The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released a new drug-free workplace toolkit. The toolkit provides employers with the latest information, resources, and tools for producing and maintaining a drug-free workplace.
Why You Should Care About Having a Drug-Free Workplace?
Because Substance Abuse in the Workplace Is a Widespread Problem
Alcohol and other drug abuse is widespread in our society. It affects us all in many ways. Although national, State, and local efforts have begun to show encouraging results, the problem of alcohol and other drug abuse remains a serious problem. No workplace is immune. According to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 74.9 percent of all adult illicit drug users are employed full or part time. Most binge and heavy alcohol users are also employed full or part time.
Because Substance Abuse in the Workplace Can Have Serious Consequences
Substance abusing employees often do not make good employees. Studies show that, compared with non–substance abusers, they are more likely…
- To change jobs frequently
- To be late to or absent from work
- To be less productive employees
- To be involved in a workplace accident
- To file a workers’ compensation claim
Workplace substance abuse can also have a serious effect on people other than the abuser. For example, some studies suggest that working alongside a substance abuser can reduce nonabusers’ morale and productivity. It also is quite common for substance abusing workers who are involved in workplace accidents to injure other people (rather than themselves), especially if they work in safety-sensitive industries, such as the transportation or construction industry.
Because, in Some Cases, It’s the Law
In 1986 the President signed an Executive order mandating that all Federal agencies be drug-free.
In 1988, Congress passed the Drug-Free Workplace Act, which requires Federal grantees and recipients of Federal contracts of $100,000 or more to comply with certain regulations.
And Because Good Programs Can Help
Employers who have implemented drug-free workplace programs have important experiences to share:
- Employers with successful drug-free workplace programs report improvements in morale and productivity and decreases in absenteeism, accidents, downtime, turnover, and theft.
- Employers with longstanding programs report better health status among, and decreased use of medical benefits by, many employees and family members.
- Some organizations with drug-free workplace programs qualify for incentives, such as decreased costs for workers’ compensation and other kinds of insurance.
- Employers find that employees, employee representatives, and unions often welcome drug-free workplace programs. If you do not have a program, your employees may be wondering why.
Click HERE to download “Making Your Workplace Drug-Free: A Kit for Employers.”
(This is a PDF download. Please be patient)