Workplace drug tests increase tenfold

More Finnish employees are being tested for drug use than ever before, according to a new report.

The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) believes the number of workplace drug checks has now hit 100,000 a year.

The practice is particularly popular in the transport sector and in jobs within the healthcare, security or surveillance industries.

The law surrounding drug testing in the workplace, which has been in force since 2004, permits both the screening of new recruits as well as of long-term employees if there is reason for suspicion.

When the practice was first made legal, only around 10,000 workers a year were tested. However, this number has now shot up tenfold according to Kimmo Kuoppasalmi, Chief Physician at THL’s Drug Research Unit.

He believes the current rate has almost reached its peak, however. “I think that the number will not increase much from this point. A very small proportion of these tests turn up positive in practice—about 1-2 percent. The preventive effect and the message that the workplace does not tolerate substance abuse are perhaps the most important factors,” Kuoppasalmi said in a YLE report.

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