Substance abuse in the workplace is not a new development and has been around for decades. However, with the increase in drug availability, and shocking statistics being released each year, employers are starting to notice that drug use is a real problem. They are also beginning to ask themselves, “How prevalent is drug use in the workplace?” The statistics may surprise you, and the cost to a business can be monumental.
In 2010, the United States Department of Justice released a National Drug Assessment document that outlined shocking statistics about the use of drugs among workers.
Drug use continues to be an issue in all industries and businesses. Unfortunately, there are more drugs on the market than ever before, which has resulted in skyrocketing drug use among employees.
According to a 2009 United States Department of Health and Human Service study, 500 million workdays are lost every year from substance abuse among employees. Further economic results of drug abuse related to businesses are:
The above list directly illustrates that it can cost a business a monumental amount of funds to allow employees to continue to work when a substance abuse problem is apparent.
Substance abuse among employees can cost more in the long run than putting together a comprehensive drug awareness program. Managers and employers cannot ignore issues when it comes to attendance and productivity. These must be addressed and confronted once it is clear there is an issue. The Human Resources department should have a drug awareness program that all employees are trained on. This allows managers to act accordingly, and informs co-workers of their recourse if they suspect a fellow employee is abusing drugs or alcohol. A comprehensive plan includes:
This is a rough outline for suggested actions that a business can incorporate into their drug policy. Depending on your businesses policies and procedures, a plan that suits your business should be carefully constructed.
Your company does not have to be a victim of drug and alcohol abuse. By providing genuine assistance to employees with a drug or alcohol problem, you can help them create a better life for themselves. You can also ensure that costs related to drug use are minimal. Creating and enforcing a stringent drug awareness program can continue to provide a safe and drug free work environment.
This article was written by Adam Watterson. Adam has over four years of experience working in a drug rehab center and has written other articles such as “How-To Make a Bucket List”