Drug use at work is a serious problem. Employees that use drugs are a danger to both themselves and others. Keep reading to learn why this is such a grave issue and what can be done to ameliorate the problem.
How Drugs Impact the Workplace
According to the Department of Labor (DOL), drugs have a serious impact at workplaces across the country. The DOL estimates that over 70 percent of drug users are employed, which works out to about eight million employees. The cost of drug use at work is extremely high. In fact, drug abuse costs the economy hundreds of billions of dollars every year. This comes in the form of lost productivity from illnesses, accidents and even deaths. DOL reports that over 60 percent of adults admitted to going to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Keep in mind that there are serious legal and safety ramifications with drugs at work. Companies are liable for damages and deaths caused by employees abusing drugs.
Employees who use drugs at work are more likely to miss work, be involved in an accident, be terminated and change jobs multiple times. Research shows that certain industries experience higher levels of substance abuse. According to the DOL, construction, sales, restaurant, manual labor and machine operator personnel are most likely to abuse drugs. That is, employees who abuse drugs can cause serious harm and accidents at the work site and in public. For example, a machine operator that uses depressant drugs, such as morphine and marijuana, will experience slower physical reactions, poor coordination and lethargic thinking. If they work around a conveyor belt with nip points and cumbersome materials, they will most likely experience an amputation. On the other hand, drugs that make people aggressive, such as meth, cocaine and bath salts, can cause violent behavior.
Benefits of Workplace Drug Testing and Treatment
Critics often cite privacy and high costs as the disadvantages of workplace drug testing. Not surprising, the opposite is true. Drug use in the workplace leads to lost productivity, increased absenteeism and more accidents. Research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conclusively shows that workplace drug testing is an effective method of deterring drug use. Therefore, companies are recommended to implement a zero tolerance policy and regular, random drug testing. This will prevent and reduce a variety of employee, employer and community problems.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment
In addition to this, inpatient drug treatment is the best method of curing and managing substance abuse addictions. Inpatient treatment facilities offer comprehensive programs that remove addicts from their destructive lifestyle and environment and place them in a structured and supervised facility with helpful staff and treatment techniques.
To recap, drug use at work is a very serious problem. Employees who use drugs are more likely to miss work, be fired or cause accidents. Certain industries experience higher rates of substance abuse. Workplace drug testing is a proven way to keep workers and the community safe. In addition to this, inpatient drug treatment is the most effective way to cure substance abuse addictions.