Aggression, violence, psychotic behavior, memory loss, and other symptoms similar to amphetamines
Impact of the Substance-Abusing Employee on the Workforce
Four times more likely to be hospitalized for injury than non-abusers.
When injured on the job, off work longer than non-abusers and have higher claims.
Have higher absenteeism rates, accidents, poor performance, and turnover.
Impact of Substance Usage on the Workforce
Between 20-40% of all substance abusers are admitted at some time to the hospital because of complications of their usage.
Up to 40% of industrial fatalities and 47% of industrial injuries can be linked to alcohol and alcoholism.
Impact on the Work Environment 15.4% 24.8% Voluntarily quit in the past year 5.0% 12.9% Skipped 1 or more days a month 4.3% 9.3% Work for more then 3 employers in 1 year Non-Drug User Drug User Work Outcome
Impact on the Work Environment 15.8% 19.7% Voluntarily quit in the past year 5.1% 11.3% Skipped 1 or more days a month 4.4% 8.0% Work for more then 3 employers in 1 year Non-Heavy Alcohol User Heavy Alcohol User Work Outcome
Definitions for Alcohol Drinking
Low risk drinking
Hazardous / Heavy drinking
National Health & Medical Research Council
Recommendations for Responsible Drinking
Guidelines for men and women
Refrain from Binge drinking
Two alcohol-free days per week
Pregnant women – abstain
Do not drive, operate machinery, or undertake activities in hazardous conditions and drink
Heavy Drinkers vs. Light Drinkers
In a study of 6,549 employees at
16 worksites, it was found that:
“ Light alcohol users accounted for more workplace problems overall because there were more of them.”
Total Economic Loss
Lost productivity in the workforce because of substance usage costs companies $82 billion+ per year and is growing.
Substance Abusers’ Impact On the Work Environment
Non-abusers report lower morale and poorer communications because of the presence of substance users.
Abusers are more involved in workplace violence then non-abusers.
Abusers are implicated more in workplace theft.
Do Drug Free Work Programs Work? Ask the Employee!
Non-users and users were asked if their company provided substance abuse information.
75.2% of non-users said yes.
62.1% of users said yes.
Non-users and users were asked if their company had a written policy about substance use.
70.6% of non-users said yes.
57.2% said yes.
Do Drug Free Work Programs Work?
Non-users and users were asked if their company provided an Employee Assistance Program
51.1% of non-users said yes
34.5% of users said yes
Case Study: Mid-Size Company Chamberlain Contractors of Maryland with 75 employees implemented a substance abuse program. The program cost $7,600 per year. Estimated savings are in excess of $120,000 in fewer accidents and lower claims and insurance premiums
Case Study: Large Company
With the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at McDonnell Douglas, they estimated saving $5.1 million due to fewer missed days, lower turnover, and lower medical claims.
Gillette Company initiated an EAP and found that in-patient substance abuse treatment costs decreased 75%.
Estimated that for every $1 invested in DFWP, saw a $3-$6 ROI.
Many substance abusers cannot see the impact their usage has on their lives and performance. Why?
Substance usage impairs learning, memory recording & retrieval, mental sharpness, and motor skills during and long after usage and has an addiction/disease component.
Substance usage acts as a “chemically induced learning disability” that can have lasting effects and permanent changes in the brain. An impaired brain is impaired in self-evaluation ability.
The irresistible compulsion to use alcohol and other drugs despite adverse consequences
Characterized by repeated failures to control use, increased tolerance, and increased disruption in the family
Limited controlled consumption of a drug (in terms of frequency and quantity)
No significant toxic, adverse physical, or psychological consequences to the user
A level of use that typically leads to adverse consequences (physical or psychological)
Not necessarily associated with any particular frequency but is associated with use in quantities that result in some
toxicity to the user
Significant physical and psychological consequences
– Loss of Control
– Compulsive pattern of use
– Continued use despite negative Consequences
Enabling at Work “ Doing or saying things that are intended to help a drug user but instead result in hurting the person.”
Signs of Enabling
Not following policy
Picking up the slack
Feeling responsible or guilty
Signs of Enabling
Defending from the supervisor or not reporting someone.
Avoiding constructive criticism.
Getting angry with someone for not performing, feeling guilty, then coming to their assistance.
Denying this type of person would have a drug problem.
On the Job Indicators of Addiction – Early Phase
Uses to relieve
Lies about use
On the Job Indicators of Addiction – Middle Phase
Loss of job
Guilty about use
Loss of interest in
On the Job Indicators of Addiction – Late Middle Phase
Fails to control
On the Job Indicators of Addiction – Late Phase
Use on job
Believes that other
places, and things
Identifying Suspicious Behavior
Changes in mood
Onset can be sudden or gradual
Substance Usage Testing
Pre-employment and new hire
Accuracy of Drug Tests
Chain of Custody
Medical Review Officer (MRO)
Intensive Outpatient Treatment
Self Help Groups
National Resources and Hotlines
The Center for Substance Abuse
Treatment’s Drug Information,
Treatment and Referral
NarAnon (310) 547-5800
Tough Love 1-800-333-1069
National Resources and Hotlines
Enhancing Drug Free Workplace
Monitor the “drinking & drugging climate” of your workplace and change it if needed.
Be proactive in addressing troubled employees.
Focus on a “team approach” to prevent workplace substance abuse.