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The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported in 2013 that there are over 15 million people in America working full time jobs while battling with a drug addiction. Drug use and abuse in the workplace is no small matter. Addiction runs rampant among professionals and blue collar workers.

Alcohol and drug use among employees puts the company at risk for several different detrimental scenarios. The business could suffer a decline in productivity, a lowered sense of company morale, or someone could get hurt.

Depending on the type of work being conducted, the risk of working under the influence can be very dangerous. Check out a few of the most informative drug and alcohol use facts about substance abuse in the workplace.

Signs and symptoms of substance abuse in the workplace

There are ways to get a hint of whether or not an employee is battling an addiction. The four most worrisome scenarios are premature death, car accidents, high rate of injuries, excess absenteeism, and loss of production.
Here are a few more signs and symptoms for which to watch.

  1. Excessive tardiness/sleeping at work
  2. Hangovers or withdrawal affecting performance
  3. Poor decision making skills
  4. Loss of productivity/efficiency
  5. Low morale
  6. Theft
  7. Preoccupation with obtaining substances while at work
  8. Interference with concentration and attention levels

Alcoholism is more prevalent in these industries

Alcoholism is a separate beast, because it is completely legal to purchase. Alcoholism is an enormous problems for people all over the world, but there are a few industries in which alcoholism is far more prevalent.

  1. Food service
  2. Construction
  3. Mining and drilling
  4. Excavation
  5. Maintenance and repair

Employers do have the ability to help

Work can be one of the best places to address substance abuse and other drug issues. It is a structured and safe environment for this level of confrontation. Substance abuse is a very personal issue, and many times, addicts are ashamed of their addiction.

Employers should always invest in the establishment of an Employee Assistance Program. An EAPs primary purpose is to allow an opened door for support and treatment of alcohol and substance abuse issues in the workplace.

An EAP can supply employers with the appropriate platform in which to monitor employees that are known to be in recovery as well. Most EAPs have a standard set aside that former users are to uphold to help keep them on the path.

Some facts about alcohol in the workplace

Here are a few hard-nosed facts about alcohol use and abuse in the workplace:

  1. Alcoholic employees are almost three times more likely to miss work due to an injury.
  2. 35 percent of patients with work injuries are at-risk drinkers.
  3. An analysis of workplace fatalities showed that at least 11 percent of workplace fatalities involved the use of alcohol.
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