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Monday, September 04, 2006

Substance Abuse and the Workplace - Program Topics List

Substance Abuse & the Workplace


How Serious is the Problem?

· Health care costs for employees with substance abuse problems are twice those of other employees.
· Substance abuse causes employers to incur costs related to injuries, high employee turnover and decreased productivity.
· Seventy-one percent of all current illicit drug users age 18 and older (7.4 million adults) were employed, including 5.4 million full-time workers and 1.9 million part-time workers.
· The cost of alcohol and illicit drug use in the workplace, including lost productivity, medical claims and accidents, amounts to $140 billion per year.
· Thirty-eight to 50 percent of all workers' compensation claims are related to the abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs in the workplace.
· 68 percent of all adult cocaine users in 1995 were employed either full- or part-time.
· Alcoholism causes 500 million lost workdays each year.
· Drug and alcohol-related problems are one of the four top reasons for the rise in workplace violence.
· Of those who called the cocaine helpline, 75 percent reported using drugs on the job, 64 percent admitted drugs adversely affected their job performance, 44 percent sold drugs to other employees, and 18 percent had stolen from co-workers to support their drug habit.


Who suffers?

Most substance abusers are employed. Alcohol and drug abusers represent 12% of the work force and cost employers billions of dollars in medical and indirect costs. The Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace estimates annual productivity losses from substance abuse amount to $640 for each American worker. Everyone suffers!


Lessons Learned from other companies:

· Drug-using employees at GM average 40 days sick leave each year compared to 4.5 days for non-users.
· Employees testing positive on pre-employment drug tests at Utah Power & Light were 5 times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident than those who tested negative.
· The State of Wisconsin estimates expenses and losses related to substance abuse average 25 percent of the salary of each worker affected.

Is there a solution?

Yes! According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor (November 1998):

· A study in Ohio found significant improvements in job-related performance including:
· 91 percent decrease in absenteeism
· 88 percent decrease in problems with supervisors
· 93 percent decrease in mistakes in work
· 97 percent decrease in on-the-job injuries.

· At Southern Pacific railroad, injuries dropped 71 percent.

· An electric supply company with 150 employees experienced a 39 percent decrease in absenteeism and a 36 percent increase in productivity.

· A construction company with 60 employees reduced workers' compensation claims by $50,000.

· A manufacturer with 560 employees experienced a 30-35 percent decrease in industrial accidents.

This Educational Program will address:

· The Signs of Substance Abuse
· Managing Substance Abuse: Five Critical Steps for every employer
· Employee Education
· Supervisor Training
· Special Problems: Substance Abuse and Violence, Injuries, and Mental Illness
· Drug Testing and Employee Assistance Programs
· Evaluating Your Program: Getting Results!

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