4 MIN READ | General

Helen Bradfield

The Psychology of Drug Testing: Approaching Drug Testing from a Positive Perspective

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Helen Bradfield, (2018, November 7). The Psychology of Drug Testing: Approaching Drug Testing from a Positive Perspective. Psychreg on General. https://www.psychreg.org/psychology-drug-testing/
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Does the thought of drug testing your employees make you cringe? Though company policies often make drug testing mandatory, it can often feel awkward walking your employees through the process. Ever wonder why it’s such a common policy among businesses, though? Or how it can really make a difference at the workplace?

Performing regular, random drug tests can help reduce drug use at work and maintain healthy minds, as well. With drug use on the rise, it’s more important than ever to be diligently watching out for your employees and their well-being.

On a personal level, it’s nice to be considerate of your employees’ lives, but substance abuse can also take a toll on your business, which can be detrimental.

So, how do you approach drug testing from a positive perspective? Though it is nearly impossible to make drug testing something everyone looks forward to, there are a few ways to make drug testing a more bearable part of office life.

Why utilise drug testing?

First, let’s begin with why you should implement drug testing at work. Unfortunately, it’s a fact that substance abuse is on the rise in the US – with over 24 million people turning to drugs in 2013 alone. Since then, substances like marijuana have become legalised, and it has become an increasingly popular drug of choice. With marijuana becoming more and more accepted across the country, many business owners have been forced to make tough calls to determine whether it’s safe or destructive for employees to utilise these substances.

Being under the influence of drugs can seriously affect productivity levels and pose a serious risk for careers that involve the use of heavy machinery. Furthermore, it’s important to address the real issue: your employees’ well-being. Because of this, it’s important for businesses to create a unique drug use policy that both supports its employees and addresses serious issues that could negatively impact the workplace.

Avoid thinking of drug testing as a means of  policing your employees. Instead, think of it as a way to ensure each of your employees keeps their healthy mind as drug-free as possible, so they can live their best life while working in a safe, drug-free atmosphere.

Prepare your employees

Prior to drug testing, it’s important to make sure each employee is ready and expecting to be drug tested at some point. The testing may be random, but no one wants to be completely taken by surprise.

Simply talk to your employees. It’s important to be clear about your expectations regarding drug use and open with them about all drug-related company policies. Then, prepare them for each drug test. You can find an example of New York drug testing laws here and full descriptions of each panel drug test. Obviously, since most tests are random, you won’t be able to give your employees a detailed heads up of when exactly testing will take place; however, simply keeping things open-ended is a great way to encourage fair expectations. 

Upon hiring, it’s important to make your drug testing policies clear to each new employee. Then, refresh everyone’s memory by hosting a company meeting that addresses and goes over your drug policy guidelines every 6–12 months. By keeping these dogmas fresh in their memory, it’s more likely to become a simple routine for them and less startling over time.

Depending on how you plan to handle your drug use protocols, your drug policy planning may need to change and evolve over time. However, always update your employees of any changes to keep the workspace as positive and productive as possible.

Make it a mundane routine

Wait, mundane means boring, right? While this may not seem like the best way to make the experience outwardly positive, making drug testing as low-key as possible is essential to making it an accepted practice amongst employees.

There are many parts of office life that, while they may not rank high on the list of exciting things to do, are still acceptable aspects of everyday business. Making drug testing part of normal business life is a great way to make it a mundane, acknowledged routine.

By doing this, rather than feeling shocked or untrusted by the act of drug testing, your employees will simply feel it’s an ordinary part of their job. Keeping employees from feeling blindsided is the biggest key to your success.

Select a method that works best for everyone

Let’s face it. Today, the traditional ways of drug testing are often thought of as awkward, hinder-some, and embarrassing. Hiring a local agency to perform drug tests can sometimes leave employees feeling vulnerable, since there is little to no anonymity. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options at your disposal.

For instance, there is the option of keeping your drug testing in-house through the utilisation of an at-office drug test kits. Results are as accurate as a local agency’s would be, but you have the added benefits of anonymity and convenience. With an in-office drug test kit, you can enjoy no-hassle, accurate results with all with the convenience of testing during office hours.

There are many aspects that make running a business challenging, but performing regular drug tests doesn’t have to be one of them. At the end of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that you should always drug test with the purpose of protecting and maintaining all employees’ healthy, happy minds both at home and at the office.


Helen Bradfield did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in psychology, mental health, and wellness.


Psychreg is mainly for information purposes only; materials on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Don’t disregard professional advice or delay in seeking  treatment because of what you have read on this website. Read our full disclaimer

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