During a crisis like this, an increase in alcohol and substance abuse is expected as the country copes with stress, anxiety brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re now seeing this in the increase in liquor sales. Moreover, alcohol.org reports that some people working from home are drinking while on the job.
Looking at history, we can assume that the Coronavirus crisis will also likely lead to an increase in marijuana and other drug abuse, just like the after-effects of the 9/11 attacks. What may be even more shocking is that workers in essential industries, such as medical staff, are also abusing drugs and alcohol.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that industries with the highest rates of past-month illicit drug abuse include accommodations and food service, and construction, among other essential jobs. These same industries also have the highest rates of alcohol misuse.
The Importance Of Drug Testing And Fingerprinting Procedures At Work During the Recovery Period
Our country’s economic and sociological success relies heavily on the essential occupations mentioned above. And if there are high rates of substance abuse in those industries, workplace accidents will rise. As US businesses start to reopen during this transition to the ‘new normal,’ drug testing and fingerprinting procedures have never been more critical.
Edge Information’s New Drug Testing and Fingerprint Collection Procedures
- When arriving at the Edge information management collection site, the donor must remain in the vehicle or outside the collection lobby and observe 6 feet social distancing
- The donor must also confirm the use of a mask or facial covering – mask/face covering like bandana, scarf, or handmade mask. (Due to limited resources, Edge cannot offer mask/face coverings)
- After that, the donor must submit to a no-contact forehead temperature check (donor will not be admitted if the temperature is over 100.4)
- Next, the donor must call 800-679-8326 for further instructions. They will receive a text when it’s their turn to enter the testing facility (only one donor is allowed inside the facility at a time)
- In addition to these guidelines, donors will have to answer the following questions before entry:
- Have you had a fever for at least three days?
- Within the past 24 hours, have you experienced any of the following symptoms: fever (>100.4 F), cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath?
- Within the past 14 days, have you returned from any country, state or city for which a Level 3 Travel Health Advisory or Ban has been in place?
- Within the past 14 days, have you had close contact with or cared for someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19?
- During this process, Edge collectors will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), including lab coats, gloves, and facial covering at all times.
Substance abuse may continue to increase as there’s no end in sight for this national crisis. Now that we’re aware of some of the essential industries and occupations that experience higher rates of substance abuse, employers need to stay committed to their drug-free workplace goals, and now is the most critical time to do that.
Even during a pandemic, companies need to be firm with their drug testing and fingerprinting procedures. Essential industry or not, safety and security in the workplace must never be compromised as a result of substance abuse.