More than 70 percent of substance abusers hold jobs; one worker in four, ages 18 to 34, used drugs in the past year; and one worker in three knows of drug sales in the workplace.
Loss of Productivity
In the workplace, the problems of these substance abusers become your problems. They increase risk of accident, lower productivity, raise insurance costs, and reduce profits.
Types of Abuse
Abuse may involve regular marijuana use, heavy drinking, weekend binges, casual consumption of tranquilizers, or misuse of other prescription drugs. It includes any use of drugs or alcohol that threatens physical or mental health, inhibits responsible personal relationships, or diminishes the ability to meet family, social, or vocational obligations. Substance abusers don't have to indulge on the job to have a negative impact on the work- place.
Compared to their non- abusing coworkers, they are:
- Ten times more likely to miss work
- 3.6 times more likely to be involved in on-the-job accidents (and 5 times more likely to injure themselves or a co-worker in the process)
- Five times more likely to file a worker's compensation claim
- 33% less productive
- Responsible for health care costs that are three times as high.
Here's what to look for
- Frequent, prolonged, and often unexplained absences
- Involvement in accidents both on and off the job
- Erratic work patterns and reduced productivity
- Indifference to personal hygiene
- Overreaction to real or imagined criticism
- Such overt physical signs as exhaustion or hyperactivity, dilated pupils, slurred speech, or an unsteady walk
A comprehensive drug-free workplace program may be the best means of preventing, detecting, and dealing with substance abusers.
Workers Compensation Discount
Most states offer a discount on workers compensation insurance if the employers follow certain guidelines. National Medtest Inc. helps companies file the required forms in order to qualify for this discount.