Drugs in the Workplace
Employed drug abusers cost their employers about twice
as much in medical and worker compensation claims as
their drug-free coworkers.
Alcohol and drug abuse has been estimated to cost
American businesses roughly 81 billion dollars in lost
productivity in just one year—37 billion due to
premature death and 44 billion due to illness. Of these
combined costs, 86% are attributed to drinking. 74%
of illicit drug users are employed.
In 1997, over 6,000,000 employees were threatened
in the workplace.
Drugs account for as much as 80% of losses due to
theft in the workplace.
Of those who called a cocaine helpline, 75% reported
using drugs on the job, 64% admitted drugs adversely
affected their job performance, 44% sold drugs to
other employees, and 18% had stolen from coworkers
to support their drug habit.
Individuals who are current illicit drug users are also
more likely (12.9%) than those who are not (5%) to
have skipped one or more work days in the past
Results from a US Postal Service study revealed that
employees who tested positive in a pre-employment
drug test are 66% more likely to be absent and 77%
more likely to be discharged within three years than
those who tested negative.
Everyone involved in running
a business, both employers
and employees, suffers when there is workplace alcohol
and drug abuse. Some costs are obvious, such as
increased absences, accidents and errors. Others, such
as low morale and high illness rates, are less so, but the
effects are equally harmful.