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Drug Testing “at Work”—Is It a Thing of the Past?

For most of us, COVID-19 is the first of its kind in our lifetime—a modern pandemic that has single-handedly led to a near total disruption of our social fabric and economic foundation. Celebrations have turned into drive-bys, shopping has become curbside, and weeks are now counted as “phases”.

But in a future that's rife with uncertainty, one thing is clear: COVID-19 has forced a sudden and dramatic change for employees in not only how they work—but how quickly they can learn and adapt to remote technologies.

Many have embraced this shift with ease—timing their morning commute in mere steps, and taking on their virtual day through Zoom, Skype, login’s, and VPNs. But for millions of those who are struggling with substance abuse, addiction, and recovery, staying connected isn’t this “casual”—as feelings of isolation become the psychological underpinning to relapse, abuse, and addiction.

But how can employers maintain a drug-free “workspace” in a remote culture? And moreover should we? Is “at work” drug testing needed for remote collaboration? The answer is “yes”.

Whether across miles or in a shared workspace—employee’s health and safety impacts turnover, productivity and the ultimate success of a company. Employees who use are:1

  • 5 times more likely to be absent for 8 or more days each year
  • 5 times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim
  • 6 times more likely to be involved in a task related accident

Things changed rapidly after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Drug testing companies immediately increased their safety measures to provide protected environments for both employees and their collectors. At DRUGSCAN we recognize that many necessary protocols aren’t always possible, and that we can’t mitigate addiction today— but we can bring our expertise to the forefront with an adaptable, reliable testing solution like our virtual oral fluid collection platform, called DOCTox.

America faces an epic choice. And, in these times, how we help those who suffer from addiction and substance abuse will impact generations, and help redefine and reignite the value every person can bring.


1 Quest Diagnostics. “Ask the experts: COVID-19 and the Workplace”, William A. Meyer III, PhD, D (ABMM), MLS(ASCP),CM R. H. Barry Sample, PhD, May 7, 2020.

DRUGSCAN is a long-standing toxicology laboratory, that provides toxicology testing, medication monitoring, drug detection services for employers, DOT-mandated programs, law-enforcement agencies, coroners, medical examiners, substance-abuse rehabilitation facilities, and clinicians. As a part of Rochester Regional Health System, DRUGSCAN is a leading pioneer in the emerging field of Abuse Deterrent Assessments.