How Staffing Firms Can Help Tackle the Growing Drug Abuse Problem

87331198Have you found that perfect light industrial employee after marketing, screening, interviewing, and vetting only to find out they failed the drug test? If you have been in the staffing business very long, this is becoming a problem that occurs too frequently.

I own and operate a small regional staffing firm in rural Southeastern Ohio. When meeting with current and prospective clients throughout the region, I ask them to describe their primary business concern. I expect an answer that includes workers’ compensation or unemployment. I am shocked when I am told the overwhelming issue is drug abuse. Specifically in our area, the problem is prescription opiate drug abuse.

In our region, I found that the prescription opiate problem was one of epidemic proportions. Employers throughout the region have reported failures rates of 20 to 25 percent or more. I decided to address our local drug problem head on. It was clear that we could not solve all the problems, but we certainly could address and attack the opiate prescription drug problem. With the help of a local hospital administrator, we formed a drug task force. While many communities have done so, ours was unique. We elicited help of employers, healthcare providers, elected officials, law enforcement, counselors, faith-based groups and other interested parties. We met six times a year, established measurable goals and objectives and formed committees. Our group and our community have begun to see the positive impact of our efforts.

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While many staffing firms may not wish to form a drug task force to address these issues, there are things that can be done. Be sure to talk to your clients to see if they are experiencing drug problems in their workplace. Help them develop a solution to this ongoing and growing problem. If you don’t already, offer pre-employment, random and post-accident drug tests. Talk with your local or state officials to get warning signs of drug users. Any action or involvement could help you and your clients. You may see reduced turnover, less accidents and provide a value added proposition for your clients!

MORE: How to ensure accurate background checks

Larry Kidd

Larry Kidd
Larry Kidd is president and CEO of Reliable Staffing Services.

Larry Kidd
Larry Kidd is president and CEO of Reliable Staffing Services.

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