Narcotics: Are we Safe in our Workplace?

Drug use in the United States is starting to go out of control. According to the studies conducted by Columbia University, Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, people who seek treatment for drug and alcohol abuse rise 10-12%. The increase in demand for treatment coincides with the rise in consumption of illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol. Unfortunately for companies, this rise in drug use will also reflect on the productivity and safety in the workplace. According to recent studies, 75% of working Americans ages 18 and above are illicit drug users, that’s 10 million American workers. On a daily basis, at least 42,000 Americans go to work stoned or high on illegal drugs. The U.S government says that if a drug test is conducted in every company in America, at least 25% of the employees will test positive.

Do employees know about drug abuse in the workplace?

This might be a bit harsh, but employers knew about the increasing cases of drug use in their company. Employers knew that drug use among their employees can affect the safety, performance, and work-related activities of their employees. In another survey conducted by Gallup, the majority of employees said that substance abuse in their workplace is very rampant and can very much affect their time at work. In the said survey, 64% said drug abuse has affected their attendance, 63% said productivity is affected, 63% said Health Care cost is affected and 57% said safety is compromised in their company.

The majority of the company requires applicants to pass their drug testing. The company also conducts post-accident drug testing, random testing, return-to-duty testing, and post-rehab testing. The most common substance among employees who test positive is marijuana. It is the most commonly used drugs among American workers. 60% of people in the test are positive for marijuana use, 16% for cocaine, 9.4% for opiates, 4.9 for Amphetamines, 3.9% for benzodiazepines, 3.0% for barbiturates, 1.6% for propoxyphene, 0.41 for methadone and 0.34 for PCPs.

To see the complete survey result conducted by Gallup, visit:

Employees want a working environment devoid of drugs. Drug abuse can cause unwanted safety risk not only to the company, but also to the employees. 1 out of 6 on-the-job fatalities is caused by drugs and alcohol. The sad thing is innocent co-workers are the one who suffers not the drug users. The question is, do drug testing and drug testing programs help minimize fatalities in the workplace? The answer is yes. According to companies that performed drug testing, cases of drug-related decrease after they applied to drug testing programs in their company. They saw a 71.2% decrease in drug-related fatalities.

Employers and Employees have the same goal.

Both employers and employees want the same thing. To see their companies succeed, be more productive and be safe. To be a successful company they have to be competitive. Companies with no drug testing programs attract applicants who have difficulty in applying for a job at other companies who requires their applicants undergo drug testing. Drug testing programs ensure the company can hire the best and most productive workforce. In return, The company’s investment will increase giving both the employer and the employee stability financially.

Click here for more info about drug abuse in the workplace and how to effectively fight it.

Here are the list of the most common signs and symptoms of Alcohol and drug use:

  • Decrease productivity
  • Carelessness
  • Difficulty in following simple instructions
  • Restlessness
  • Erratic work pace
  • Poor Judgement
  • Absenteeism
  • Tardiness
  • Increase in unauthorized leaves
  • Unexplained absence
  • Laziness
  • Irritability
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Bankruptcy

All in all, substance abuse is not good for any organize establishment. The company along with its employees should make a drastic move to eradicate it in the workplace. Management should place a good Drug testing program to encourage their employees to be more vigilant and be more assertive in dealing with drug abuse. Not only the person involved is affected, but people around them are affected. Their families, friends, co-workers and the company.