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Is Your Co-Worker Drunk Or High?

By July 17, 2007

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Most illicit drug users and heavy alcohol users are in the workplace, according to a recent survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the US Government's Health and Human Services Department. In a study released today, the administration noted, "most of the nationís approximately 16.4 million current illicit drug users and approximately 15 million heavy alcohol users hold full-time jobs."

The report details which industry have the highest percentage of drug users (food service) and alcohol abusers (construction), and which have the lowest (teachers and social service workers). It also details the reasons why these individuals are harmful to an employer and their fellow employees from financial and safety aspects.

If your company does not have a drug policy, it should. Take the initiative to start the process to get one in place. It is the best way to protect your company and its employees, whether they use drugs or not. You can set up an Employee Assistance Plan to help any employees that want help.

If you need help setting up your policy, consider the government helpline 1-800-Workplace (1-800-967-5752). Other information sources to consider include:

Are drug policies a good idea or just one more way for companies to try to control people? Add your thoughts by clicking the comment link below.

July 26, 2007 at 11:50 am
(1) Jim Dakis says:

An even bigger problem that I have seen in some cases is not illicit drugs or drinking, but the abuse of prescription drugs such as pain medication. They can have the same negative affect on a person’s ability to function properly, and the employee seems more open about sharing the fact that he or she is using them. After all, in his/her eyes, this is being done so that he or she can keep working.

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