Alcohol consumption has become a huge problem in the United States, and other parts of the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that excessive alcohol consumption has resulted in about 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) every year in the United States alone. In addition, countless accidents, injuries and diseases are attributed to alcohol consumption. Therefore, it is important to get a better handle on the scope of alcohol consumption by testing for alcohol regularly.
Testing for alcohol can give employers and organizations the ability to maintain a safe work environment. With alcohol use costs rising, organizations need to take steps to minimize the potential risks associated with alcohol use. Testing employees for alcohol can help organizations detect potentially dangerous situations before they become costly or even deadly. For example, conducting random alcohol testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions can help organizations reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
For individuals, testing for alcohol can help in making decisions about whether to be around people when alcohol is present or consumed. Knowing whether or not someone is testing positive for alcohol can help individuals make informed decisions about their involvement with a particular person or activity. If an individual is testing positive, they may choose to abstain from drinking alcohol or change their plans accordingly.
Testing for alcohol is also indispensable for those in recovery. Alcohol testing can help former — or current — alcoholics remain abstinent, even amid triggers and cravings. Testing can also provide added assurances to one’s family and friends that a person in recovery is staying sober. Regular alcohol testing could help a person in recovery develop a useful routine for coping skills and managing triggers.
Overall, testing for alcohol is becoming increasingly important to guard against the devastating health and economic consequences that result from alcohol consumption. Employers can use alcohol testing to detect potentially dangerous situations, while individuals can use tests to determine if alcohol is present or consumed. For those in recovery, testing for alcohol can provide safety, accountability, and a practical way to remain abstinent.
For any organization, individual, or person in recovery, it is essential to understand the proper steps to take when conducting an alcohol test. First, those performing the tests should utilize government approved testing kits and adhere to the appropriate procedures for administering the tests. When testing individuals, testers should also follow the necessary rules of informed consent, with individuals giving specific permission for testing to occur. Finally, individuals should also be cognizant of their local laws regarding testing, as not all jurisdictions allow for random testing of employees.
Testing for alcohol can be a lifeline for people in recovery, employers and organizations, and individuals who are simply trying to remain safe and aware of alcohol consumption. It is imperative that these tests are conducted properly to ensure safety and accuracy of results. Adhering to proper protocol with government approved testing kits and rules of informed consent is the only way to ensure a safe and successful alcohol testing.