How much impact do you think drugs have on your employer / bussiness?

TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,950 ■■■■■■■■□□
Every week I see news stories about how bad the drug epidemic is, every year the Town, City, County, State, is on track to beat last years drug over dose record. So the question is how much impact do you think drugs have at your place of employment? Higher then usual turn over? More sick call outs? Lower quality of work? I would guess that more desirable (better pay and benefits) employers this would be less of an issue then less desirable place of employment, but drug addiction is an equal opportunity habit, it not no bounds in age, gender, race, religion, economic status. I would guess where I work (a major utility) this is much less of an issue, with random drug testing, a positive equals an instant pick slip. But even here I do occasional hear a story about someone returned from a vacation tested positive and is no longer working here.
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Comments

  • JasionoJasiono Member Posts: 896 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I worked for a company ages ago and I was in the editing department. My SME at the time was into drugs, not just the weed, but pills as well. The proof of this was outstandingly obvious. For one, she asked for my pain meds after I had my wisdom teeth pulled and always asked everyone for their prescriptions as well. Another issue I saw with her is that in the middle of answering a question, on several occasions, she would fall asleep in what seemed to be deep slumber. I kid you not. She always had bloodshot eyes and such.

    The company did random drug testing on people but only in the event of someone getting reported, and we reported her.

    She had a test done but was still employed and we suspect it to be because she knew what they would be testing for and didn't take the drugs they test for.

    She was constantly late, she was constantly up and about, getting snacks all day long because of having munchies, so her production was essentially killed. Her SME quality was crap too.

    She eventually got fired for being late too many times. I would assume it was due to her late nights partying it up, getting drunk and popping pills.

    How effective are the drug tests really? How much do these drug tests really look for?

    With weed being legalized in some parts, what happens if it's legal everywhere? Would an employer be able to still state that they will not hire a weed smoker? Would that be considered discriminatory?
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,123 Mod
    Haven't really seen any issues with drugs personally. In a company with 75,000 employees, I'm sure someone has to be running around hitting a bong (oh wait, that's legal in California now...) or having issues. If it starts to become noticable at work, I'm sure someone would intervene but it's not something I've personally seen happen as of yet. Overall, I wouldn't say it's a large scale problem by any means here (in my company I mean). Most people I work with work their tails off and rare folks that don't, I don't get the sense it's a drug problem as much as a work ethic problem. They go through the normal steps usually with their manager to improve and if they don't, bad things happen. That's about it.


    Personally, I think pre-emptive drug tests at the start of employment are a waste of time in IT. If they can coherently make it through a few interviews, a technical challenge, etc, they're probably not out of their minds on drugs. Most drugs outside of pot will be out of your system in 2-3 days and I think hair tests are huge invasions of privacy imho. I don't think someone should get fired because they ingested something at a party 6 months ago on a weekend or something and it had nothing to do with their work and it wasn't an addiction issue. Also what if a woman gets dosed with a date **** drug and something traumatic happens but then gets a random hair test later? Do they have to get fired thanks to a zero tolerance policy or disclose the circumstances of what happened to them? Gets a little uncomfortable then.

    That being said, I think if someone is suspected of being on drugs IN the workplace, I think it's 100% ok to ask for them to take a pee test on the spot. That's a step over a line where it's affecting their job or they could hurt someone depending on what they do for a living.
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  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 611 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Not very much, most IT people here hold either DoD clearances or DoS MRPT, meaning drug use is a pretty quick way to end your career. Even for using weed, which in spite of some states legalizing it, it does remain a federally banned substance.
  • MooseboostMooseboost Senior Member Member Posts: 775 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I don't think it impacts the workforce of IT anymore than anything else does. There are a multitude of factors that go into play and honestly someone who abuses a substance probably isn't hitting homeruns in other personality traits that lend to a successful career in IT. Recreational use I view as anything else. I've worked with junkies and I have worked with guys who dip out at lunch every once in a while and rip it a few times. The junkie last a few weeks and was out, as far as I know the other guy is still a successful network engineer.

    Are we referring just to illegal substances? Alcohol and nicotine both drugs but are completely accepted in employees. I've worked for some progressive orgs and we were allowed to drink (responsibly) at lunch and once a week we had beers provided by the company. If anything, it made everyone work better. There is always a fine line that shouldn't be crossed but I don't think someone using anything in moderation is enough to say that they are bad for a company.
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  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Mod Posts: 4,082 Mod
    Zero in my case
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  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,950 ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited January 13
    Jasiono said:
    With weed being legalized in some parts, what happens if it's legal everywhere? Would an employer be able to still state that they will not hire a weed smoker? Would that be considered discriminatory?

    While not yet legal in New York state, it's no longer a crime for possessing marijuana. Were I work, we are governed by federal regulations, so regardless what laws the state passed regarding drugs, it's still a pink slip for a positive drug test result. This also extends to CBD oil, pure CBD oil does not have THC in it, which is what drug testing is looking for. But the quality of CBD oil differs, even CBD oil that claims for be "pure" may have trace amounts of THC in it, which if detected, instant unemployment.
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  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Seen it a few times....   Account manager who worked with us was a huge drunk.  Ended up losing a position he had been at for almost 10 years.  This was back in 03 and he was making couple hundred in bonuses alone.  Sometimes I wonder if the stress exacerbated his addiction.....  

    I feel bad for these folks, hope they can get the help they need.  

    Good news is the guy who got fired ended up employed as a PM making okay money, but he is back on his feet steering clear of the sauce.  
  • PC509PC509 CISSP, CEH, CCNA: Security/CyberOps, Sec+, CHFI, A+, Proj+, Server+, MCITP Win7, Vista, MCP Server 2 Oregon, USMember Posts: 780 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I know some people here smoke pot. Quite a few people. It's legal here, but it's also not allowed by our employer. Unless it causes an accident or they are using it at work, there's no reason for me to bring it up to anyone. It's personal recreational use similar to alcohol (which we manufacture here). 

    I do think we have someone doing other harder things here. We have someone coming into our building bathroom for an hour or so every couple days and leave. They aren't going to the bathroom in there. Our building is quiet, out of the way, and not a lot of people, so they can take their time and kind of "disappear" for a bit. 

    Other than that, I haven't seen a problem. We've had a few people let go fairly suddenly that we suspect may have been drug related, but nothing major. 

    I've used CBD products in the past due to anxiety, but like TechGromit's post above - it could cause a bad drug test, causing unemployment. So, I don't do that anymore. Just stick with a couple beers a few times a week (2 is my limit a day... just a limit I made a long time ago and it's stuck pretty well!). 
  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Member Posts: 1,088 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I've been working for the state (various agencies) for 16 years, and not once have I been required to drug test. I always thought that was odd. However, back in 2002 when I was unemployed and took a brief sales job at Fry's Electronics, I had to test. Very odd. At Motorola in the '90s, we were required to test every three (or was it four?) years, and you could count on it happening on the same day each time. I knew people who would start to get clean within a few months of their test and then pass and go right back to using. I remember going to the on-premise nurse once to ask for allergy medicine, but she couldn't give me any. She said she wasn't allowed. I wondered for awhile why she was even there, but then it struck me that her main job was to collect urine samples.
  • bigdogzbigdogz Member Posts: 798 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Jasiono said:


    How effective are the drug tests really? How much do these drug tests really look for?

    With weed being legalized in some parts, what happens if it's legal everywhere? Would an employer be able to still state that they will not hire a weed smoker? Would that be considered discriminatory?
    Recently I applied for a position and the drug tests was for alcohol, opi, weed and cocaine. This was to test within 30 and 60 days of the examination.

    Even though weed is legal in approximately 13 states, it is not a Federal law, and corporate America may not like the fact that the applicant is using drugs in a recreational fashion.

  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+; CCNA R&S; CCNP R&S Member Posts: 922 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I don’t know about drugs, but I do think smokers spend about 25% of the day smoking and not doing work.  
  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Member Posts: 1,088 ■■■■■■■□□□
    thomas_ said:
    I don’t know about drugs, but I do think smokers spend about 25% of the day smoking and not doing work.  
    I try to take non-smoking breaks every once in awhile.
  • bigdogzbigdogz Member Posts: 798 ■■■■■■■□□□
    edited January 15
    Just try not to sleep when taking those breaks. LOL  I find walking around the area helps me and I get some well needed exercise.
  • DFTK13DFTK13 Member Posts: 116 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited January 14
    I know several of my coworkers including my boss do drink quite a bit, and most of them smoke or use tobacco products, there is only one coworker that I suspect smokes weed, but he's always shown up and finished the work orders. So as far as I can see, there's been no problem currently.  

    I personally don't smoke, drink or do any type of substance as the thought of intentionally doing something harmful and unhealthy to ones body just doesn't make sense to me at all, aside from my religious convictions.

    Honestly, in my opinion, fatigue/burnout has an even more impact upon work productivity today than drugs itself. I believe the traditional 40+ hours, 5 days a week is seriously outdated and needs a major change. There have been many studies and experiments that a rearranged work week such as 4 days a week has boosted work productivity significantly. Microsoft is one company that has participated in such an experiment with positive results. I'm not sure what the policy is on this forum for providing links, but it's a simple google search. 
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  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Mod Posts: 4,082 Mod
    edited January 16
    DFTK13 said:
    I know several of my coworkers including my boss do drink quite a bit, and most of them smoke or use tobacco products, there is only one coworker that I suspect smokes weed, but he's always shown up and finished the work orders. So as far as I can see, there's been no problem currently.  

    I personally don't smoke, drink or do any type of substance as the thought of intentionally doing something harmful and unhealthy to ones body just doesn't make sense to me at all, aside from my religious convictions.

    Honestly, in my opinion, fatigue/burnout has an even more impact upon work productivity today than drugs itself. I believe the traditional 40+ hours, 5 days a week is seriously outdated and needs a major change. There have been many studies and experiments that a rearranged work week such as 4 days a week has boosted work productivity significantly. Microsoft is one company that has participated in such an experiment with positive results. I'm not sure what the policy is on this forum for providing links, but it's a simple google search. 

    Couldn't agree more with everything you said!!!!

    Nothing will harm someone more than smoking (cigarettes) , followed by drinking. Add to that lack of sleep, stress, spending 40+ hrs at work...and you get extremely unhealthy 40 year olds who look like they're 70.   Heck, most of my colleagues who are in their 30s complain to me about back problems and whatnot.


    For what it's worth, my current job is 4 days a week (that's equivalent to 30 hours per week), flexible so I work from home a lot. I've never been better and i have a lot more control over my life - AND I deliver the same amount of work like my colleagues who are in the office 5 days a week ( I know that because we do project/consulting work so the deliverables are measurable)
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