Safety Tip of the Week – Drugs on the Job

Drug abuse is spinning out of control in today’s American workplaces. Upwards of ten percent of all employees have problems with chemical dependency. Substance abuse and/or addiction in the workplace is extensive, affecting every industry at all employee levels, and is a situation that will not solve itself.

Problems Drug Abuse Causes in the Workplace:

  1. Safety – Individuals under the influence of drugs are a danger to everyone at the worksite. Drugs impair an individual’s reasoning abilities and motor skills. Drugs can also negatively affect a person’s ability to make decisions. Some drugs influence a person to take more risks than they normally would if they were sober.
  2. Production – Individuals under the influence of drugs are almost always less efficient than when they are sober. Even if the drug is considered a stimulant, there are many side effects or other consequences of using these drugs. There is more absenteeism by individuals who abuse drugs. Drug abuse often eventually leads to disruptive problems between employees on the job, which affects production.
  3. Costs – There are many costs of drug abuse in the workplace. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc., the costs of drug abuse are over $81 billion annually in the United States. When a company has to spend a significant amount of money randomly drug testing employees, dealing with the consequences of lost production, and investigating safety incidents, there is less money for the other areas of the business. Upgrades to equipment, better benefits, bonuses, and pay raises can all be negatively affected by drug abuse in the workplace.
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