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What You Need to Know About Addiction in the Workplace ?

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who go to work every day, your physical and emotional well-being and that of your coworkers and other employees, on whom you depend to complete your job, is directly related to how well you perform your job. You want to be sure that your coworker, your boss, or your subordinate is not just taking care of themselves but also isn’t putting your coworkers’ safety or advancement in danger. Although this assumption has long been an unstated truth of the American labor force, the alarming rise in workplace addiction over the past few years has brought its viability and actuality into doubt.

Over 150 million Americans, or approximately half the population, are employed in the country, and many of them either use drugs or alcohol at work or are in close contact with someone who does. This is according to data from the Pew Research Center. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), one in every thirteen Americans has an alcohol use problem. Nearly 11 million American workers, according to the agency, have a drug or alcohol use disorder of some kind. Addiction at work seriously jeopardizes employee morale, individual safety, and organizational health, all of which have the potential to bring down a whole business.

Addiction’s Economic and Human Costs in the Workplace

A corporation may find it difficult to overlook the long-term effects of addiction in the workplace in addition to the immediate and obvious hazards. According to data from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 11 percent of workplace fatality victims had been drinking at the time of the accident, and 35 percent of patients with occupational injuries were at-risk drinkers. Additionally, 16 percent of emergency room patients with workplace injuries had alcohol in their systems. The organization also notes that problem drinkers are 270 percent more likely to be in an accident than non-problem drinkers, and that 70% of Americans who use illicit substances are working.

At the same time, according to the National Safety Council:

  • Alcohol use is thought to cause $74 billion in annual lost productivity at work, including absenteeism, decreased production, early retirement or death, and decreased earning potential.
  • Alcohol use disordered workers miss 34 percent more days from work on average than other employees, and they are more likely to sustain an accident at work.
  • The annual employment turnover rate for those with alcohol use disorders is 16 percent higher than that of other workers.
  • Addiction at work causes occupational trauma, injury, and death, which can greatly raise corporate culpability.

Sectors with the Highest Rates of Substance Abuse at Work

There are particular industries where this conduct is far more common than others, despite the fact that addiction in the workplace is a widespread issue across the American labor force.

The following sectors have the greatest incidence of workplace drug use disorders, according to statistics from the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance:

Employment in construction and labour: (14%).

(12% of) mining

(Nine percent) Finance and Insurance

Detailed information (10%)

(17%) Accommodations and food services

(9% of the population) manufacturing

Recreation, arts, and entertainment (13%)

Many employees may feel the need to use illegal substances as a kind of self-medication due to the specific mix of job-related situations and working conditions that come with tenure in each of these industries and others.

Employers’ Responsibility to Address Addiction in the Workplace

Employers have begun to understand that they are uniquely empowered to help their employees find treatment while maintaining the harmony and integrity of their organization and keeping the rest of their staff safe and content in recent years due to the increased escalation of addiction in the workplace. To assist lower the expense of treatment and guarantee job stability for their affected staff member, several companies are collaborating with addiction treatment centers to offer what are known as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).

Having a clearly defined set of standards and procedures that are strict yet fair and empathetic is one of the methods to directly assist in reducing addiction in the workplace. This will demonstrate to any employees who may be struggling with substance abuse that you care about their rehabilitation, long-term health, and employment with your organization.

Is Substance Abuse in the Workplace Affecting Your Business?

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the most frequent causes of workplace addiction, but they are also much less likely to provide any form of assistance or EAP services to their suffering workers. Employee morale, productivity, and an organization’s integrity can all be permanently damaged by long-term addiction that goes untreated. To assist troubled workers in finding their way to rehabilitation and a second opportunity, hiring managers must strike a balance between prompt, decisive action and intuitive compassion. It was just a matter of time until addiction began to affect us, as it is becoming a bigger problem in society as a whole.

Helpful Resources

Substance Abuse Treatment Centre

Addiction Recovery Facilities

 Addiction Treatment Center