Drug and alcohol testing is a massive industry. From materials to labor and lab facilities for testing, it’s roughly estimated at being worth around $7 Billon industry-wide.
There’s a consistent demand for drug tests whether it’s workplace policy, legislation for stricter drug laws, etc. The growth for drug and alcohol testing and monitoring continues as does the science and technology. How has COVID-19 and the changing technology affected the the outlook on drug and alcohol testing industry in 2020? The CEO of Cransford Laboratories, John Wick, gave his insights recently for Technology Networks.
Q: What trends are you seeing in the type of drug tests the customers who are using these service?
A: Typically, the drugs being abused are the same they have always been – alcohol, cocaine, cannabis and opiates. It’s impossible to predict trends, or what drug will be abused next…We are seeing an increase in employers using workplace testing, but some are changing their attitude towards it. Workplace drug testing gets a bad name – it’s perceived as trying to trick or trap someone – but the knock-on effect is lack of productivity in the workplace and longer-term health effects for the individual. Some employers are now embracing drug testing as part of a more positive healthcare and wellness approach with their employees, rather than seeing it as a punishment or deterrence. Hair testing would fit in well with this approach.
Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your business and the tests you carry out?
A: What we seem to have seen is an increase in the number of positive tests in the lab during the pandemic. People seem to have been drinking more alcohol and taking more drugs because of lockdown. It’s not specific to any type of drug, it’s across the board. I think people are stressed out and using things to help.
Will this trend stay the same or decrease after the pandemic and return the average we’re used to seeing in the drug and alcohol testing percentages? These are unprecedented times, and in this case only time will tell.