The Importance of Drug Testing

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The Importance of Drug Testing 

From 2010 to 2012, after several years of decline, heroin-related overdose deaths increased 84% in New York City, according to NYC Health Department statistics. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration reports heroin seizures in New York State have increased 67% since 2010.   While New York City has long been the hub of the US heroin trade, the resurgent heroin epidemic is nationwide. Recently, 22 people died in and around Pittsburgh after overdosing from a batch of heroin mixed with fentanyl, a powerful opiate usually found in patches given to cancer patients. Earlier this year, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin devoted his entire State of the State message to what he described as “a full-blown heroin crisis.” The number of people treated for heroin addiction in Vermont has increased 770% since 2000.   There are several reasons for the return of this scourge:

  • Heroin is cheap. In New York City, it can go for as little as $6 a bag.
  • Efforts to curb prescription medication abuse have caused them to become more difficult to obtain. Individuals who are dependent on these medications are opting for heroin, which can also be less expensive.
  • Generational amnesia is rampant. Because the last major heroin epidemic occurred nearly 50 years ago, current “recreational” users are blind to the drug’s devastating effects.
  • From the poppy fields to the final point of distribution, those who engage in heroin trafficking have become more organized.

A clearly articulated, strictly enforced drug testing policy becomes even more critical, given the scale of this problem. Such a policy will begin by emphasizing in positive terms the need for safety in the workplace and adherence to job requirements and work quality, and go on to cite goals such as increased productivity. The policy should address the following steps:

  • What will be considered a drug violation.
  • Which employees will be tested.
  • What disciplinary measures will result should there be a violation.
  • Will rehabilitation be an option.

Because in some states there are limits to when and how drug testing can be conducted, check the laws of the states in which your company operates.

KMRD reduces the overall cost of risk for clients by producing a greater value for each insurance dollar spent, while utilizing an enterprise risk management approach to engineer the optimal solution. The firm’s diagnostic process is supported by its unique collaborative technology, KMRD XCHANGE ® We are dedicated to anticipating risk and helping firms recover from unplanned events that wait on the other side of one minute from normal.

To review your organization’s insurance coverage please contact your KMRD Partners relationship manager or e-mail us at before one minute from normal strikes.

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