One of the many unfortunate side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is increased numbers in drug use, at a time when substance abuse was already on the rise. With the legalization of marijuana and a national opioid crisis, drug use is becoming tragically commonplace. While oxycontin and fentanyl get much of the publicity, Methamphetamine use is escalating, as are deaths resulting from its use.
“Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system.” “Meth, Tina, or ” as it is more commonly known, is highly addictive and dangerous. It has gained mass appeal as a substance that can release high levels of dopamine to boost alertness, physical activity, and weight loss. But these tempting “highs” are accompanied by a terrifying list of lows that can include irritability, confusion, insomnia, paranoia, and aggressive behavior, among other harmful side effects.
How Does The Methamphetamine Crisis Affect My Business?
As we frequently remind you, seventy percent of drug users in the United States are employed. While methamphetamine deceives employees into believing that being alert and accelerating their physical capacity might benefit their job performance, the reality is that meth use will cause workplace safety to take a drastic and potentially deadly turn.
What does that mean for business?
- Financial Loss - Not only does substance abuse cost employers more in medical claims, but it can also lead to direct financial loss from employee theft. Eighty percent of drug users steal from employers to support their habit. All of this leads to costs that can be in excess of seven thousand dollars annually. When combined, these numbers add up to $81 billion dollars in financial loss to employers nationwide, every year.
- Decreased Safety - If any employee is abusing drugs on the job site and begins to display some of the many negative side effects, this can lead to workplace accidents. An employee might become severely dehydrated, or aggressive in equipment use. They could go into convulsions or become confused. If you have an employee operating heavy machinery or equipment, especially around other employees, the results of on-the-job drug use could be catastrophic.
- Death - Methamphetamine can increase blood pressure leading to strokes, cause respiratory difficulties or lead to cardiac collapse and sudden death. Again, that can create a fatal situation, not only for the employee engaging in drug use but for the co-workers and customers in their vicinity.
How Can I Protect My Business From Meth?
The best way to protect your business from the consequences of high meth usage is to prescreen during the hiring process to eliminate drug-addicted employees from the pool of candidates. This easy and upfront screening process will also set the precedent for workplace culture and expectations. You can then maintain that standard by drug testing employees post-hire. With illegal substances becoming easier to access, and with more people being lured in by the “highs'' these drugs offer in the short run, protecting employees through continued screening is as good for them and it is for you. Methamphetamine addiction is not easily combated, as there are few proven treatment methods. Keep your workplace safe by discouraging workers from participating in substance abuse in any form, right from the start.
How Do I Implement A Drug-Free Work Policy?
You’ve come to the right place! Workplace Safety Screenings offers on-site drug testing services. We can be available to provide drug screening services on your job site, any time day, or night. You can choose the drug screening program that will best serve the needs of your business or situation to ensure that you are keeping employees, customers, and your business safe.