Do You Clock In For Substance Abuse?

Alicia Lawrence
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If you think your job only affects your bank account, you are sorely mistaken. Your job affects your stress level, productivity, physical health and overall happiness. Unfortunately, there are some jobs that are highly correlated with substance abuse. The main causes of substance abuse are: high stress, fatigue, boredom, long hours, easy access and irregular supervision. If you think about it, many jobs fall into these categories.


This video shows that the industries most prone to substance abuse are: manufacturing, mining, wholesale and construction. These jobs go hand in hand with high stress, long hours and fatigue. Once these factors are met, easy access and irregular supervision allow the substance abuse to develop as a sort of escape from the stresses of the workplace. Additionally, jobs in food services and arts, entertainment, and recreation all reported 16.9% of employees using drugs and alcohol while in the workplace.


Why Does This Matter?


With over 77% of drug/alcohol users working part or full-time, drug use in the workplace definitely has an effect on the nation’s overall work performance. In fact, 3.1% of adults who are currently employed admit to using drugs or alcohol before showing up to work in the morning or during the middle of the workday. This kind of drug use, then, becomes a safety and economic problem.


Many jobs require attention to detail and concentration. Using drugs and/or alcohol will interfere with that concentration.  According to the video, employees who have substance abuse problems are four times more likely to have an accident at work than an employee who does not have substance abuse problems.


Furthermore, substance abuse in the workplace is an economic issue in the sense that employers are paying top dollar only to have employees with substance abuse issues not work as effectively, safely or productively as they could. Over 500 million workdays are lost on an annual basis from employee substance abuse. This not only is a waste of the employer’s money but it is irresponsible to be using your paid time off or sick days because of a substance abuse problem.


How Can This Be Stopped?


If you know someone who has a drug/alcohol problem and it is affecting him or her in the workplace, it’s time for you to step up and say something. According to this video, 60% of adults know someone who has worked under the influence of substances.


If you are one of these adults, take the time to talk to your friend or coworker with a substance abuse problem. You can suggest seeing a mental health professional or seeking an outpatient rehabilitation center. If these options are too expensive, you can help your friend or coworker find a free group counseling session or substance abuse support group. Either way, the important thing is to make sure that you don’t just sit back in silence.


(Photo courtesy of 12 Keys Rehab)


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