Drug Abuse Costs Employers $81 Billion Per Year | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Drug Abuse Costs Employers $81 Billion Per Year

The staggering cost to companies with employees on drugs typically comes in the form of poor work performance and lack of productivity.

Image: 

Shutterstock

By McCarton Ackerman

03/14/14

| Share

New findings from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse have indicated that drug abuse costs employers a staggering $81 billion per year.

Approximately 70 percent of the 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs currently have a job, although the study didn’t indicate what percentage of those people used drugs or were still impaired by them while on the job. The research also found a correlation between drug abuse and frequent job hopping; those who had three or more jobs in the previous five years were twice as likely to be current or past users of illegal drugs as those who had two or less jobs in that same time.

The cost of drug abuse to employers typically comes in the form of poor work performance and lack of productivity, as well as frequently arriving late or calling in sick to work. In addition, businesses can also run the risk of having dangerous or deadly accidents occur while on the job. A study from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) found that between 10 to 20 percent of employees who died at work tested positive for drugs or alcohol.

With marijuana legalized for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, many companies are struggling with how to address this new legal issue in the workplace. Ricardo Baca, the new marijuana editor for the Denver Post, noted that the newspapers added pot to a list of substances that employees are barred from using while on the job. (The paper’s marijuana critic, hired as a freelancer, would appear to be the exception to this rule.)

“How strange is it that you can legally smoke by state law and yet be fired by your employer for it?” said Baca. "That’s been a big issue here for four years."

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv