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(INDIANAPOLIS) – If you flunk a drug test, you’re about as likely to get fired as to get a second chance.

Last year’s General Assembly passed a law spelling out guidelines for employers to handle workplace drug use. Those guidelines recommend helping an employee into treatment. But among employers who drug-test their workers, a Chamber survey finds they split almost evenly on what they do if someone flunks: about a third fire him, a third give him a second chance, and slightly fewer say it’s a case-by-case decision. 

Wellness Council of Indiana executive director Jennifer Pferrer says getting those workers into treatment benefits both the workers and the companies. She says studies show people with a supportive employer pushing them into drug treatment are more likely to go into rehab and more likely to kick their addictions.

And while most people need more than one trip through treatment to kick their habit, Pferrer says firing them can cost up to three times as much as shepherding them through treatment, because Indiana’s low unemployment means workers are hard to find, and there are training costs once you do findthem.

The survey finds just one in eight companies consider substance abuse a problem for their organization.

(Photo: backpack555/Thinkstock)