Drug addiction is not only harmful but expensive too. Actually, it’s not called “addiction” anymore. Substance use disorder is an all-too-common reason for the deterioration of workplace performance and affects the overall productivity and profit of the business. Each year, drug use disorders cost workplaces millions of dollars due to reduced productivity and additional healthcare costs. Many employers are ignoring the fact that employee substance abuse in the workplace can have a significant impact on company efficiency and employee turnover.

“Substance use disorder may only affect three to five percent of your employees, but those five percent might drain your system quite a lot.” (thefix.com)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that 70% of people with substance use disorders are employed. That translates to a very high number.

Wanna know what it costs your organization? The National Safety Council has made it easy to find out:

A Substance Use Cost Calculator for Employers 

Guaranteed it’s more than you think. By a LOT!

There are many negative impacts of drug abuse in any organization. The most immediate implications are absenteeism or presenteeism.

Presenteeism means an employee is physically present at the workplace but unable to focus on the job. In a safety-sensitive position, when the employee is mentally absent, there are more chances of accidents and injuries.

It is estimated that more than 10 percent of deaths at workplaces are due to substance abuse. And, unsurprisingly, people with substance use disorder often behave inappropriately with their managers, colleagues and even with their customers.

None of this is good for the company, and losing a client because of one employee’s bad behavior or poor performance can be costly.

Alcohol abuse is also a significant concern at work. NCADD reported that 35% of emergency room admissions for workplace accidents are at-risk drinkers. Workers with alcohol problems were 2.7 times more likely than workers without drinking problems to have injury-related absences.

What To Do?

Creating a drug-free environment in the workplace is the best way to address and reduce drug use disorders. Whether the employer views substance abuse as a health problem, or merely unsafe, unacceptable behavior, s/he has a good reason to put a policy in place.

Employee turnover is a very real cost, especially in a strong economy where good people are hard to find and keep. For this reason, many employers incorporate an EAP, or Employee Assistance program, so that at-risk employees can seek confidential help.

Substance abuse disorders affect almost all industries. SAMHSA consistently reports the highest use of drugs and alcohol in the food, construction, transportation and accommodation industries.

How InOut Labs Can Help

We help employers implement drug-free workplaces on a daily basis. Whether it’s drug testing, policy development, supervisor training, or something else, InOut Labs is here to help.