Drug and Alcohol Screening – The New Norm?

We have recently seen an increase in employers undertaking drug and alcohol testing as part of their hiring process, for both casual and permanent opportunities.

For some time now, certain industries have conducted basic drug and alcohol testing via urine or saliva screening and we are currently seeing an increase in hair testing. For hair tests a small section of hair is sent for away for testing (approximately 3 centimetres) and results are normally obtained within 7-10 days. Hair testing will give an overview of any drugs taken during approximately the last 6 months and employers are using this to assist them in identifying patterns of use and addiction. These tests are expensive and cannot be cheated, candidates will often advise us that they will definitely pass before eventually backing out of the process or advising at the last minute that they may in fact fail once they investigate the process further.

Without a doubt employers who use this type of testing greatly reduce the pool of candidates available to them, however many are willing to make this sacrifice in order to reduce the potential for safety related incidents and promote a drug free culture across their organisation.

It’s fair to say that most people have seen the news recently in regards to the ice epidemic gripping Australia so it’s understandable that workplaces are doing their part to fight substance abuse. As this becomes more prevalent across the country we are also seeing the police force pick up the mantel and not only undertake random breath tests but also incorporate random drug tests as part of their standard protocol. We are facing a larger social problem which has far reaching implications spanning personal and work life. Addiction often relates to a lack of connection, community involvement and support (for more information on studies around this read here https://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html) and as such it is all of our responsibility to show support and understanding to those battling addiction.

RPR Trades supports a drug-free industry and to assist in this we offer an Employee Assistance Program for our Employees and their families which can be utilised for any drug-related matters as well as other issues impacting their daily lives.

For free drug and alcohol advice and counselling you can visit:




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