Home > Alcohol At Work, Drug-Free Workplace, Workplace Management > Drug Using Employees – How to Identify Them

Drug Using Employees – How to Identify Them

drug-using-employeeEmployees under the influence of illegal drugs or non prescribed prescription drugs causes risks and can lead to serious issues in the workplace. Users can cause accidents, injure themselves or even injure other employees.

These risks make it very important for managers and supervisors to recognize warning signs so drug using employees are identified.

Be aware of these common drug using warning signs:


Reduced Quality of Work

Drug abuse often leads to lack of focus, fatigue and causes distraction. These will cause reduced quality of work for almost any employee. This lack of focus away from work will typically lead to an uncaring attitude towards the job and result in tardiness, excessive absenteeism and therefore an overall reduced quality of work.

This poor behavior will quickly affect other employees as well as the company. Reduced productivity will cause other employees to adjust their work schedules and require additional work from peers.


A strong indicator of a drug using employee is increased absenteeism. A study performed by The Journam of the American Medical Association discovered that those who test positive for marijuana have a 78% increase in absenteeism. Those that test positive for cocaine have as high as a 145% increase in absenteeism.

There could be several reasons why a drug using employee is spending more time away from work than usual. Reasons as simple as being too tired are a possibility, but extreme reasons are also a possibility such as being too addicted to spend time in the office. Complex life and medical issues also stem from drug use and can cause a drug using employee to take more and more time off work.


Many drug users feel that they are perfectly capable of working and are unaware of the heavy affects drugs are having on them or their level of dependency on the drug. In terms of a work environment, a warning sign of drug use is hostility toward those around them.


It’s common for drug users to be injured because of the drastic change in their mental state. This drastic change will likely lead to lack of concentrate along with the possibility of drowsiness and possible hallucinations. None of these possibilities are suitable or appropriate for the workplace because the drug user is not only putting themselves in danger but other employees as well.

As a business owner or employer, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your employees. Drug users can be a huge liability to your organization and can be incredibly dangerous.

For more information on a drug free workplace or drug testing, contact ARCpoint Labs of Worcester today.

  1. June 27, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    What a person does on their own time is their own issue, but that should not follow them to work. Thanks for sharing.

  2. July 10, 2013 at 1:12 am

    You don’t want to be offensive when trying to help fellow employees who may have a problem. Support is the best answer

  3. July 10, 2013 at 5:38 am

    Company environments are stressful. If they are there, be supportive.

  4. July 10, 2013 at 6:35 am

    This is great information to look for.

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