Substance Abuse in the workplace is a major issue for many employers and EAP’s. Lost work productivity alone accounts for nearly $129 billion of the total economic cost of substance abuse in the United States.
- An estimated 19.9 million Americans are current illicit drug users (SAMHSA).
- An estimated 8.4 percent of those employed full-time are current illicit drug users.
- 8.8 percent of full-time workers report heavy alcohol use (SAMHSA).
- Alcohol is the most widely abused drug among working adults, and 79.4 percent of binge drinkers are employed (SAMHSA).
- An estimated 3.1 percent of employed adults use illicit drugs before reporting to work or during work hours (Department of Labor).
- An estimated 7.1 percent of employed adults drink alcohol during the workday, and 1.8 percent of employed adults consume alcohol before coming to work (Department of Labor).
- Healthcare costs for employees with alcohol problems are twice as high as those for other employees.
Compared to their non-abusing coworkers, employed substance abusers are
- 3 times more likely to be late for work
- 3 times more likely to have absences of 8 days or more
- 3.5 times more likely to be in involved in a workplace accident (SAMHSA)
- 5 times more likely to file a worker’s compensation claim (SAMHSA)
- More than twice as likely to have changed employers 3X or more in past year
* By occupation, the highest rates of illicit drug use and heavy drinking were reported by food preparation workers, waiters, waitresses and bartenders (16.9 percent) and construction workers (13.7 percent) (SAMHSA).
* Alcoholism is estimated to cause 500 million lost workdays annually (SAMHSA).
Lost work productivity alone accounts for nearly $129 billion of the total economic cost of substance abuse.