Drug Abuse in the Workplace

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In any capacity, drug and alcohol abuse can significantly impact lives and cause dysfunction in many areas. Oftentimes, the effects of addiction that are most discussed are its’ effects on the addict themselves and their relationships with their loved ones and other people in their lives. Another area in which drug addiction is commonly seen is in the workplace. Substance abuse among employees and their family members can be an expensive problem for business and industry owners in regards to lost productivity, absenteeism, injuries, fatalities, theft and low employee morale.

Additionally, drug and alcohol addiction in the workplace can lead to increased cost for health insurance premiums as well as legal liabilities and an increase in the cost of workers compensation. With the tremendous monetary and personal cost that comes with substance abuse, it is imperative those who are struggling with drug dependence and addiction get the help they need in order to overcome their addiction for good. If you or a loved one are struggling are looking for quality drug treatment that is effective and proven to work, call Ocean Breeze Recovery Center toll-free today.

Substance Abuse in the Workplace: Some Statistics

drug abuse at work

Whether we as a nation want to admit it or not, we have an enormous problem with drug use and addiction. According to statistics provided by the American Council for Drug Education, sixty percent of the world’s illegal drugs are consumed by American drug users.  For a further breakdown, it is estimated that two million Americans use heroin, six million use cocaine, 18 million have alcohol abuse problems and an estimated 23 million people use marijuana at least four times in a week.

In regards to the impact of substance abuse in the workplace, statistics from the U.S Department of Labor show that workplace drug and alcohol abuse may potentially cost U.S. businesses an estimated $100 billion each year. Additionally, the majority of drug and alcohol abusers in the United States were employed with three-quarters of illicit drug users over 18 and nearly 80 percent of heavy alcohol users. Additionally, about six in ten who are employed in the United States have significant substance abuse issues.

The Cost of Substance Abuse in the Workplace

When employers hire those who abuse substances, their business suffers in numerous ways. The most obvious risk in the increased likelihood of dangerous or deadly accidents on the job site. Those who used drugs experienced poor decision making skills and impaired coordination, and that combination is the result of 10-20 percent of all deaths in the workplace. In the most general sense, those employees who struggle with substance abuse overall have poor work performance, are frequently late or call in sick and struggle with keeping acceptable productivity levels. Additionally, those addicted to drugs and alcohol often change employment and regularly file for unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits.

What Occupations is Drug Use Most Common?

Drug and alcohol abuse is found across all professions and it affects people from all walks of life. However, there are certain professions in which drug abuse is most common. A great example is the bartending and food service industry. These two closely-related professions have high rates of drug abuse–especially alcohol abuse–because of the nature of their employment and the common culture found in the workplace. It is estimated that bartenders are twice as likely to die from alcoholism and alcohol-related illness in comparison to other professions. Additionally, 15 percent of all employees in the food service industry state they are heavy drinkers.

For those who work in sales (whether in retail or white collar settings), the rates of drug use are also high. It is reported that both depression and substance abuse are common problems in the sales profession. This may be due to the significant changes that occur with  pay structure or the long hours put into sales with little to no personal satisfaction. Additionally, the constant travel and time away from family can lead to greater risk of developing depression in which some may turn to drugs and alcohol in order to cope with those feelings.

What Can Be Done to Combat Drug Addiction in the Workplace?

The consequences of drug and alcohol addiction in the workplace are significant. For those employers who must deal with addiction at their place of employment, it results in lost productivity, increased healthcare costs, increased turnover and costs in training new employees,  workplace injuries and violence. While the costs can be staggering, there fortunately are are ways those who are struggling with addiction can get help. Many companies offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) which provide a highly effective way to deal with this issue. Many employers have EAPs in place  to help employees deal with personal problems that can contribute to their substance abuse. These programs can help provide employees struggling with drug and alcohol abuse appropriate referrals to treatment, workplace substance abuse education programs and confidential screening.

Additionally, many companies are adopting health and wellness programs in the workplace that emphasize the fact that drug use is not acceptable by any means. These programs help remove the stigma against seeking help and employees are encouraged to  seek drug and alcohol treatment confidentially and without jeopardizing their employement.  By encouraging and supporting treatment through health and wellness programs, employers can dramatically assist in reducing the impact of alcohol use in the workplace, while reducing their costs.

If You Are Struggling with Addiction, Recovery is Possible

Drug and alcohol abuse affects all facets of your life and the lives of those you love. If you don’t receive the experienced and professional help of a reputable drug treatment center,  you can lose everything that you worked so hard to maintain. Ocean Breeze Recovery Center is one of the premier drug and alcohol rehab facilities in Florida, and we have helped many addicts break the cycle of addiction. With effective drug treatment programs, medical detox services, family programs and top-quality aftercare programs, Ocean Breeze Recovery Center should be your first choice in drug treatment. Call us today and be on the road to recovery.

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