Indications That You Should Send An Employee For DOT Drug Testing

indications send employee for dot drug testing

Employees who are abusing substances can cause great distress for your company. Whether it’s illegal drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs, or over-the- counter drugs, if employees are abusing it in their free time or at work it can cause a lot of problems. 

Not only will their performance and focus decrease, they will also become tardy, absent-minded, and less productive. This is not even mentioning the volatile effects they have on co-workers and the workspace. In extreme cases, employees will put managers and employers at legal risk. 

Even though this isn’t something you’d ever think would happen in your company, the chances are there. It’s best to be aware of the substance abuse indicators than having to deal with the aftermath. Sending a suspected employee for a DOT Drug Test appointment, will help you cope with the situation in a legal and professional manner. 

To enable you to notice indicators, here is a list of things you have to be wary of: 

Physical Indicators 

Drugs and alcohol affect people in many different ways. Certain substances will have different effects and therefore changing the physical indicators. The most common physical indicators of substance abuse are: 

- Eyes that appear glassy or bloodshot 
- Enlarged pupils 
- Constant nausea, dizziness, and even vomiting (especially early in the working day) 
- Loss of focus, inhibitions, and coordination 
- Twitching, shaking, trembling, and strange muscle contractions 
- Out-of-character aggressive behavior and fighting with colleagues 
- Fatigue, exhaustion, unable to sleep at home but passing out at their desk 
- Sudden weight loss and change in eating habits 
- Hallucinations and paranoia 
- Moodiness and increased irritability 
- Symptoms of anxiety like sweating, dry mouth, headaches, and muscle aches 

It’s also important to know that these physical indicators should be present in the employee more often than not in order for you to send them for a mandatory testing. Avoid accusing an employee who shows only one or two of these signs once in a blue moon. 

You need to be vigilant and aware of any signs that employees might be abusing substances. Read this article for more information on abuse in the workplace: https://drugabuse.com/addiction/workplace-drug-abuse/ 

Behavioral Indicators 

Connecting to the physical indicators there are many behavioral indicators that an employee has gone from recreational use to dangerous abusive use. Especially if an employee has been working for your company for a few years, you and their coworkers will be able to notice the following changes in behavior: 

- Borrowing money from coworkers without ever paying it back 
- Asking for advances on salary without any concrete or valid reasons 
- Withdrawing from social events with work colleagues or events hosted by the company 
- Irrational and impulsive behavior around dangerous machinery when they’ve always been cautious and careful 
- Late to work and meetings 
- Making constant excuses for missing deadlines and not being punctual without changing behavior 
- Strangers pitching up at work for a quick ‘meet and greet’ 
- Change in friends and friend groups 
- Signs of depression, sadness, and anxiety 
- In extreme cases, employees might start stealing items from work or other employees 
- Increase in lying and coming up with excuses about uncompleted tasks 
- Intense outbursts of anger, agitation, and hostility 
- Forgetful and loss of memory when it comes to certain tasks 

Alcohol has a depressant effect on the abuser while methamphetamine has a stimulant effect. Knowing the different effects that different substances have on an individual will help you spot the different signs much better. 

Other Indicators 

Anyone with a substance abuse problem won’t admit it. There’s no point in asking someone whether they have a drug or alcohol problem, because in most cases they will wholeheartedly deny it. Making excuses for drinking too much is another indicator. 

Substance abusers will typically say that they only use recreational drugs over the weekends or that they only use it when someone else offers. They will be in absolute denial of how much alcohol they consume or how regularly they abuse drugs. Usually justifying their overuse by saying it’s to destress and relax. 

In the beginning an abuser will hide their alcohol or drug stash pretty well from their manager and coworkers. But as time progress, they will become less cautious. You might find empty alcohol bottles or substance containers around their desk. 

It will also become apparent that this person is drinking in secret or alone when they are not at work. 

Handle The Situation With Care 

Remember that this is a sensitive case and the situation should be dealt with in a very private and professional manner. If you are an employer in a situation like this, you can follow this approach to dealing with an employee who might have an addiction problem. 

This doesn’t mean that you should send all of your employees for a drug test when you notice they’re a bit hungover. You should always have a solid reason why you want to send someone for drug testing. Reasonable suspicion indicators include: 

- If there are concrete evidence that an employee has tampered with their drug results 
- Physical symptoms (like the ones mentioned above) 
- A fair and valid complaint from a co-worker who has witnessed substance abuse 
- Solid evidence that the worker has illegal drugs in their possession 
- Significant decrease in work performance and punctuality 

Not only will alcohol and substance abuse hurt your company, it also has a destructive effect on the person suffering from it. Ignoring the indicators will only cause more future problems. 

Whenever employers note any of the above-mentioned indicators it’s best to start handling the situation with care. Choosing a credible and legit testing company is just as important as addressing the situation. 

A mandatory drug test from a credible source will either confirm or debunk your suspicions. Regardless, it’s best to find out in a legal way rather than letting destruction unfold in front of you.