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Substance Abuse Has Major Economic Impact in the Workplace


Substance abuse is taking a major toll on employers in terms of costs and productivity, The Oklahoman reports. Drug abuse costs U.S. employers $276 billion a year.

Three-quarters of people with a drug or alcohol problem are employed, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The article notes employees who are coping with substance abuse have increased health care expenses, and are more likely to be involved in a workplace accident.

Employers can control costs related to substance abuse through drug testing and implementing an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), the newspaper states. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), EAPs can offer information and referral services for employees with alcohol or drug problems.

The CDC notes that several behaviors at work indicate a high likelihood that an employee has a drug or alcohol problem. These include a pattern of poor quality or quantity of work; problems with attendance; and problems related to interaction with customers or clients.

1 Response to this article

  1. Rehab / March 13, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Employers need to crack down on employees being drug-free. It really benefits both parties. If an employee is found to have illegal drugs in their system the employer can get a new employee that will most likely perform better and the employee can seek help for his/her drug problem.

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