Most Substance Abusers Are in the Workplace

Categories: Alcohol, Drugs, News, Research, Substance Use, Workplace

A new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that most of the country’s approximately 15 million heavy alcohol users and 16.4 million current illicit drug users hold full-time jobs.

The report, Worker Substance Use Policies and Programs, reveals that the highest rates of current heavy alcohol use were found among construction, mining, excavation and drilling workers (17.8%) and installation, maintenance and repair workers (14.7%). Food service workers (17.4%) and construction workers (15.1%) have the highest rates of current illicit drug use.

Higher levels of absenteeism and frequent job changes were associated with substance abuse. The study also found that current drug users were more likely to work for employers that did not have drug or alcohol testing programs.

“Employees who use drugs miss work more often, are less healthy, and are more prone to harming themselves and others in the workplace. We hope that employers will take note of this report and consider implementing workplace drug testing policies that can help prevent drug use before it starts, help identify drug-using employees who need drug treatment services and also reduce employers’ liability from drug-related workplace accidents,” said Director of National Drug Control Policy John Walters.

Read the full report: Worker Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs

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