Statistics highlight the message of Drug-Free Workplace Week
By Darlene Copeland (Adelphi Laboratory Center Army Substance Abuse Program)October 21, 2011
Drug-Free Workplace Week is a good time to reflect on our choices regarding the use of alcohol and drugs, and how they affect us and the people around us. When someone is abusing alcohol or drugs it tends to show-up in the workplace through tardiness, low morale, low productivity, and accidents.The Drug-Free Workplace Week Campaign brings attention to this issue. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlights why substance abuse is a workplace issue with the following statistics.
* About 75 percent of those 18 and older who use illegal drugs also work.
* In a large study of illicit drug use in a highly educated workforce, 42 percent of the respondents reported using mood-altering prescription drugs.
* Most binge drinkers and heavy alcohol users are employed. Of adult binge drinkers, 79 percent are employed.
* More than 7 percent of American workers drink during the workday, mostly at lunch. Even more -- 9 percent - have nursed a hangover in the workplace.
* Drinking does not have to occur on the job to affect the job. Hangovers account for many workplace productivity losses.
* Workplace alcohol use and impairment affect an estimated 15 percent of U.S. workers, or 19 million Americans.
* On-the-job use can lead to an increased risk of accidents and injuries. It can also lead to lower levels of productivity and employee morale, not only among those with substance abuse problems, but also among those working alongside them.
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