Workplace drug and alcohol testing the only way to know

How can you tell if someone is under the influence of drugs and alcohol? Drug and alcohol testing is the only way. Credit Alireza Parpaei

Every day, hundreds of thousands of Australians head to work in their safety-focussed roles. Most do so well prepared to work, but some are not. In fact, some definitely shouldn’t be going to work. They’re the employees who are affected by alcohol or drugs. The employees that eventually will be detected by drug and alcohol testing, hopefully, before an accident occurs.

Drug and alcohol issues not always easy to see

Who are these people who are going to their workplaces – where safety is vital – under the influence?

Quite frankly, they could be anyone. They might be truck drivers, pilots, manufacturing workers, doctors, fork-lift operators, farmers or construction people. It could be the person you’re working with today, the driver of the truck in the lane beside you or the driver of the bus you just jumped on.

People with issues with drugs or alcohol aren’t always easy to spot. They might not be slurring their words, walking unsteadily or displaying behaviours that we readily associate with people who are under the influence.

For example, a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that of all the people in the United States with alcohol dependence issues, around 20 per cent are functioning alcoholics. In other words, these people may have a stable job, a family and enjoy a relatively normal life. They are mostly able to maintain a façade of normalcy in their lives, while only those closest to them have any idea about their alcohol issue.

However, even people who are able to function while under the influence of drugs or alcohol shouldn’t be at work in a role where safety is important.

While the effects of alcohol and different types of drugs differ, it’s common for people who are under the influence to have concentration, reflexes, decision making, vision and other functions reduced. Definitely not the types of effects we want to see in a safety-focussed workplace.

How can you detect people who are under the influence?

If you can’t necessarily tell if a person is under the influence by looking at them, watching them walk, hearing them speak and interacting with them, how can you detect them?

The only way to be sure that a person has – or hasn’t – taking drugs is to conduct workplace drug testing. The only way to be sure that a person isn’t affected by alcohol is to conduct workplace alcohol testing. It’s that simple.

To be most effective, random testing should be carried out. This is drug and alcohol testing that is carried out on different days of the week, at different times and in different parts of your workplace. Because if testing isn’t random, employees will notice and change their habits to match.

Get support for workplace drug and alcohol testing

If you need support for workplace drug and alcohol testing, the good news is that Integrity Sampling has your back.

We have more than 40 locations right across Australia. Our accredited technicians can conduct workplace drug testing for clients as required. This includes urgent call-outs, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year, for emergency cases.

To find out more about how we can help your workplace stay safe, contact Integrity Sampling today.


How can you tell if someone is under the influence of drugs and alcohol? Drug and alcohol testing is the only way. Credit Alireza Parpaei

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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