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Drugs Effect Your Bottom Line | Drug-Free Workplace

The bottom line?

Drugs effect your bottom line.

drug-free-workplace

Dont' Allow Drugs in the Workplace

Drugs & The Workplace

Many employers don’t always realize the impact that drug-using employees can have on the workplace. While employees are growing increasingly good at blending in and hiding illicit drug and alcohol abuse, statistics show that drug use will negatively impact your business – whether you realize it or not.

But Drug Users Aren’t Employed…

You may think that your employees aren’t using drugs because the typical stereotype of a drug user is one who can’t hold a job, much less get up and shower each day. However, the Department of Labor offers these findings:

  • Seventy-three percent of all current drug users aged 18 and older (8.3 million adults) were employed in 1997. This includes 6.7 million full-time workers and 1.6 million part-time workers.
  • More than 14 percent of Americans employed full- and part-time report heavy drinking, which is defined as five or more drinks on five or more days in the past 30 days. The heaviest drinking occurred among persons between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Of the 11.2 million heavy drinkers in 1997, 30 percent (3.3 million) also were current illicit drug users.
  • Construction workers (15.6%), sales personnel (11.4%), food preparation, wait staff, and bartenders (11.2%), handlers, helpers, and laborers (10.6%,) and machine operators and inspectors (10.5%) reported the highest rates of current illicit drug use. Protective service workers reported the lowest rate of current drug use (3.2%)
  • According to a national survey conducted by the Hazelden Foundation, more than sixty percent of adults know people who have gone to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

So What if My Employees Use Drugs?

Let’s just say that having a workplace that consists of frequent, illicit drug and alcohol users will impact your workplace and ultimately your profitability. Drug use can harm your business. They reap havoc on your insurance rates. They can damage your customer service relationships. And they make your company less profitable. Just look at a few more DOL statistics:

  • In 1990, problems resulting from the use of alcohol and other drugs cost American businesses an estimated $81.6 billion in lost productivity due to premature death (37 billion) and illness (44 billion); 86% of these combined costs were attributed to drinking
  • Full-time workers age 18-49 who reported current illicit drug use were more likely than those reporting no current illicit drug use to state that they had worked for three or more employers in the past year (32.1% versus 17.9%), taken an unexcused absence from work in the past month (12.1% versus 6.1%), voluntarily left an employer in the past year (25.8 % versus 13.6%), and been fired by an employer in the past year (4.6% versus 1.4%). Similar results were reported for employees who were heavy alcohol users
  • Results from a U.S. Postal Service study indicate that employees who tested positive on their pre-employment drug test were 77 percent more likely to be discharged within the first three years of employment, and were absent from work 66 percent more often than those who tested negative.
  • Alcoholism causes 500 million lost workdays each year.

So, What to Do About Drugs in the Workplace?

We’ll be covering ideas in our blog about how to get drugs out of the workplace. But for now, begin to implement drug-free workplace policies in your organization. Start with your HR team, and implement drug testing for all new employees. Determine a way to begin drug testing among current employees. And get a policy for becoming a drug-free workplace. By taking the right steps, you’ll see improvement in your employees, and ultimately your profits.

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  1. kim
    November 3, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    You’re right, illicit drugs can really harm your business and also your profitability! For a drug-free workplace, every employer should use a faa drug abatement program. This method can ensure a productive, healthy and safe workplace for all. very informative article! thanks for the sharing!

  1. November 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm

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