Drugs in the Workplace

What An Employer Needs To Know

The United State of America is 5% of the world's population but we consume 60% of illicit and prescription drugs in the world. Substance abuse is a widespread problem in our society. An estimated 14.8 million American are current illicit drug user. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration reported the 77 percent of illicit drug users in the United State are employed. That's 9.4 million people. The chances are good that your organization employs one of these workers.

Who is Using Drugs At Work?

A survey by the federal government showed full-time employees admitted to being current illicit drug user tend to be:

  • between the ages of 18 and 25
  • less educated
  • male
  • divorced or never married
  • low paid

Industries With The Highest Rates Of Illicit Drug Use

  • food preparation workers
  • waiters, waitresses, and bartenders
  • other service occupation workers
  • workers in transportation and material moving

How Does Substance Abuse Impacts The Workplace

  • Employees who abuse alcohol and other drugs bring their problems with them to work.
  • Up to 40 percent of industrial fatalities and 47 percent of industrial injuries can be linked to alcohol use and alcoholism.
  • Employees who use drugs are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident and 5 time more likely to file a workers' compensation claim.

Substance Abuse Lower Productivity

  • Problems related to alcohol and drug abuse cost American businesses roughly $81 billion in lost productivity in just one year.
  • Studies have shown that substance-abusing employees function at about 67% of their capacity.

Substance Abuse Increases Absenteeism and Turnover

  • An estimated 500 million workdays are lost annually due to alcoholism and substance abuse.
  • Employees who use drugs are 2.2 times more likely to request early dismissal or time off, 2.5 times more likely to have absences of eight days or more, and 3 times more likely to be late for work.
  • Illicit drug users are more than twice as likely than those who do not use drugs to have changes employers three or more times in the past year.

Substance Abuse Increases Employer Medical Cost