Drug Abuse Costs Employers $81 Billion Per Year
If you want to know specifically what drug use will cost your business, check out this substance use calculator for employers from the National Safety Council.
Now, if you want to do everything you can to avoid these costs, here are some tested and proven prevention mechanisms for your workplace safety plan. Drug abuse will cost you in several ways. First the loss of physical dollars from lost production and replacing employees, but it also costs you indirectly through reduced morale, a diminished reputation and worker weariness. Eventually those too translate into the loss of hard currency.
The problem with drug use is that it is never isolated. It expands as time goes by and the consequences become all the more tragic with every new layer. Drugs will either lose their effectiveness and the user will require a more potent substance or more frequency usage or one drug will cause side effects that eventually promote the use of drugs to combat those side effects. This is the case with both illegal “street drugs,” as well as legal, prescription drugs.
70% of Americans who use illegal drugs are employed.
It is just a little fatigue.
While most employees rely on their morning cup of coffee to get the workday started, for some, caffeine is inefficient or even counterproductive when suffering from fatigue. This will leave a worker searching for an answer to their energy deficiency. From energy drinks to prescription drugs, the remedy may end up exasperating the issue and sacrificing improved health.
40% of workers are sleep deprived.
I am trying to recover from an injury
Even with the best workplace safety program in place, human error is still inevitable.Whether a freak accident occurs or an employee simply neglects to perform proper safety protocols, an injury is often the result. There are about 2.8 million nonfatal workplace accidents and injuries in the United States’ private industry each year.
I need something to help me focus
In addition to physical exhaustion, employees can suffer from mental fatigue or brain fog. These disorders will escalate both the risk of injury and drug use to treat the symptoms.The side effects of fatigue can include lack of sleep, an inability to focus, and depression. It can also lead to an increase in making mistakes and intensifying pain.
I am just going through a hard time right now.
Depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time and reduces cognitive performance about 35% of the time. While depression is best treated holistically, the state of depression can make one desperate for relief, either in prescription form or through the self-medication found in drugs and alcohol.
The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in life consume 69 percent of the nation’s alcohol and 84 percent of the nation's cocaine.
As you can see, a substance abuse problem does not mean that your best employees are living a double life akin to a Breaking Bad episode. Drug dependency can start innocently enough from a variety of factors that are likely to affect each of us at some point. While many people can successfully use prescription drugs for a limited time to solve a specific issue, others may find that a legitimate issue spirals into something much more dangerous.
Workplace Safety Screenings are the experts in helping businesses and their most valued employees create a drug-free work policy. Our on-site drug testing services protect the privacy of employees so that you, the employer, can be liability-free when it comes to rescinding a conditional job offer upon receiving a positive test result. On the other end of the spectrum, we create policies designed to help employers re-onboard employees who undergo rehabilitation requirements after a positive test. Click here for more information on how to protect your business and your employees from drug abuse from start to finish.