tucson.com on 3/24/2017
FRIDAY, March 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Substance abuse exacts a heavy toll on the American workplace, a new analysis shows.
Employees who struggle with drinking and drug addiction miss many more days of work, have higher health care costs and are less productive than those without these disorders, researchers report.
An analysis revealed that employees with substance use disorders miss nearly 50 percent more work days than their colleagues, and up to six weeks of work a year, according to the National Safety Council, NORC at the University of Chicago and Shatterproof. Shatterproof is a national nonprofit that works to end the devastation that addiction causes families.
However, a companion survey from the council found that while 71 percent of employers reported issues with worker prescription drug use, only 39 percent consider it a safety threat and only 24 percent believe it’s a problem.
“Businesses that do not address the prescription drug crisis are like ostriches sticking their heads in the sand,” said council president and CEO Deborah Hersman.
“The problem exists, and doing nothing will harm your employees and your business,” she added in a council news release.
The analysis and survey also found that: construction, entertainment, recreation and food service businesses have twice the national average number of workers with substance use disorders; business sectors with large numbers of women or older adult workers have a two-thirds lower rate of substance abuse; and business sectors with higher numbers of workers with alcohol use disorders also have more illicit drug, pain medication and marijuana use disorders.