Small Businesses and the Benefits of a Drug-Free Workplace

Small Businesses and the Benefits of a Drug-Free Workplace

The Quest Diagnostics 2023 Drug Testing Index and Industry Insights Report reported that the workplace drug positivity rate is the highest it has been in 20 years.1 In the last five years, every industry tested had an increase in positive drug tests (with “Accommodations and Food Service” having the highest rates in this latest report).1

With these realities challenging workplace safety, it is imperative for even small business owners to implement a drug-free workplace policy.

Implementing a drug-free program can lead to numerous improvements within your organization:

  • Improved morale and productivity.
  • Reduced absenteeism, accidents, downtime, turnover, and theft.
  • Better health status among employees and their families.
  • Reduced healthcare costs.

So how do you as an employer develop a drug-free workplace program?

  1. Develop a written policy in consultation with a lawyer well-versed in your state's laws (and the state laws where your employees work).
  2. Ensure that your employees are fully informed on the policy.
  3. Educate employees about the risks of impaired working. (NDWA has great training courses for this purpose - find more here!)
  4. Provide resources and support for those in need; consider becoming a recovery-friendly workplace.
  5. Consult your workers' compensation insurance carrier for assistance.
  6. Consistently enforce and regularly adapt your policies to address changing statutes and laws.

In several states, businesses can receive workers' compensation premium discounts for implementing drug-free workplace programs. These states include: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.2

In conclusion, a drug-free workplace is a valuable investment for small businesses, offering immediate benefits in safety, productivity, and employee morale, while also potentially lowering workers' compensation costs over time. The National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance can help you create a drug-free workplace program with our cost-effective membership program! Find more information here.


  1. Drug Testing Index and Industry Insights | Quest Diagnostics. (2023).
  2. (2018, July 10). Does a Drug Free Workplace Lower your Work Comp Premium? - WorkCompLab.