WHY WORRY ABOUT DRUGS AND ALCOHOL IN THE WORKPLACE?
More than 70 percent of substance abusers hold jobs. One worker in four ages 18 to 34, used drugs in the past year; and one worker in three knows of drug sales in the work place. It is estimated that drug abuse cost employers 81 billion dollars annually.
In the workplace, the problems of these substance abusers become your problem. Inconsistent work quality Poor concentration and lack of focus Lowered productivity or erratic work patterns Increased absenteeism Unexplained disappearances from the jobsite Carelessness, mistakes or errors in judgment Needless risk taking Disregard for safety for self and others- on the job and off the job accidents Extended lunch periods and early departures
STATISTICS Accidents: Cause 35% of all industrial injuries and fatalities Eighth Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health Absenteeism: Responsible for 35% of all absenteeism and 5 times more likely to be absent U.S. Department of Labor. What Works: Workplaces Without Drug Workers’ Comp: Cause 38%-50% of all claims and are 5 times more likely to submit a claim National Council on Compensation Insurance Medical Benefits: Incur 300% more medical costs and use benefits 8 times more often U.S. Department of Labor Pilferage: Account for 40% of all theft U.S. Department of Labor. What Works: Workplaces Without Drugs Productivity: Perform at 67% of their potential – 1/3 less productive U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Statistics Sourcebook)
PHYSICAL AND HEALTH WARNING SIGNS OF DRUG ABUSE Eyes that are bloodshot or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal. Frequent nosebleeds--could be related to snorted drugs (meth, heroin or cocaine). Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain. Seizures without a history of epilepsy. Deterioration in personal grooming or physical appearance. Injuries/accidents and person won’t or can’t tell you how they got hurt. Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing. Shakes, tremors, incoherent or slurred speech, impaired or unstable coordination.
BEHAVIORAL SIGNS OF DRUG ABUSE Drop in attendance and performance at work ; loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports or exercise; decreased motivation. Complaints from co-workers or supervisors. Unusual or unexplained need for money or financial problems; borrowing or stealing; missing money or valuables. Silent, withdrawn, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors. Sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies. Frequently getting into trouble (arguments, fights, accidents, illegal activities).
PSYCHOLOGICAL SIGNS OF DRUG ABUSE Unexplained change in personality or attitude. Sudden mood changes, irritability, angry outbursts or laughing at nothing. Periods of unusual hyperactivity or agitation. Lack of motivation; inability to focus, appearing lethargic or “spaced out.” Appearing fearful, withdrawn, anxious, or paranoid, with no apparent reason.
Sometimes these effects are more serious than others…
Substance abuse is a serious problem within the workplace. Abuse in the social arena does not stop at the employer’s door step. Workers who abuse drugs and alcohol bring their problem into the workplace and affect other workers.