  Due to the accident being fatal, everyone was tested for alcohol and drug influence.  He reported that he had used marijuana three weeks earlier.  Although his car had been completely stopped when it was hit, and the accident was the fault of the other driver, he tested positive for marijuana and was charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.  The court system held him responsible for the death of the cyclist.  He thought that his functionality and behavior were not affected at the time of the accident as he had not used it in three weeks; however, he was guilty under the law. 


Opponents of drug and alcohol testing question the need to test. It is asserted that all testing shows is that, at some point in time, the person being tested ingested the screened substance. The testing process cannot show whether employees are impaired in their ability to perform job duties, which is all the employer is justified in knowing.


Some also assert that imposing random drug testing implies that employees cannot be trusted on their own and that they must be monitored. 


Legalities of Drug Testing:

In 1986, United States President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12564, requiring all federal agencies to establish standards and procedures to ensure a drug-free workplace. The thrust of the Order is twofold: (a) prevention, deterrence, and control; and (b) rehabilitation and counseling. The Executive Order established drug testing in sensitive positions for persons for whom there is a reasonable suspicion of use, following an accident, and for job applicants. Employees using illegal drugs are to be referred to counseling. Disciplinary action, including dismissal, is to be provided for those refusing counseling and rehabilitation. Apart from federal initiatives, state governments have instituted varying programs of drug testing.


Drug-Free Workplace Program Implementation:

Even with some opposition, the implementation of a DFW program is not difficult.  Model policies and programs are available, and a sample plan is attached (Appendix II) to this continuing education course.  Also, some specific requirements for an effective DFW program follow:



     1.  DFW program plans must be developed carefully.  Generally, the employees initially resist the program because they see it as a tool used by management to restrict their freedom or to reduce the workforce without any obligation.  A key objective is to talk to employees and management about the benefits of a DFW.  The positive aspects must be stressed in a manner the employee can relate to:

  • increased productivity and higher morale when health and safety are protected from the dangers and risks that substance abusers present in the workplace
  • workers will value the efforts of the company to improve their health, safety, and well-being
  • builds pride in their organization; employees identify with the company’s value system and often adopt it as their own.
  • Supports a team-building tradition within a company when employees become responsible for each other.  Reduced absenteeism, increased dependability, and better attitudes are all positive indicators of employees’ buy-in to a company’s value system.


Implementation of a DFW is also good for the employer.  Most receive at least 5% premium credit on their workers’ compensation insurance policy.  Employers’ legal liability exposure is reduced if an employee is injured in a workplace accident and receives a positive, confirmed post-accident drug test, then the employee has the burden of proof.  It should be pointed out that a lot of street-smart illegal drug users are shocked when they find out marijuana stays in their system for approximately 30 days. The common response is that it (marijuana) only affects me for a little while; consequently, there couldn’t be any in their system, as was the feeling of the driver in the earlier example.  The truth of the matter is that molecules of marijuana attach themselves to the fatty tissues in the human body.  If a person smokes 2 or 3 joints within 1 to 2 hours, they can saturate their body with marijuana.  The process the body uses to rid itself is similar to that of a radioactive material that decays by a well-defined half-life ( of the material in last is one-half life).  For radioactive material such as uranium, life is several hundred years/ whereas, for marijuana (in the body), the half-life is approximately 7 days.  Consequently, an individual can test positive for marijuana for a little over 4 half-lives.  Also, regardless of the common belief among users, the individual is still under the influence of marijuana as long as it’s in his/her system, even if the effects are very minimal.  There needs to be a strong education component concurrent with the implementation of a DFW program to increase employee awareness of how drugs affect the body and how long an individual may test positive after the last use.  Returning to marijuana momentarily, there is still a difference of opinion as to the role of secondary smoke and a positive test.  It is possible if a person is in a small, unventilated room, and several people are smoking marijuana for an extended time frame (greater than one hour), then that person may test positive.  In any case, it is an environment an individual should avoid if they are attempting to abstain from use and remain free of legal difficulties.


Drugs Commonly Used in the Work Place:

I was a substance abuse counselor in private practice and worked directly with offenders who had experienced difficulty with use in the workplace.  Based on this experience, the most common illegal drug used in the workplace is marijuana. Also, based solely on my practice, the construction industry has a high ratio of use per capita.  I have talked with small business owners, and they report their workforce would be depleted if they dismissed marijuana users.  The consensus is that it would take a united, industry-wide DFW program for it to be effective.  Otherwise, the worker can simply change companies. 


I also observed incidents of stimulants (uppers) used in the workplace.  Most of the incidents were driven by a desire to increase alertness or overcome boredom and tiredness.


The most popular drug used in the workplace is alcohol.  It is not uncommon for all levels, from an executive down to the blue-collar worker, to drink during lunch on a workday.  There are very few companies that strictly forbid consumption, and they depend on their management team to limit it to a non-invasive level. 


There are also many incidents of improper use of prescription drugs in the workplace, but this use is considerably less frequent than alcohol.  Given the general attitude regarding drinking, the challenge for any company is to establish a reasonable and fair policy and to implement it fairly across all employees.  In essence, alcohol is not going away; therefore, we must find creative ways of managing its presence in the workplace.


The following is a brief description of selected drugs and indicates how they endanger our minds and body.  This type of information is typically used in employee training.



Is the most commonly abused drug, excluding nicotine and caffeine products.  It causes thousands of deaths each year from diseases, motor vehicle accidents, and accidents at work and at home.  Even moderate use greatly increases the risk of an accident.



It is an addictive stimulant with unpredictable effects.  It may produce changes in blood pressure, heart, and breathing rates.  It may cause coma or even death.  Severe weight loss and liver damage may result from continued use.



Affects coordination, short-term memory, visual tracking, and heart rate.  Regular use produces changes in the reproductive system, damage to the lungs, and it may affect the immune system.


Prescription Drugs:

Includes stimulants (uppers), depressants (downers), and some narcotics.  Used illegally or improperly, they can cause physical and mental dependence, heart problems, malnutrition, and even coma, and death.


Other Drugs:

PCP, LSD, heroin, mescaline, and morphine have a wide variety of negative health effects-from hallucinations and mental confusion to convulsions and death.


Combinations of Drugs:

Make physical and mental effects unpredictable and often much more severe than if the same drugs were taken separately.  Combining alcohol with depressants, cocaine, or marijuana can be especially dangerous.



The following is a brief description of what drugs do in the workplace.



    Don’t let anybody kid you and don’t kid yourself.  Alcohol and other drugs interfere with the basics of doing a good job.




       Missed workdays, poor motivation, and poor efficiency all combine to reduce the amount of work completed.



       People working together make life more pleasant and productive.  Substance abuse destroys a cooperative spirit.



       Most workers want to do a good job.  An addicted abuser frequently cares less about the job and more about getting and staying high.



       Impaired skills and a bad attitude combine to make poor-quality work good enough for some workers.



       All jobs require concentration and careful decision-making.  Alcohol and other drugs interfere with both of these.



       An alcohol or drug habit can make severe financial demands on people and may prompt them to steal from their co-workers.



  People need good judgment and physical skills to stay safe, but alcohol and other drugs can make any job dangerous.



     >IMPAIRED EYESIGHT:  Blurred, double, or multiple vision; difficulty tracking objects; poor side vision; hallucinations.


     >SLOWER REACTION TIME:  Significantly slower reflex actions.


     >LESSENED CONCENTRATION:  Inability to focus on a task long enough or care enough to complete it.


     >POOR JUDGMENT:  Overconfidence, inability to weigh consequences.


     >POOR COORDINATION:  Decreased ability to perform simple tasks;  poor balance and motor skills.



     >MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS:  Any worker who drivers under the influence of alcohol or other drugs risks a serious accident.


     >INJURIES FROM HAZARDOUS MATERIAL:  Overconfidence or lack of concentration can cause failure to follow proper safety procedures.



       Poor judgment or concentration makes accidents likely.


     >FALLS:  More than 200,000 workers are injured in falls each year, many because of impaired skills.


     >FIRES:  An impaired or careless worker is always a fire hazard.


     >OTHER INJURIES:  A careless attitude or impaired skills can cause an accident in any environment, at any time.


Signs of employee use in the workplace:

Supervisors should watch for signs that may indicate substance abuse.  Some common signs at work are:


>  Absenteeism is frequent or for questionable reasons.

>  Long lunch hours or other breaks.

>  Decreased job performance.

>  Problems with other workers.

>  Leaving work early or arriving late.

>  Traveling to, but not attending town meetings.

>  Avoiding supervisors or other workers.

>  Financial problems.

>  Changed behavior or personality.

>  Poor personal hygiene or appearance.


It should be noted that these changes can result from problems other than substance abuse.  Medical Personnel should be consulted if any suspicious behavior is noted.


 The conclusion is that drug use in the workplace is a losing proposition for everyone.




>  Wages or salary from sick days or suspension.

>  Raises and promotions due to poor work.

>  If substance abuse continues, the worker may lose his or her job entirely.




Employers Face Losses Of:

>  Production or services from each worker.

>  Business and goodwill from dissatisfied customers.

>  Billions of dollars from accidents,

    sick days, insurance costs, poor productivity, and theft.


Other Employees Lose:

Substance abuse kills productivity, which hurts business.


>  Pay raises.

> Increased benefits.

>  Profit-sharing payments.

>  Job Security.




 We live in a very permissive society where the use of alcohol and other drugs is relatively common and generally accepted; consequently, an individual may attempt to conceal his or her use through denial and rationalization and succeed for several years.  My view is that a person can deceive others, but most problematic users know they have a problem controlling when they use and how much they use.  It is recommended that individual users assess themselves (honestly!) and then seek the help that is needed.  The following questions may help an individual to do a self-assessment.


Do I:


>  Drink in the morning?

>  Need more alcohol or other drugs to get the same feeling?

>  Notice memory loss, shakes, weight loss, mood swings, loss of appetite, or other physical symptoms related to alcohol or drug use?

>  Have a hard time getting through the day without alcohol or other drugs?

>  Make getting high a priority in your day, more important than family, friends, social life, or other commitments?

>  Spend money on alcohol or other drugs that should be used for housing, food, or other necessities.


A yes answer to any of these questions is cause for concern.  An individual needs to think of getting help this way; getting help won’t mean losing your job, but refusing to get help might!


Challenges to an Effective DFW Program:


I would be remiss if I did not mention a few of the challenges that may be encountered when implementing a program.  The challenges are probably a little more pronounced in small, family-supported businesses.  Let me take you through a typical series of events.

1.  The decision to implement is made, and almost everyone has bought into the program and is excited about getting started.

2.  A comprehensive plan has been generated that mandates specific actions in the event of a positive test, and all other tasks (employee education, coordination with support groups, contact with the laboratory, etc.) are in place.

3.  It is finally time for the initial random test.  The random generator spins, and outcomes the individual has chosen to be tested.

4.  As one might expect, about 20% of the samples tested positive and were confirmed to be positive in a second test.


Initially, the owners/managers are furious and demand to know the offenders and what actions will be taken.  A review of the DFW plan reveals that substance abuse counseling (minimum of 40 hours) and a release from the substance abuse counselor are required before returning to work.  What happens next would be a good study for a graduate psychology major.  One of the employees who tested positive is critical to the day-to-day operations of the business, and the management team refuses to release the employee to go to counseling.  This issue indicates to the owner of the business, that he is faced with a dilemma-he needs to meet customer commitments, and he is also obligated to comply with the DFW program.  Needless to say, the owner will often put pressure on the individual responsible for managing the DFW program to ease the requirements.  Once the decision is made, the effectiveness of the program is in jeopardy.  It is always wise to anticipate typical scenarios and get an absolute commitment before the implementation of the program.  The initial concept is that the company can survive the loss of any employee.  This challenge should be made to the management team so that they can cross-train for critical operations and avoid potential loss of productivity in such situations.


Another typical response is that the employee refuses to go to counseling.  Again, this is a condition of the employment situation, and the employee must make a decision that is best for them.  The management team must be firm, fair, and consistent for the DFW program to be effective.


Appendix I is an executive summary of the DFW plan and is used to brief executive management or others with a need to know.


Appendix II is a sample Drug-Free Workplace plan (Anti-drug program)   



Executive Summary:

Federal regulations require that the City of XYZ place into effect a Drug-Free Work Place Program (Anti-Drug Program) for XXXXXX by 200X.


Major areas of emphasis for compliance include random testing, use of certified laboratories, providing an Employee Assistance Program, designating a Medical Review Officer (MRO), developing a written plan or policy, and maintaining written records of tests.


Organizational roles and responsibilities for mandatory drug testing are shown below:


Federal Government                              Establishes Policy                                          




State Public                                            Responsible for Enforcement

Service Commission

City                                                         Responsible for Compliance

                                                                Randomly Selects Employees

                                                                Keeps Records

                                                                Administers Training


                                                  Employees————————————–Testing Center

                                                                                                                        Certified Lab


                                                  Results——————————————Medical Review Officer




Drug-Free Work Place Plan (Anti-Drug Program)

Policy and Procedures


POLICY STATEMENT:  The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for the administration of the XXX anti-drug program.  Any job applicant applying for a position covered in this policy that refuses or fails a pre-employment drug test will not be hired.  Any employee covered by this policy that refuses or fails a drug test may receive disciplinary action, up to and including termination.



1.  Employee Categories

A.  Testing Program: The following employee positions are subject to
drug testing as outlined in this policy:

-List all positions of persons who would appropriately fit this policy.

-Maintain a list-update list as required to reflect new positions.

B.  Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Training:  The following
management and supervisory positions shall receive EAP training for detecting symptoms of drug use:

-List all managers, directors, and selected lead personnel.

2.  Types of Drug Testing

Employees subject to this drug-testing program are required to be tested under the following types of tests:

A.  Pre-employment testing

-A pre-employment drug test will be conducted before an
 individual is hired for a position.

-Only applicants who are offered a position covered by this policy will be tested before being employed.  Pre-employment job applicants who test positive will not be hired and do not have the right to have their samples retested.  Employees transferring into a position requiring drug testing who test positive do have the right to have their sample retested.  Employees who fail a drug test will not be hired for the position requiring drug testing.  If the applicant’s drug test is positive, then XXX will refer them to the Medical Review


-An employee who transfers from one position covered by this policy to another covered by this policy does not require a pre-

employment test.

B.  Random Testing

-All employees working in a position covered by this policy are
subject to unannounced testing based on random selection.  This includes temporary employees performing work in a covered position.

-XXX will test at least fifty percent (50%) of covered employees every twelve (12) months, divided on the basis set forth below.  All persons will be subject to be randomly picked for drug testing at each random testing date.  A person may be randomly picked more than once or not picked at all during the annual period.

-To assure that the selection process is random, all employees covered by this policy will be placed in a common pool.  All full-time and temporary employees will be in this pool.

-The random selection procedure will be accomplished by placing an assigned number of each covered employee in a container.  The container will be covered and shaken about and redistributed within the container by the administrator.

-The selection procedure will select sufficient additional numbers to be used to reach the appropriate testing level during each test period.  These alternate numbers will be tested in Order of selection only if the persons selected are unavailable for testing due to vacation, medical leave, or travel requirements.

-Random testing will be done every quarter.

C.  Post-accident Testing

-Employees working in positions covered by this policy whose
performance either contributed to an accident or cannot be
completely discounted as a  contributing factor to the accident will be tested.

-The employee will be tested as soon as possible, but no later than 32 hours after the accident because certain drugs or -All reasonable steps will be taken to obtain a urine sample from an employee after an accident.  In case of a conscious but hospitalized employee, the hospital or medical facility will be requested to obtain a sample, and if necessary, reference will be made to the drug testing requirements.  If an employee is unconscious or otherwise unable to evidence consent to the procedure, the medical facility shall collect the sample.

-If an employee who is subject to post-accident testing is conscious, able to urinate normally (in the opinion of a medical professional), and refuses to be tested, that employee will be removed from duty as an employee covered by this policy.

D.  Reasonable Cause Testing 

-When there is reasonable cause to believe that an employee
covered by this policy is using a prohibited drug, the employee will
be required to take a drug test.

-Only one supervisor of the employee must substantiate the decision to test for reasonable cause.  This supervisor must be EAP trained in drug use symptoms. 

 -A decision to test must be based on specific, contemporaneous physical, behavioral, or performance indicators of probable drug use.  Examples of this are evidence of repeated errors on-the-job, regulatory violations, or unsatisfactory time and attendance patterns, coupled with a specific, contemporaneous event that indicates probable drug use.

E.  Return to Duty Testing

-An employee who, at the recommendation of the Medical Review
Officer, returns to work will be given unannounced drug tests.  These tests are in addition to the other types of tests stated in this policy.

-The period for return to duty testing will not be more than 60 days.  This period will be determined by the Medical Review Officer.

-Testing will be on a daily, weekly, monthly, or longer basis at the discretion of the Medical Review Officer.

3.  Testing Procedures

A.  Drug testing will be performed utilizing urine samples.

B.  Tests for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and
phencyclidine will be performed. 

C.  An applicant who is offered a position covered by this policy will be
required to report to the drug testing collection site specified within 24 hours of notification and provide a specimen of his/her urine.

D.  Upon notification that a drug test is required, an employee will
report as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours (32 for post-
accident) after notification to the collection site and provide a specimen of his/her urine.

4.  Medical Review Officer

A.  The MRO for this policy is:





B.  The following is a listing of the MRO’s specific responsibilities:

               1.  Receive positive confirmed results from the laboratory.

               2.  Request a quantitative description of test results, if necessary.

               3.  Receive a certified copy of the original chain of custody.

               4.  Review and interpret positive test results.

               5.  Inform the tested individual and provide test results.

               6.  Conduct a medical interview with the tested individual.

               7.  Review the individual’s medical history or any other relevant biomedical factors.

               8.  Give the individual an opportunity to discuss test results.

               9.  Order a reanalysis of the original sample in a certified laboratory, if necessary.

             10.  Consult with others if the question of accuracy arises, within the restrictions of confidentiality policies.

             11.  Consult with laboratory officials.

             12.  Assure that urinalysis results comply with the mandatory guidelines.

             13.  Assure the presence of clinical evidence before declaring as positive an opiate-positive urine sample.

             14.  Determine whether a result is scientifically sufficient.

             15.  Determine whether and when an employee who refused to take or did not pass a drug test administered under these procedures may be returned to duty.

             16.  Forward results of verified positive tests to the Personnel Officer.

             17.  Maintain the required records to administer this program.

5.  Testing Laboratory/Collection Agency/EAP


-The testing laboratory, collection agency, and employee assistance program agency for this policy are:



              Phone number:

              Point of Contact:

-The testing laboratory, collection agency, and employee assistance
program agency for this policy will comply with all prescribed methods and procedures and will provide annual reports to XXX showing compliance.

6.  Education and Training

-Education-Every employee covered by this policy will receive the
following drug use education:

1.  Drug information will be periodically distributed and displayed
in the work areas.

2.  A copy of this policy will be given to each employee and displayed in the work area.

3.  The hotline telephone number for employee assistance will be given to each employee and displayed in the work area.

-Training-Every employee who is covered by this policy will
receive the following training.

1.  Combating Drug Abuse in the Work Place

-Cultural influences to use and abuse drugs.

-Physically, emotionally, financially, and socially problems created by drug use.

-Education and prevention in the drug workplace.

2.  Policies and Procedures Concerning Prohibited Drugs

-Explanation and justification of policies.

-What to do if you recognize a drug-abuse problem in a co-worker?

3.  What is Treatment all about?

-How to refer yourself or someone for treatment?

-What can you expect from treatment?

-How can you help a co-worker or friend in their recovery program?


4.  Identifying and Intervening on a Drug-Abusing Employee

-Specialty training for Supervisors only.


Note:  Additional follow-up training will be conducted annually as deemed appropriate for the safe and effective operation of the

DFW program. 

7.  Record Keeping

A.  XXX will maintain the following records for the periods
specified.  These records will be safeguarded in the Personnel

Office under the strict control of the Personnel Officer.

B.  Records that demonstrate the method of collection (pre-
employment, random testing, etc.) will be kept for a minimum of

3 years.

C.  Records of employee drug test results that show employees
failed a drug test, and the type of test failed and records that

demonstrate rehabilitation, if any, will be kept for a minimum of 5 years, and include the following information:

1.  The functions performed by the employee who fails the drug

2.  The prohibited drugs which were used by each employee who fails the drug test.

3.  The disposition of each employee who fails the drug test (e.g., termination, rehabilitation, leave without pay, etc.)

4.  The age of each employee who fails the drug test.

D.  Records of employee drug test results that show employees
passed a drug test will be kept for a minimum of one year.

E.  A record of the number of employees tested by type of test will
be kept for a minimum of 5 years.

F.  Records confirming that supervisors and employees have been
trained as required by this policy will be kept for a minimum of 3 years.  Training records will include copies of all training materials.

8.  Confidentiality

A.  Each individual’s record of testing and results under this policy
 will be maintained private and confidential.  Except for the testing laboratory, MRO, XXX personnel officer, and the XXX administrator or upon request of a State agency official as part of an accident investigation, the results of individual drug tests will not be released to anyone without the expressed written authorization of the individual tested.  Before testing, the individual will be informed about who will receive test data (e.g., testing laboratory, MRO, personnel officer, administrator).

B.  All written records will be stored in locked file cabinets in a
secure location with access available only to the individual listed above.

C.  Unless an employee gives his or her written consent, the
employees drug testing and/or rehabilitation records will not be

released to a subsequent employer.


                                                                        National Hotlines


The Center for Substance Abuse Treatments (CSAT) Drug Information,                                   Treatment, and Referral Hotline:


(310) 547-5800


Families Anonymous

Center for Disease Controls (CDC) National HIV/AIDS Hotline

Parents Resource Institute for Drug-Free Education (PRIDE)
(404) 577-4500




                                                                Drug-Free Work Place

                                                References and Recommended Reading


American Medical Association. 1,089 current opinions: the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. Chicago, 1989.


American Society of Addictive Medicines, Patient Placement Criteria for Substance-Related Disorders, American Society of Addictive Medicines, Chevy Chase Maryland, 2001


Bensinger, P. Drug testing in the workplace. American Academy of Political and Social Science Annals vol. 498. Beverly Hills, California, Sage Publication s, 1988


Chatterjee, S. K. Legal and policy aspects of drugs and alcohol in the workplace. Paper presented at the Washington Tripartite Symposium on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Assistance Programmes at the Workplace. Washington, D.C., 20-24 May 1991.


Chen, B., Fl. Kim and J. True. Common-law privacy: a limit on an employer’s power to test for drugs. George Mason University law review (Arlington, Virginia), 12:4, 1990.


Coombs, C.J., and R.H. Coombs. The impact of drug testing on the morale and well-being of mandatory participants. International journal of the addictions (New York) 26:9:981-992, 1991.


Counseling Processes, Theories, and Methods, AATBS, 1992


Concepts of Chemical Dependency, Doweiko, H.E., 1990


Employee assistance and drug testing: fairness and injustice in the workplace. By Sonnenstuhl, W., and others. Nova law review (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 11:3:709-731, 1987.



Florida Certification Study Guide, 2001


NAADAC Desk Reference and Study Guide on Addictive Counseling, 1996


Tennessee Drug-Free Work Place Employee Program and Implementation Guide


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition), American Psychiatric Association Treating Drug Problems (Volume 1) Washington D.C., National Academy Press



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