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WorkplaceIntroduction

The Casa Grande Alliance endeavors to reduce barriers to substance abuse treatment by working closely with employers.  Much of our work is done in partnership with the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce, however, Chamber membership is not a requirement for CGA services, which include:

  • Providing materials to employers on substance abuse
  • Helping develop drug-free workplace programs by providing resources
  • Presentations to managers and employees on substance abuse topics

IMPACT OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE UPON THE WORKPLACE

DownloadDownload the 5 Steps for Employers Information

DownloadDownload "How to Recognize Problems"

ALCOHOL ABUSE

Employee alcohol use causes a variety of problems. It reduces productivity, impairs job performance, increases health care costs and can threaten public safety. The federal government estimates that, 8.9 percent of full-time workers – 12.7 million people - have drinking problems.  Because 85 percent of heavy drinkers work, employers who aggressively address this problem can improve their own company's bottom line and their employees' health.

Alcohol costs American business an estimated $134 billion in productivity losses, mostly due to missed work:

  • 65.3 % of this cost was caused by alcohol-related illness,
  • 27.2 % due to premature death,
  • and 7.5 % to crime.

People with alcoholism use twice as much sick leave as other employees.

  • five times more likely to file workmen's compensation claims;
  • more likely to cause injuries to themselves or others while on the job.
  • 20% of workers say they have been injured, have had to cover for a coworker, or needed to work harder because of other employees' drinking.

DRUG USE IN THE WORKPLACE

Most Americans who are illicit drug users or heavy alcohol users also hold full-time jobs, according to a new report from SAMHSA. This substance abuse can pose significant risks to workers’ health and productivity.  For example, nearly twice as many current illicit drug users skipped one or more days of work in the past month compared with workers who did not abuse drugs. Drug users also were far more likely to report missing 2 or more days of work in the past month due to illness or injury compared with workers who did not abuse drugs.

The prevalence of past-month illicit drug use among full-time workers:

  • Age 18 to 64 estimated to be 8.2 %
  • workers age 18 to 25 estimated at 19 %


Higher prevalence of past-month illicit drug use than other occupational groups:

  • Food service workers (17.4 %)
  • construction workers (15.1 %)

FAMILY SUBSTANCE ABUSE

More than one-third (36 percent) of employees admitted that at least one of their coworkers had been distracted, less productive, or missed work because of alcohol/drug abuse or addiction within their family, according to a new nationwide poll conducted by the Hazelden Foundation. And more than two-thirds of employees (69 percent) said that if a family member were struggling with alcohol or other drug problems, it would negatively affect their ability to concentrate and be productive at work.

In addition, one quarter (26 percent) of American employees surveyed reported actual drug/alcohol abuse or addiction within their family.

Of these employees, 42 percent reported being distracted and less productive at work because of their family member's addiction.

  • 89 % said their mind drifted away from work to thoughts of their addicted family member;
  • 57 % said they missed a deadline or work/attendance suffered;
  • 46 % said they made errors in judgment that they normally would not have made.
  • Most strikingly, one in seven (14 percent) said the addiction in their family made them forget safety or security procedures required by their job.

WHAT IS BEING DONE IN THE WORKPLACE TO HELP (Nationally)

Education

  • 43.8 percent of full-time workers reported having access at work to educational information about drug and alcohol use,
  • 58.4 percent reported access to an employee assistance program,
  • and 78.7 percent reported that their workplace had a policy about drug and alcohol use.

In general, people who reported past-month illicit drug use were less likely to work for employers that provided these programs.

Drug Testing
In addition, drug testing programs were fairly prevalent.  48.8 percent of full-time workers reported that their employers conducted testing for drug use. Multivariate analysis suggests that illicit drug users are less likely to work for employers who conduct drug testing.

Information sources for this document:

http://www.samhsa.gov/SAMHSA_News/VolumeXV_5/article11.htm
http://alcoholism.about.com/od/work/a/blhaz050331.htm (Hazelden Foundation)

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